Embodied Interaction in Language Learning Materials: A Multimodal Analysis

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to explore the potential of English-language learning materials as a source of multimodal communicative representation. In particular, this study examines the animated cartoon videos that supplement the text-based dialogues for how kinesics is made relevant in the moving images to enhance the communicative capacity of the English-language textbooks used in Taiwan. The study is guided by the following question: How is embodied interaction portrayed in the animations that are a part of the middle school English-learning textbooks in Taiwan? Every textbook is composed of 6 lessons, each including a short dialogue and a reading passage. This study focuses on the dialogues, which generally consists of a two-page conversation of approximately 10-15 turns-at-talk. The animated video for each of the dialogues in the textbook portray the speakers having the same dialogue. This presentation emphasizes the findings gleaned from the analysis of the animations for one textbook. Data analysis focused on the body language of the speakers in relation to the content of their speech. For each turn at talk, screen captures were made of the speakers’ gestures and body movement so as to identify their corresponding speech acts. Findings reveal that a limited range of embodied representations are used to portray a wide range of speech functions. In the presentation, apart from discussing the types of embodied interactions found in the animated videos, the implications of such findings for the multimodal communicative competence of the language learners will also be considered.



Author Information
Shin-Ying Huang, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2021
Stream: Language

This paper is part of the ACAH2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by amp21