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Contemporary educational argumentation: A multimodal perspective

Coffin, C. (2009). Contemporary educational argumentation: A multimodal perspective. Argumentation, 23(4) pp. 513–530.


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In contemporary educational contexts there is considerable variation in how argumentation works and what forms and styles it takes. Influencing factors include the educational purpose and task, the level of education, and the discipline or curriculum subject in which it occurs. This paper offers a theoretical framework and a set of multimodal analytical tools which can provide a rich and systematic account of such variation. Using naturalistic data from three different educational sites I illustrate how such a framework reveals the diverse ways in which students use language and other modes of meaning making as they engage in processes of argumentation. In particular, I consider how new technologies have caused shifts in the distribution of meaning across different semiotic modes (such as visual images, space, colour and graphics) and how this impacts upon both argumentation process and product. The educational implications of such changes are also considered.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2009 Springer
ISSN: 1572-8374
Keywords: educational argumentation; new technologies; language; systemic functional-multimodal discourse analysis;
Academic Unit/Department: Education and Language Studies > Centre for Language and Communication
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 18746
Depositing User: Caroline Coffin
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2009 12:17
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2014 15:07
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