Multiliteracies at the Museum
Project Director: Chantelle Warner, CERCLL Co-Director (University of Arizona)
In partnership with the Department of German Studies at the University of Arizona and the University of Arizona Museum of Art.
This project builds off of the successful FLLITE Project, a collaboration between CERCLL and COERLL (University of Texas at Austin), which takes the playful, creative moments found in everyday language use as the basis for lessons in second language literacy. Furthermore, it responds to current research in second language and teaching, which stresses that contemporary language pedagogy must include the complex, multimodal, and fluid forms of communication that learners will encounter outside of the classroom, as well as calls from organizations like ACTFL to position learners “as creators and innovators” so that they can develop the capacity to “respond to new and diverse perspectives.”
The Multiliteracies in the Museum project explores the potential of museums as sites for creative, literacy-based tasks, which will allow learners to use the language they are learning purposefully, while making intertextual connections and working between modalities. Like the lessons and materials developed in FLLITE, Multiliteracies at the Museum develops linguistic abilities through the integration of speaking, reading, listening, and writing tasks, but it also expands the previous scope by looking at the museum as a site for developing learners’ interculturality by allowing space to read and reflect on how images and texts make meaning, how they relate to one another, and how they tell the stories of particular cultural heritages and traditions
The Multiliteracies in the Museum project has:
- Developed, piloted and refined a set of materials for integrating the museum and visual thinking into multiliteracies tasks for German and Swahili language teaching and learning;
- Translated these materials into English so that they can serve as an inspiration and model for teachers of other LCTLs.
- Developed an implementation guide, Best Practices for Developing L2 Multiliteracies at the Museum.
- An upcoming webinar will train educators in the use of these resources, and about integrating other forms of visual learning in the L2 classroom.
The pandemic restricted access to the museum collections, and materials were delayed as a result. However, the handbook was published in Spring 2022 and is available here: https://cercll.arizona.edu/educational-resources/multiliteraciesmuseumbook/.