Multimodal Composition in Multilingual Contexts

deadline for submissions: 
November 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Journal of Global Literacies, Technologies, and Emerging Pedagogies
contact email: 

Special Issue Editors:

Shyam B. Pandey, Purdue University

Ai-Chu Elisha Ding, Ball State University

Santosh Khadka, California State University Northridge 


Since the scholarly community New London Group coined the term multimodality in literacy studies in the 1990s, subsequent works by scholars of composition studies, applied linguistics, education, and communication studies have laid the foundation for the multimodal composition to grow as a vibrant interdisciplinary field with its own set of scholarship, journals, and conferences. According to Bruce Horner et al. (2013), multimodality is associated with multiple forms of representation and its definition includes other forms of texts, such as images, web pages, movies, sound, and graphics in addition to print. When writers actively employ the multiple modalities of expression, it allows them to use extra-linguistic resources in their meaning-making process (Archer & Breur, 2018). 

Multimodality and multilingualism are two closely connected notions that complement each other. Like any other group, multilingual writers benefit equally from the multimodal composition as it provides alternatives for them to compose in modes other than the alphabetic mode (Tardy, 2005). Thus, it is crucial to unravel the multilingual writers’ confrontation with multimodality in their composing process (Shin & Cimasko, 2008; Fraiberg, 2010; Dagenais et al., 2017). In this juncture, it is important to understand the complexities of multimodal composition and how multilingual writers engage it as a field of study and as a mode of composing. That would be a very timely undertaking, indeed, as a group of rhetoric and composition scholars recently came up with an open call, “A Manifesto” in their term, in which they urge us to nurture and cultivate plural voices in our composing and pedagogical practices and nonlinearity in our historical development by focusing our teaching and curriculum on multiple ways of making and receiving meaning (Wysocki et al., 2019).

Furthermore, with the advent of information and communication technologies in the 21st-century globalized world, there should be new possibilities for understanding and composing a wide array of multimodal texts. Because the traditional way of understanding literacy through reading and writing in print mediums does not suffice in the current literacy and communication scenario defined by new digital and communication media and technologies, it is critical that scholars of literacy and language education make efforts to understand how we could make sense of multimodal composition while continuing to innovate pedagogies and technology uses in our classrooms in order to support our students’ multimodal meaning-making practices both in monolingual and multilingual contexts.

Given this background, this special issue will examine the intricacies of multimodal composing, specifically at the intersection of technologies and composing in different multilingual contexts. We are inviting submissions that address the following issues, among others: 

  • Multimodal composing and multilingual writers:  Multilingual writers are ubiquitous in any writing classroom. What challenges and opportunities are identified while implementing multimodal pedagogies in multilingual composition classrooms? How do multilingual writers construct their identities and voices in multimodal compositions? 

  • Multimodality in first-year college composition: First-year writing programs have gradually started incorporating multimodal composition in their curricula. How have writing programs been implementing multimodal composition? What challenges, struggles, and successes have been identified, particularly among multilingual student population? How can writing instructors better integrate multimodality in their writing curriculum?

  • Multimodal teaching pedagogies in second/foreign language teaching contexts: Multimodal composition pedagogies are gradually making headway into diverse language teaching contexts. What challenges and opportunities do language teachers encounter when implementing multimodality in their teaching contexts? How do students respond to multimodal teaching pedagogies in second or foreign language teaching contexts? 

  • Multimodality in EAP or ESP teaching context:  English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English for Specific Purposes (ESP) are also two teaching contexts where instructors implement multimodality. What successes and challenges have instructors experienced, and what are the takeaways from EAP and ESP teaching contexts?

  • Multimodal composing, digital technologies, emerging media, and multilingual writers: Social media (Twitter, Tumbler, etc.), collaborative and interactive sites (Google Drive, Wikipedia, Weebly, etc.), visual and web design programs (Piktochart, Adobe Photoshop, Medium, Wordpress, etc.), movie-making programs (Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, iMovie, etc.), and audio editing programs (Garageband, Audacity, etc.) have been used extensively for multimodal teaching lessons in writing classrooms. How have the uses of these digital technologies and emerging media been instrumental in making multimodal composition successful? What were the lessons learned in the process? How do the different variables of students, such as age, sex, class, access, abilities, literacy level, and socioeconomic status play into the successes or failures of multimodal composition pedagogies in writing or literacy classrooms?

  • Professional development of faculty in the areas of multimodality, multilingualism, and technology integration: As mentioned above, multimodal pedagogies, multilingualism, and technology uses have intricate relationships. Yet, faculty knowledge and competence in adopting them in their curricula is without a doubt the key factor for successful technology engagement in the classroom. What professional development opportunities have been provided for the faculty in higher education to develop their competence in adopting multimodal pedagogies or in supporting multilingual writers’ engagement with multimodal writing technologies? What were the successes and challenges in any of those professional development initiatives?


In addition to full-length articles, we are also seeking brief empirical reports, issue statements, or teaching artifacts. Full-length articles should be between 6,000 to 10,000 words, while brief reports/statements/teaching artifacts should be between 2,500 to 4,000 words, including references, tables, figures, and appendices. Interested authors should submit a 250-word abstract along with a brief biography to the special issue editors by November 15, 2019. The abstract should indicate whether a full-length article or a brief report/statement is being proposed. For complete guidelines for manuscript preparation, please consult the “Guide for Authors” available on the JOGLTEP website. Queries, proposals, and papers for consideration for this special issue should be emailed to Shyam Pandey at, Ai-Chu Elisha Ding at, and Santosh Khadka at


Timeline for Articles:

  • Abstract submission (250 words): November 15, 2019

  • Notifications for inviting full-length article: December 01, 2019

  • Full manuscript due: May 15, 2020

  • Double-blind review period: May 16-August 16, 2020

  • Notification to authors of manuscript acceptance/rejection/revise and resubmit: November 05, 2020

  • Submission of papers with all author revisions complete: December 18, 2020

  • Projected publication of Special Issue: February 15, 2021


Timeline for Teaching Artifacts Submission:

  • Submission of Teaching Artifacts: December 01, 2019

  • Editorial review period: December 02, 2019-March 02, 2020

  • Notification to authors of Teaching Artifacts acceptance/rejection/revision: April 01, 2020

  • Submission of Teaching Artifacts with all revisions complete: July 31, 2020

  • Projected publication of Special Issue: February 15, 2021

Details can be found on