This chapter examines the conceptualization of “multiliteracies,” both in the work of the New London Group (1996) and the wider literature that reports on the ways in which the idea has been applied and researched. Our review ranges across the three main questions asked of literacy in the original article: Why, what, and how. In response to why, we investigate the ways in which the literature on multiliteracies has addressed the question of changing social conditions, with an emphasis on diversity and digitally mediated technologies of representation and communication. Addressing the question of what, we focus on the movement between modes or forms of meaning, variously named synesthesia, transduction, transmediation, intersemiosis and, most recently, transposition. Finally, on the question of how, we return to the pedagogy of multiliteracies with a discussion of its significance as an attempt to rebalance the cognitive emphases of literacy with socio-emotional and embodied perspectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMultiliteracies in International Educational Contexts
Subtitle of host publicationTowards Education Justice
EditorsGabriela C Zapata, Mary Kalantzis, Bill Cope
Number of pages42
ISBN (Electronic)9781003349662
ISBN (Print)9781032394251, 9781032394237
StatePublished - Dec 21 2023

Publication series

NameMultiliteracies and Second Language Education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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