Summary: Multiliteracies is a pedagogical approach developed in 1994 by the New London Group that aims to make classroom teaching more inclusive of cultural, linguistic, communicative, and technological diversity. They advocate this so that students will be better prepared for a successful life in a globalized world.
Originators & Proponents: New London Group
Keywords: communication, community engagement, cultural diversity, education, expression, globalization, language, linguistic diversity, literacy, modes, multimodality, pedagogy, technology
Multiliteracies (New London Group)
The term multiliteracies was developed by the New London Group (NLG), a group of ten researchers, educators, and visionaries, in 1994 in New London, New Hampshire, USA. Based on their assessment of how new technologies were influencing society, the NLG devised the multiliteracies approach to address these changes; in particular, how technology changes and globalization were affecting education.
According to the NLG, a multiliteracies pedagogy accepts and encourages a wide range of linguistic, cultural, communicative, and technological perspectives and tools being used to help students better prepare for a rapidly changing, globalized world. In order to continue helping students have the widest range of opportunities possible in creating their lives and contributing to their community and to their future, school must now adapt to the growing availability of new technologies for teaching and learning, communication channels, and increased access to cultural and linguistic diversity.
Multiliteracies are related to multimodality, as many modes are encouraged to be used in different forms of expression. In addition, different technologies and communication channels allow for different modes to be used by people in expressing themselves. This differs widely from traditional classroom pedagogy that is often focused on monomodal tools for learning and which does not included a range of perspectives, which can result in a lack of cultural and linguistic diversity represented in teaching approaches.
The New London Group members are (in alphabetical order): Courtney Cazden (USA), Bill Cope (Australia), Norman Fairclough (UK), James Gee (United States), Mary Kalantzis (Australia), Gunther Kress (UK), Allan Luke (Australia), Carmen Luke (Australia), Sarah Michaels (US), Martin Nakata (Australia).
- The New London Group. (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures. Harvard educational review, 66(1), 60-93.
- Cope, B., & Kalantzis, M. (2000). Multiliteracies: Literacy learning and the design of social futures. Psychology Press.
- Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2011). New literacies. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).