Disquietude: A Sonata-Form Inquiry Into Multiliteracies Practices in an EAL Classroom
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This narrative case study describes an English as an Additional Language teacher’s struggle to understand her young adult learners’ apparent resistance toward multiliteracies pedagogical practices in a college setting. Multiliteracies Pedagogy (New London Group, 1996) advocates the use of digital media, and home languages and culture, to engage diverse youth in designing personally meaningful multimodal texts that can significantly impact learner identity, voice, and agency. This arts-based study uses an innovative sonata-style format to document the making of a class documentary, accompanied by teacher reflections on the video project in the form of poetry, journal excerpts, and classroom dialogue. The sonata form provides a unique methodology for teacher inquiry, allowing the teacher-researcher to explore the ways in which curriculum, pedagogy, and sociocultural influences intersect in the classroom. The study does not end with a clear resolution of the problem; instead, the process of inquiry leads to deeper understandings of what it means to teach in the complex worlds of diverse learners.