10. Analysis of an Online University Lecture: Multimodal Perspectives
Mersini Karagevrekis [+]
University of Macedonia, Greece
Modern economic texts in a dynamic (electronic) form, unlike their static printed counterparts, unfold in time. This means that they involve a greater majority of semiotic resources (visual, linguistic, actional, etc.) in making meaning in specific social contexts than static texts. They are also more complex in structure as they consist of different phases (textual sequencing units consistent in the co-patterning of different resources) along with points of transition (i.e. realignments in the grouping of diverse resources) between the phases (Gregory in Baldry and Thibault 2006: 47). Such complex multimodal texts can be best analysed within a social semiotic metafunctional framework that combines Halliday’s (1994) metafunctional theory and Bakhtin’s (1986) views on genre with Gregory’s notion of textual phase and transition (in Baldry and Thibault 2006: 47). The same framework is employed for the analysis of a few excerpts from an online university lecture on economic theories in EAP/ESP (English for Academic Purposes/English for Specific Purposes) in this paper. The analysis is in the form of questions that can help students relate general theory to specific data. The aim of the paper is to foster students’ multimodal literacy ("Multiliteracies" in the New London Group terminology 2000) and help them realize that it is the synergy among diverse semiotic modalities that contributes to the overall text meaning. The analysis also enhances understanding of the typical ways resources combine in a particular genre in the specialist field of their studies.