2020 UW-Madison East Asian Language Pedagogy Workshop (CANCELLED)

The 2020 UW-Madison East Asian Language Pedagogy Workshop was canceled due to concerns about COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Technology, Literacy, and Multimodality

Saturday, April 4, 2020
Pyle Center (702 Langdon Street, Madison, WI 53706)

The Center for East Asian Studies (a federally-funded Title VI National Resource Center), the Korean Flagship Program, and the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are pleased to co-host a workshop for K-16 instructors of East Asian languages in Wisconsin and beyond.

Focusing on our theme of  “technology, literacy and multimodality,” the event will include the following three presentors:

Plenary Speaker:

Dr. David Malinowski of San Jose State University

Panelists and Breakout Session Leaders:

Dr. Amber Navarre of Boston University

Ms. Jeeyoung Ahn Ha of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The workshop will begin with Dr. Malinowski’s plenary talk, “Rethinking Multimodality for L2 Teaching and Learning,” followed by a a panel discussion with the two additional presenters.  The panel will also preview highlights for the afternoon breakout sessions.

The three 2-hour breakout sessions in the afternoon explore more specific areas by drawing examples from Chinese, Japanese, and Korean respectively:

  • “Multimodal language projects using technology,”
  • “Expanding L2 learning with spatial literacies, technology, and community-based projects,”
  • “Neutral Technology, Instructor’s Responsibility,”

The concluding session will share the outcomes of the breakout sessions and provide an opportunity to share ideas across languages. We hope that this unique format will enhance our mutual growth.


Click here to access the registration page, which will have pricing as described below, and requires entering a credit card number to complete.  Please note that lunch is included in the registration costs.  The registration web address is: http://services.iris.wisc.edu/ceas2020.


Early registration (until March 10)

General Registration (including UW–Madison Faculty): $50
K-12 Teachers: $35
Students: $25

Late registration (March 11-31)

General Registration (including UW–Madison Faculty): $65
K-12 Teachers: $50
Students: $40

Hotel accommodations

Lowell Center
A block of rooms is reserved at the Lowell Center, UW-Madison. To book a room at the special conference rate of $115 per night, please go to http://bit.ly/EALPW20 and reference EALPW as the group code. Please note that the room block reservation link and reference code can only be used through March 2, 2020.

A limited number of fellowships are available for K-12 teachers’ travel expenses. Please contact eas@eastasia.wisc.edu for more details.  If you have any questions regarding the workshop contents, please contact Junko Mori at jmori@wisc.edu.  For logistical questions, please contact Laurie Dennis at ldennis@wisc.edu.

Program Schedule

9:00-9:15        Opening remarks

9:15-10:15       Plenary talk by David Malinowski, San Jose State University, “Rethinking Multimodality for L2 Teaching and Learning”

10:15-10:30     Coffee Break

10:30-12:00    Panel Discussion by invited speakers David Malinowski, Amber Navarre and Jeeyoung Ahn Ha, and preview of the afternoon sessions

12:00-1:00      Lunch Break (buffet is included in registration fee)

1:00-3:00        Break-out sessions led by invited speakers:

  • Chinese focus: Amber Navarre, Boston University, “Multimodal Language Projects Using Technology”
  • Japanese focus: David Malinowski, San Jose State University, “Expanding L2 learning with spatial literacies, technology, and community-based projects”
  • Korean focus: Jeeyoung Ahn Ha, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “Neutral Technology, Instructor’s Responsibility: Making the best out of technology-enhanced language learning”

3:00-3:15         Coffee Break

3:15-4:00         Concluding discussion to share outcomes and evaluate the workshop

Plenary Talk

“Rethinking Multimodality for L2 Teaching and Learning”

Dr. David Malinowski of San Jose State University

The focus on multimodality in language and literacy scholarship over the past few decades may sound to many L2 educators like ‘old news’ and ‘other people’s business,’ both at the same time. On the one hand, language teachers are quick to recognize the many ways in which gesture, image, sound, spatial layout and other modes work together with writing and speech to augment and enrich expression, and mixed-media texts and technologies have long been at the heart of language teaching and learning practice. At the same time, however, the L2 instructor may understandably feel ill-equipped or under-resourced to augment their language pedagogical expertise with knowledge of film, dance, theater, visual analysis, graphic design and other means of multimodal communication (cf. Kaiser & Shibahara, 2014); meanwhile, the relevance of multimodality to language as it is tested and assessed may seem tangential at best.

In this talk, I argue that multimodality for L2 learning may best be approached as a set of interested, creative, and transformative practices that can develop students’ linguistic awareness and symbolic competence, rather than as a static description of multiple semiotic systems (speech, image, gesture, etc.). In doing so, I return to Gunther Kress’ (2003) foundational notions of transformation and transduction in meaning design (“the reshaping of semiotic resources and the migration of semiotic material across modes, respectively,” Hull & Nelson, 2005, p. 230), taking these both literally and figuratively as an invitation to rethink some pressing concerns in L2 instruction today.

In a literal sense, activities that ask students to transform and transduce meaning across modes—taking and narrating photographs as first steps toward composing an essay, for example (cf. Stein, 2000)—provide powerful opportunities to integrate student voices, media literacies, and language learning outcomes (cf. Paesani, Allen & Dupuy, 2016). And, in a more figurative sense, a multimodal pedagogy of transduction may serve as a call for language teachers and learners to document, analyze, and critique the gains and losses in meaning-making potential that obtain when new technologies replace older technologies, for instance (cf. Kern & Malinowski, 2016), and when learners leave the face-to-face language classroom for community-based projects, or take their first online class.

Based on these and other examples, and drawing connections to established standards for technology in language teaching (e.g., TESOL Technology Standards, Healey et al., 2008, 2011), I will provide a set of suggested guidelines and sample projects for L2 teachers to integrate multimodal transformations and transductions into their everyday classroom practice, and thus make the ‘business’ of multimodal pedagogies their own.

Breakout Sessions

Multimodal Language Projects Using Technology
(Focus on Chinese, but open to other language specialists)

Dr. Amber Navarre (Boston University)

Multimodal communication uses multiple types of semiotics (e.g. text, speech, visuals, audio, and kinesthetic input) to express, interpret, and negotiate meaning. Developing multimodal literacy in a language classroom is particularly important because a considerable amount of our day-to-day communication is by nature multimodal, ranging from more traditional media (e.g. storybooks with images; movies and TV shows that have both visuals and audio) to Internet/mobile content (e.g. web pages containing texts, images, and videos; mobile games integrating audio, visuals, and hands-on interaction) and to communication in more personal domains (e.g. “texting” with not only text but also emojis, GIFs, and recorded voice; personal stories on social media with captioned photos). This workshop aims to introduce several technological tools and methods with real classroom examples (in both face-to-face and online learning contexts) that engage learners in multimodal language projects and prepare them to be more effective consumers and creators of multimodal communication.


Expanding L2 learning with spatial literacies, technology, and community-based projects
(Focus on Japanese, but open to other language specialists)

David Malinowski (San Jose State University)

When proponents of multimodal literacies explain the “modes” that are most important for everyday communication, they often cite definitions such as that of Jewitt & Kress (2003, p. 1): “[modes are] regularized [and] organized set of resources for meaning-making, including, image, gaze, gesture, movement, music, speech and sound-effect.” While helpful, such listings usually overlook the spatial mode, which may be considered difficult to teach, but which is crucial for students’ abilities to understand and synthesize language learning contexts and experiences. This workshop addresses this challenge by offering practical ways for L2 teachers to identify and develop students’ language and literacy skills in space and place, from multilingual classrooms to study abroad destinations. Participants will experiment with technology-enabled activities that bridge classroom and community—including place-based discussions, games, interviews, and other forms of language observation and analysis—while considering appropriate learning outcomes and assessments.

Neutral Technology, Instructor’s Responsibility: Making the best out of technology-enhanced language learning

(Focus on Korean)

Ms. Jeeyoung Ahn Ha (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Affordances of technology-enhanced foreign language instruction have been described for many years now and no one will dispute that there are advantages as well as potential disadvantages of using technology in foreign language classroom. As Blake (2013) puts it, technology itself is neutral as a tool and it is up to language educators to use it so that it can truly facilitate language learning effectively and meaningfully. In this workshop, I will first discuss key factors in using technology effectively, based on a modular approach to writing in language instruction with the World-readiness Standards in mind. Then a few examples will be presented to show how to create technology-enhanced activities to foster critical thinking, intercultural competence, and learner autonomy. Attendees will leave with a clear understanding of ways to implement the sound use of technology in their own courses.

Blake, R. (2013). Brave new Digital Classroom: Technology and Foreign-Language Learning. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.