Text as Design, Writers as Designers
University of Exeter
English in Education
Acknowledging the changing nature of writing in the 21st century, particularly the increasing significance of visual characteristics in written texts, this paper explores the implications of multimodality for the pedagogy of writing. It considers the potential disjunction between children’s life experiences of written texts and the demands of the writing curriculum, particularly in the secondary phase, and whilst arguing for greater recognition of the role of the visual, the paper also notes the importance of ensuring all children also have access to powerful verbal texts. Drawing on two separate research studies, the paper demonstrates how visual characteristics of written texts influence readers’ responses to texts, but also how writers are aware of some of the choices they make in shaping verbal texts. The paper argues for a reconceptualisation of the writing process as a design process, and for a pedagogy of writing which encourages, supports and enables writers to become confident and effective designers of texts.
39 (2) 5-21