A Multimodal Approach to Foster the Multiliteracies Pedagogy in the Teaching of EFL through Picturebooks: The Snow Lion

  • Agustín Reyes-Torres Universitat de València
  • Matilde Portalés Raga Universitat de València


Twenty-first-century language education involves paying attention to the multimodal pedagogical demands of a global digital world. To this end, effective English language teaching (ELT) requires preparation on the part of instructors in terms of consciously guiding learners’ literacy development and integrating multiple modes of creating meaning that are broader than language alone. This article supports the notion of literacy as a multidimensional concept and proposes a multimodal toolkit as a means for teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL) to work with key literary and visual elements. Focusing on the reading of The Snow Lion (Helmore and Jones 2017), we discuss the meaningful interaction between words and images that defines picturebooks and implement the multiliteracies pedagogy approach, which is comprised of four knowledge processes, i.e., experiencing, conceptualizing, analyzing and applying. The final objective is to guide young students to produce meaning and think critically in the EFL classroom through the analysis and interpretation of picturebooks.

Author Biographies

Agustín Reyes-Torres, Universitat de València
Agustín Reyes Torres is Associate Professor in the Language and Literature Education Department at the Universitat de València and is a member of the research group Lit(T)erart. He is the author of Thinking through Children’s Literature in the Classroom (2014) and a significant number of journal articles on multicultural literature and foreign language teaching methodology. Since 2017, he has coordinated the teaching innovation project “Multimodal Resources and Literacy in EFL” (UVSFPIE_GER18-952026), funded by the Universitat de València and carried out at several primary education public schools in the city of València.
Matilde Portalés Raga, Universitat de València
Matilde Portalés Raga is a full-time lecturer in didactics of arts and visual education at the Universitat de València. Her current research focuses on children’s book illustrations, multimodality and multiliteracies. She also works with international publishing houses as an illustrator, creating projects for early childhood books.


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