Translating multimodality: Children’s picture book (apps) and early bilingual literacy

Sumin Zhao, University of Technology Sydney & University of Southern Denmark


Preparing young children – both those who belong to the dominant linguistic group and newcomers – to thrive and compete in the globalised and digitalised world is a shared ambition amongst multinational communities. One of the central elements of this preparation, is that of multiliteracies: the ability to read and write in two or more languages using a combination of communication modes (verbal, visual or auditory) across various technological and media platforms. While the cognitive benefit of being bi/multiliterate is established, the social-cultural process of developing such competencies in diverse community, family and emerging digital contexts is not well understood. One of the key barriers to a better understanding is research methodology. 

The central concept of the project is to develop an innovative digital research methodology for understanding the sociocultural contexts involved in the development of early multiliteracies, including digital literacy as well as multilingual literacy, by integrating data collection processes into the daily digital literacy practices of young children and their caretakers (parents or teachers).