Visual media and multimedia literacy… What is it?
‘In a multimedia world, it is not possible to focus exclusively on the spoken or written element, treating everything else as marginal – as non-linguistic extras. All the elements combine in a single communicative act, and their joint roles need to be considered.’
Crystal, D. (2011) Internet Linguistics: A student guide, London: Routledge.


On completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • define key concepts pertaining to visual media and multimedia literacy
  • understand and explain why reading and writing visual and multimedia messages in and out of the classroom is important
  • select resources for the classroom and design visual media and multimedia literacy tasks for your students



From tag clouds to infographics, through multimodal stories, games and data visualisation, more and more of nowadays information is conveyed through visual elements. In the image-saturated culture we live in, screens play a crucial part in the way we receive information. Therefore, we need to focus on visual media and multimedia literacy.

Because art is a form of communication, a language, visual literacy has been taught before, teaching students to deconstruct and reconstruct an image, painting, sculpture or any art piece in order to give it a meaning, make it understandable, readable. A visual literate person can read and write visual language.

However, we now broaden this literacy to another level, visual media and multimedia, in which images, sound and video are often intertwined. Multimedia literacy has truly come of age on the internet, ‘the first medium that can act like all media – it can be text, or audio, or video, or all of the above’ (Rose, F. 2011, The Art of Immersion: How the digital generation is remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the way we tell stories, New York: W.W. Norton). Because there is not literacy when one can only read but not write, students have to learn not just to understand, but to create multimedia messages including image, sound and video like in transmedia storytelling, where narratives are dispersed across multiple platforms.


What is visual media and multimedia literacy?


Dudeney, Hockly and Pegrum (2014: 11) define visual media and multimedia literacy as “the ability to effectively interpret and create texts in multiple media, notably using images, sounds and video.



Visual literacy in the classroom

Why should we teach visual literacy in the classroom? Watch the videos below to find some answers…

A video created by students for teachers…


George Lucas and Martin Scorsese on the importance of visual literacy


Useful links for the classroom

Sites and tools

For digital story telling:

For infographics:

Multimedia sharing:

Audio editing:


Video Editing:

Video Sharing:



What’s next



Source/attribution: Digilanguages             Author: Alexandre Jacquot

Ein interessanter Blog:

Hier findet ihr einen Artikel von Dieter Glaap im Pdf-Format.

Ecco dei materiali aggiuntivi in lingua italiana sull’alfabetizzazione multimediale

Da vedere
  • Il canale ANITel FAD ha pubblicato un video sull’uso sempre più diffuso della lavagna multimediale (LIM) nelle classi


Da leggere