Examining the multilingual and multimodal resources of young Latino picturebook makers
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The purpose of this qualitative research was to better understand the multilingual and multimodal composition resources appropriated by students during a study of Latino children’s picturebooks within a predominantly Latino, third grade classroom. A conceptual framework guided by socio-cultural perspectives, a social semiotic theory of communication, and Composition 2.0 studies was employed to investigate the ways in which students remixed multilingual and multimodal composition resources and manifested identities in texts. This research was guided by both design-based and case study methods and drew upon constant-comparative, discourse, and visual discourse analytic methods to examine the data. Analysis was also located in the literature on identity and texts so as to better understand the socio-cultural histories and identities attached to the children's picturebooks. Data collection was focused on both the multilingual and multimodal resources students appropriated to compose and the ways students orchestrated those resources during the classroom picturebook study. Analysis was structured by two interrelated strands. The first strand explores more broadly the composition resources in use during the classroom picturebook study, and the second analyzes explicitly the ways two focal students remixed composition resources within their picturebook productions and sedimented identities in texts. Three findings generated from the two related strands of analysis provided insights into the potential of a picturebook study as a viable multilingual and multimodal composition curriculum. First, in the context of the teacher and researcher co-designed curriculum and instruction, students appropriated literary, illustrated, material, and picturebook form resources from Latino children’s picturebooks in diverse ways. Second, in the act of picturebook making, students invoked other socio-cultural texts as mentors and remixed composition resources from diverse sources to craft their own picturebooks. Finally, students manifested aspects of their identities within the material worlds and languages reflected within their picturebooks. Together, these findings situate picturebook study and picturebook making as creative and intellectual acts for students. Moreover, this study features Latino children’s picturebooks as culturally responsive mentor texts. Several pedagogical implications related to composition instruction for young writers and diverse population are also discussed.