Semiotic media and multimodal reports in Natural Science and Social Science in a school for deaf students

Dominique Manghi, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile
Maritza Arancibia, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile
Oriana Illanes, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile
Pía Herrera, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile
María Francisca Zamora, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile


Dominique Manghi, Maritza Arancibia, Oriana Illanes, Pía Herrera y María Francisca Zamora, 2014: "Medios semióticos y definiciones multimodales en las
clases de Ciencias Naturales y Ciencias Sociales en una escuela para jóvenes sordos", Onomázein Número Especial IX ALSFAL, 37-56.
DOI: 10.7764/onomazein.alsfal.2

Classroom interaction is a very complex phenomenon and an approach from multimodality enriches the understanding of the communicative landscape
between teachers and learners. This perspective is essential to describe what happens in a classroom of deaf students and to understand the semiotic potential of the resources used to teach and learn when visual semiosis is the primary media for the exchange of meaning. This research is part of a larger study on literacy and semiotic mediation in Chilean school classrooms (Fondecyt 1130684) and aims to the multimodal description of genres, semiotic media and modes used by two teachers, one of Natural Sciences
and the other of Social Sciences, interacting with a group of deaf students of 8th grade. A Multimodal Discourse Analysis was carried out upon the observation of a whole curricular unit. Among the findings, we highlight that both teachers structure their lessons mainly around one genre: definition (reports), co-deployed in face to face interaction by using sign language with the whiteboard, computer presentations, online software, notebooks and printed learning activities. In this case study, definitions work visually to represent both technical images and technical categories of the dominant language through continuous and discontinuous writing for these young deaf students to conceptualize the world from the visual logic of their first language.