Digital Native Tongue: Bringing Multilingual, Multimodal Curriculum to College Composition for Beginning Latinx Writers
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Young Latinx students are struggling with composition when they enter college, and the performance and completion gaps are widening (Ybarra 89). Multilingual education offers insights into language pedagogy and practice, while new, multimodal education offers solutions that make use of digital techniques. This thesis proposes combining activities, frameworks, and theories from both of these education camps in order to update college composition curriculum that may to be more effective for American Latinx students in the 21st century. Multimodal education is the process of composing in multiple media (written, aural, visual) simultaneously. In the modern world, it is often intertwined with digital media, which is disseminated and accessed through the Internet. Students are already composing in some form. College composition must channel these digital composition techniques. Simultaneously, multilingual education asks students to use all of their language skills at once. Multilingual students have skills in writing, but not always in English proficiency. This project will apply practical uses of bilingual education theory of Ofelia Garcia, Min-Zhan Lu, and Paul Matsuda, as well as multimodal theories from Marc Prensky, Cynthia Selfe, and Gunther Kress. It will consider the specific pedagogical and cultural needs of multilingual Latinx digital native students as well as the role of technology in the college composition classroom for digital natives. This project examines how multilingual and multimodal theories are already working together, how they can synergize more effectively, and how to fit these new practices into existing policy and curriculum. This culminates into the development of multimodal-multilingual assignments and activities to use in college composition in the form of new writing projects.