EFL Students’ Views on Writing with Pictures, Sound, and Music

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Airiti Press Inc.


The purpose of this research is to explore college English as foreign language (EFL) students’ views on using texts, images, sound, and music to create multimodal projects in writing. The important factors, as well as the strategies students use in completing their multimodal writing projects are also investigated. The subjects consisted of 45 university EFL students from two writing classes in a university in southern Taiwan. They were requested to write stories and essays using a multimodal software program called Photostory. Students’ views on their experiences using the media were collected through interviews and reflection sheets. In general, the students considered multimodal composition to be interesting and engaging, and reported that it gave them a sense of achievement. Elements students need to consider in completing the project include: sentence production, story structure, text/picture design (position and semantic relation), and display speed. The better works of students include the following features: more complete sentences; well-organized story structures; clear text/picture color contrast; coherence in text font, color, size, position; sentence number; appropriate display speed; and good picture quality throughout the films. Students used a variety of text, picture, and music strategies to convey meanings and create the appropriate effects for their stories. Factors that may affect their composition experiences are computer access, technical problems, topics, and multimodal effects. Future study could focus on the contribution of multimodal composition on students of different levels.