L2ML Virtual Symposium


Symposium Dates:
April 21-22, 2023

Extended Deadline for Proposals:
January 12, 2023

Building on the Digital Literacies Project and the associated Second Language Digital Literacies Symposium (L2DL) hosted by the Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language and Literacy (CERCLL), the L2ML symposium will bring together educators, practitioners, and researchers, who share common interests in exploring the role of multimodality in contexts of second or multiple language and culture learning. This free, two-day virtual event will include a series of digital presentations and discussions, including three invited talks by experts in the fields of multimodal language and literacy education. The symposium will culminate in a panel discussion, where participants will consider future directions for multimodal scholarship and pedagogical practice in second language and multilingualism studies.

Invited Speakers

See presentation and biographical details here.

Denise Newfield

University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Ana Oskoz

University of Maryland Baltimore County, USA

Jennifer Rowsell

University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

In recent years, studies of multimodal communication and composition from education, literacy studies, and applied linguistics have fueled intense discussions about the place of non-verbal modes in the historically lingua-centric field of second language teaching and learning. These conversations and the research that supports them have been motivated by innovations in digital technologies, which encourage and enable the ready use of images, videos, and sounds in everyday acts of communication (e.g., Lankshear & Knobel, 2006; Lotherington & Jenson, 2011); but interest in second language multimodal literacies has also found theoretical buttressing in recent work in applied linguistics where language is conceptualized within a broader semiotic repertoire for meaning making (e.g., Busch, 2012; Li, 2017). Increasingly, there is a shared understanding that “In a profound sense, all meaning-making is multimodal” (New London Group, 1996, p. 81). However, there continues to be a need for research on the multimodal practices of multilingual speakers, and for the development of research-based practices for educators to integrate and assess multimodality into their language classes.


The organizers of the L2ML symposium saught proposals that address these themes. The submission period closed on January 12th, 2023, and the proposals are currently under review; the schedule will be announced in March. Research studies, theoretical think pieces, and exemplary practices were all equally welcome. We particularly encouraged contributions that respond to the following guiding questions:

  • What models, frameworks, and concepts shape current understandings of multimodality and its potential roles in the learning of second or additional languages? What are the benefits and limits of different ways of understanding second language multimodal literacies?
  • How can educators best integrate and acknowledge multimodal dimensions of languaging and language learning? What findings and new directions does current research offer us for answering this question?
  • What modalities have been underrepresented in second language education and what possible roles might they play?


If you have questions about L2ML, please contact the organizers at