Reading Response 2; Writer/Designer

Reading responses are meant to challenge the reader while also teaching them to understand a text. It is about choosing a text and a companion text to reflect on and gather ideas from both texts that help to get a complete and better understanding. It is also about discussing and confronting issues that arose while reading and also explaining concepts that may be difficult to comprehend.

In this reading response I will be discussing the Arola, Sheppard, Ball, _Writer/Designer_, Ch. 1: “What Are Multimodal Projects?”  reading and the reading titled “Deaf Community Outraged After a Sign Language Interpreter Signed Nonsense During Hurricane Irma Press Conference,” by Maria Pasquini.

I will start with Ball. The title is a give away to what exactly is going to be discussed. The idea of multimodality is introduced and explained. Ball begins by explaining what the word multimodal means. She describes it as a “mash up of multiple and mode.” (Ball 1) To understand that, you have to understand what exactly those words mean.

What is a mode? That is one important question that can be asked. A mode “is a way of communicating” (Ball 1). To further add on to that it is good to know that the words used are considered a mode. Multimodal as a whole simply explains how we create a combination of many different ways to communicate. All kinds of different texts are multimodal. Those include, newspapers, advertisements, music videos and the list goes on and on.

The multimodal modes outlined are linguistic, visual, aural, gestural, and spacial. Linguistic mode refers to the use of language (Ball 5). This could mean the words are spoken or written down. There is visual which refers to the use of images and things that a reader sees, hence the word visual. Some examples of that would be a Billboard, flyers, television and the list goes on and on. Visual includes aspects such as color and perspective for example. Aural mode focuses more on sound. It provides many different ways of communicating and understanding a message. For example, through music, sound effects, silence and emphasis on something. We are often ignorant to the way sound around us signals information.

Gestural mode refers to the movement and body language of an individual and how simple gestures can make meaning. If I am talking to a friend and I put my hand over my face as I tell her the story of the time I fell , just from the gesture I made, she can assume I was shameful of that. Gestural includes things such as facial expressions, body language and hand gestures. This is the most important when it comes to face to face communication. Spatial mode focuses on arrangement. For example the way a person decides to set up their paragraphs for their paper they are writing. It is about organization and over time attention to spacial mode has become extremely important. I wondered why exactly but then as I thought about it I realized If I was reading something, I would definitely want it to be organized.

In the sign language video and article there are multimodal elements throughout. All five modes are incorporated. This work shows just how important the first reading is. It seemed as though this was made perfectly as an example of just how a website can contain multimodality effects. The video provided the linguistic mode by inserting the words to the bottom of the video while also including a few paragraphs also explaining the situation. The people talking in the video was also a form of linguistic as stated in the first reading. Aural mode was in there because there was sound involved, and at some point, silence in the video.

Gestural mode was included because as the person in the video talked there was a man giving sign language. His body language also was considered to be gestural since the first reading included body language as a feature of gestural. He received a lot of negative feedback for his body language because apparently he was supposed to look forward. Spacial mode is included in the website because it is organized in a particular way and the way it is set up allows for similar posts to be noticed. Last but not least, visual mode is obviously included. There are images and a video included.

Both of these are two different pieces that each has a unique topic, yet it comes together perfectly. From the Ball reading, I have learned the importance of multimodality and how including multiple modes can help me to get my point across while working with my project. From the secondary text, I have learned just how multimodality goes into play. The ball reading is pretty much interpreted by the secondary text and exemplified.