⬅ Back to Agenda

Analysis of visual-linguistic interaction in multimodal academic presentation in the medical-related field

Yu-Shan Fan
Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan


Effective communication across various digital platforms and to diverse audiences has become a crucial literacy competence in higher education, particularly within the medical-related field. However, the existing academic writing curricula in the EFL context have predominantly emphasized the teaching and learning of rhetorical conventions and literacy practices within the linguistic mode. Therefore, there is a need for further investigation into how academic arguments in this discipline are constructed through the utilization of various modalities.

This study presents a subset of findings derived from an action research that implemented a multimodal learning task alongside a sequenced, text-based academic writing project. The objective of the course was to enhance students' multimodal communicative competence in academic English writing courses at a medical university. Among the collected data, ten academic presentation recordings that received high ratings were selected for in-depth analysis, aiming to identify prevalent multimodal rhetorical patterns, rhetorical strategies, and cross-mode interactions employed by student writers. This analysis was to explore how novice writers in the medical field construct academic arguments and appeal to audiences by harnessing diverse semiotic resources.

Emphasizing visual-linguistic interaction, both modes were subjected to separate analyses using Hyland's theoretical framework on metadiscourse. Preliminary results reveal that the utilization of multimodal academic presentations offers heightened flexibility and a broader range of resources, enabling students to construct persuasive arguments while facilitating the transfer of professional knowledge. The analysis demonstrates that highly rated multimodal presentations primarily employ the visual mode to achieve ideational and textual functions. Moreover, the visual mode serves as an effective tool for enabling the audience to visualize the logical progression of arguments more comprehensively than the linguistic mode. Ultimately, this study underscores the significance of integrating multimodality into academic writing instruction to equip healthcare professionals with the requisite skills for successful communication within their disciplinary community.


Multimodal discourse analysis, academic writing, disciplinary writing

International Joint Conference of APLX, ETRA40, and TESPA 2023