How high school English teachers taught close reading using mash-ups
Drawing on social semiotics theory, this study intends to explore how the teaching of close reading was enhanced through the combinations of verbal and visual resources to achieve specific communicative purposes. In this sense, mash-up is a pedagogical tool, in which language and media can be integrated to make meaning. However, few studies have been conducted to investigate the actual process of applying mash-ups to foreign language teaching. To fill this research gap, the present study aims to understand how English teachers taught close reading through mash-ups as well as to explore how they addressed the challenges or problems encountered. Firstly, five in-service senior high school English teachers were oriented towards a mash-up tool, i.e. book-snap, through which they could annotate reading texts using a photo editing app, PicCollage. Then, they learned to teach reading lessons in which book-snaps were utilized to help their students promote critical thinking and increase affective engagement. Lastly, the teachers reflected on the book-snap activity. Regarding the integration of book-snaps into close reading, data collected through lesson plans, think-aloud sessions, and interviews suggest that while the teachers preferred to annotate key information through doodling functions such as underline and circle, they tended to indicate authors’ attitudes via emojis available on PicCollage. On the other hand, data regarding the difficulties in actual teaching collected through reflective teaching journals, classroom observations, and interviews reveal that the teachers voiced some concerns, one of which involved problems with operating the digital annotation tool.