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ET325: Communication Modes


Our ability to communicate is a multimodal achievement. Our sounds, our gestures and facial expressions and the words and grammar we use can all simultaneously contribute meaning to our messages and the interpretation of others’ messages. In this module we look at how these different modes contribute meaning in our communicative endeavours. While we will explore these different modes separately, the module will also bring them together so as to develop an appreciation of the complexity involved in the achievement of communication.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Identify how a range of semiotic modes contribute to our overall ability to communicate and make/interpret meaning.
  • Discuss the specific impact of particular semiotic modes in the process of communicating and interpreting meaning in a range of social, intercultural and professional contexts.
  • Understand how analytical techniques are currently being used to explore the communicative potential of different semiotic modes.
  • Design and carry out an independent small scale analysis of an authentic piece of communication in action.

Learning Experience


Core content will be presented during weekly 2-hour lectures.


We will meet in a weekly 1-hour small-group seminar to practice and apply course concepts.



2000-word assignment (50%)


2-hour written examination (50%)

Preparatory Reading

  • Jewitt, C. (Ed.). (2014). The Routledge handbook of multimodal analysis (2nd edn.). Milton Park: Routledge.

Academic Staff

Duncan Lees