Investigating the use of multimodality to promote literacy development in early years in Kenya

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Prof. Marriote Ngwaru

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Samuel Andema


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Literacy development in early years of children’s learning is very important because it determines success or failure in their future literacy learning. Young children need to be guided into new dimensions in communication and meaning making processes that promote their literacy development. Multimodality is believed to be one such approach that can be used by teachers to achieve this goal because, it draws its strength on the socio-cultural nature of literacy that recognizes the importance of children’s funds of knowledge-the knowledge and skills that children bring from their homes and community. In this study, I sought to find out whether ECDE teachers in Kenya used multimodality. The methodology that informed the study was the qualitative research design whereby the methods of data collection included one-on-one interviews, document analysis and observation. This in-depth case study was aimed at unraveling the mystery behind the use of multimodality in the natural context of a public primary school. The study revealed that teachers used multimodality but not sufficiently enough to make the children reach their full potential in order to achieve maximum benefits from learning. The study recommends that schools should support teachers through continuous professional development programmes in order to equip them with new and relevant knowledge and skills which reflect current pedagogies that promote literacy development in young children. Schools, through their stakeholders should also provide infrastructure that is needed to support innovation.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library