Multimodal Approaches in Early Childhood Education

MQF Level 6


Multimodal Approaches in Early Childhood Education

October 2024
Module Type
ECTS Credits

Module Description

This module explores the complexities and benefits of bilingualism in Early Childhood Education (ECE), particularly in the diverse linguistic landscape of Malta. It addresses how bilingualism impacts young children’s development and communication, strengthening their worldviews and cognitive abilities.

This module introduces participants to multimodal learning in Early Childhood Education (ECE), emphasizing how young children use various modes of communication and representation to make sense of their surroundings. It explores the empowerment of children as leaders in their learning process and the nurturing of collaborative environments.

Key Learning Outcomes:

  • Foundations of Multimodal Learning: Participants will learn about the inclusive nature of multimodal learning, which utilizes all senses (Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, Kinesthetic – VARK) to enhance engagement and comprehension.
  • Practical Applications: The course will cover diverse tools and activities that support multimodal learning, including digital devices, role-play, and social interactions. Participants will explore how these tools cater to different learning styles and promote the development of linguistic and social skills.
  • Designing Learning Experiences: Participants will be encouraged to think creatively about integrating various media and techniques in ECE settings. This includes adopting blended learning approaches to respect and respond to the diverse needs of young learners.
  • Reflective Practice: The module emphasizes the importance of practitioners developing their ability to use multimodal strategies effectively and training young children to engage with these approaches.

By the end of the module, participants will be equipped to implement and innovate multimodal learning strategies in their practice, ensuring a rich, inclusive educational environment for all learners.

Entry Requirements

Candidates who apply for this course will possess:

  • A full qualification at MQF level 4 in Early Childhood Education and SEC/Ordinary Level passes in Mathematics, English and Maltese.


  • 2 Advanced Level passes and 2 Intermediate Level passes including 2 subjects from Mathematics, English, Maltese.
    A pass at SEC/Ordinary Level in the subject that is not presented at advanced/intermediate level from the 3 specified above.
  • In the case of students who do not possess all the formal required academic qualifications, then the RPL process could be applied such that if evidence of equivalent learning, related to the area of study of this programme, is found then the applicant could still be accepted in the course. Such RPL process will subject applicants to an interview held with a board of experts within the field, chosen specifically by IDEA Academy, so as to verify their experiences and prior learning.

IDEA Academy’s RPL policy can be accessed through this link

Furthermore, it will be advised to students at entry point that before going on placements, they will need to be in possession of:

  • The POMA (Protection of Minors Application) certificate.
  • A first-aid certificate prior to commening placement practice.
  • A valid police conduct certificate.



Target Audience

This programme has the following target groups:

  • Individuals who are approaching the field of Early Childhood Education.
  • Individuals who have been working in the field as a means of capacity building.
  • Individuals looking to advance to Kindergarten Educator III role.

Module / Unit Instruction

The proposed structure comprises a blended approach promoting the building of a community of practice via peer-to-peer learning.

The structure uses primarily two dimensions of teaching-learning modes: · Face-to-face sessions: 18h · Online Learning Activities: 12h.

Face-to-face sessions include lectures, tutorials, discussions, presentations, and workshop activities promoting peer-to-peer learning.

Online Learning Activities incorporate tutorials and asynchronous discussions. These may consist of active interaction, participation, and contributions in fora discussions, sharing resources and self-reflection exercises.

Learners also contribute to the building of the community of practice by providing feedback to their peers as critical friends, enhancing the learner’s critical engagement throughout the study period.

The tutor provides continual support during both teaching-learning modes by providing information, readings, and tasks relevant to the module in question.

The tutor provides continuous formative feedback as an on-going guidance during the student’s learning experience in preparation for their summative assessment.

How you’ll be assessed

For this module, the assigned lecturer is guided to develop and assign one assessment task.

The assessment task aims to provide the learner with an opportunity to produce evidence of his/her competences aligned to the learning outcomes of the modules and enhance his/her learning in the process.

Furthermore, this assessment task allows and promotes students’ knowledge in the area, critical engagement and other transversal skills that are required in the field (e.g., online discussions, in-class discussions, case studies, etc.).

This module’s assessment consists of a number of reflective entries in a logbook about a multimodal project in ECE.

The weighting of this assessment is of 100% and it aims to provide the learner an opportunity to produce evidence of his/her competences aligned to the learning outcomes of this Module.

For successful completion of this study module the student is required to achieve an overall pass mark of 50%.


Module Intake Dates

October 2024

Learning Outcomes


At the end of the module/unit the learner will have acquired the responsibility and autonomy to:

  • Enable an understanding of the main elements of using multimodality within ECE.
  • Examine different tools, resources and approaches which may be used in multimodal teaching.
  • Formulate an understanding of the contrasting views on how children create their meaning of the world.
  • Explore how these contrasting views can be interpreted from different viewpoints.
  • Learn about the key proponents of multimodality and learning styles.
  • Learn about various myths related to learning styles and how to debunk them.
  • Prepare and present a learning environment which stimulates multimodal teaching.
  • Comprehend better a young child’s symbolic repertoire to improve the learning moments.
  • Conduct a review of the current practices related to multimodality in ECE in Malta.
  • Promote an ECE learning environment where meaning-making and knowledge construction may flourish.
  • Reflect on their role as practitioners who need to develop tools which promote a ‘pedagogy of listening’
  • Analyse how an Emergent Curriculum approach to teaching may be further enhanced by using multimodal tools.
  • Carry out tasks, literature searches and desk research about ways how to create meaningful and integrated learning through multimodal teaching.


At the end of the module/unit, the learner will be able to:

  • Understand how different young children have their own learning style.
  • Be familiar with several theories and canonical authors related to multimodality in education and ECE.
  • Consolidate knowledge about the main characteristics of multimodality in ECE.
  • Learn about ways how one can embed the cultural capital theory through a multimodal approach.
  • Put forward reasoning for how a multimodal ECE setting is imperative for the holistic development of young children.
  • Outline various theories about how children represent their meanings.
  • Identify and explain various ways how pedagogical documentation needs to be aligned to children’s meaning-making.
  • Develop knowledge about international.
  • European and local documentation (including legislation and policy documentation) which address multimodal teaching.
  • Be given opportunities to learn about how other ECE settings in Europe and worldwide promote multimodality.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how cultural tools and resources may be used in ECE settings.
  • Develop knowledge about symbol literacy and how symbolic systems allow young children to make sense of the world around them.
  • Be able to discuss how the ‘hundred languages of children’ can be fully developed through multimodal approaches.
  • Describe various key debates and concepts about how children communicate their learning.
  • Be able to discuss how different multimodal documentation supports young children (child portfolios, concept maps, learning maps, wall displays, celebrations of learning, etc).
  • Explore the potential connections between inclusion and multimodality.


At the end of the module/unit the learner will have acquired the following skills:

  • Engage in learning environments which promote multimodal pedagogies and assessments.
  • Design learning environments which allow young children to explore and develop their skills.
  • Make use of various tools, such as art, music and visual media, which may be used in the multimodal ECE setting.
  • Design flexible pedagogical tools which reflect the cultural capital theory.
  • Investigate how parents/guardians may support multimodal learning at home.
  • Encourage the use of cultural tools and resources in ECE.
  • Enable all young children to express their use of symbols and symbol literacy.

Module-Specific Learner Skills:

At the end of the module/unit the learner will be able to:

  • Find ways how to link curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in multimodal teaching.
  • Develop a personal range of vocabulary about multimodality in ECE.
  • Model ways how to explain meaning-making for young children.
  • Foster a positive attitude towards researching the use of symbols in a young child’s life.
  • Explore how multimodality prepares young children for meaningful and integrated learning
  • Develop a process of self-reflection which assesses and potentially challenges the use of non-multimodal approaches in ECE.

Module-Specific Digital Skills and Competences:

At the end of the module/unit, the learner will be able to:

  • Carry out academic research on websites (e.g. Google Scholar) or journals (e.g. EBSCO, Taylor & Francis, SAGE, etc).
  • Navigate the internet for policy documents and other documents related to multimodality, symbol literacy and cultural capital theories. 
  • Navigate through the online learning platform to download and upload assignments, discussion boards, literature, tutorials etc.
  • Use basic Microsoft office (or equivalent) applications in order to write and submit assignments. 
  • Use different digital tools to make the ECE setting more multimodal.
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