Using the "Multimodal Analysis Video" program for register analysis: A preliminary study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

TESOL International Journal


E.L.E Publishing


School of Education / Edith Cowan Institute for Education Research




Thwaite, A. (2015). Using the "Multimodal Analysis Video" program for register analysis: A preliminary study. TESOL International Journal, 10(1), 110-113. Available here


This paper describes an investigation using O’Halloran’s Multimodal Analysis Video software to analyse video data collected for the author’s Language in Contexts project. The study explores the affordances provided by the software in describing different registers and in developing a spoken discourse analysis to incorporate aspects of multimodality. While the video data in the Language in Contexts project includes seven different registers, a selection of three of these is presented here, including those which may be high stakes for learners, such as seeing a doctor and going on a dinner date. The spoken data is analysed using various Systemic Functional approaches, such as Speech Function, Exchange Structure and intonation. Some aspects of multimodal discourse analysis are also mentioned. Interactions of ‘verbiage’ (Martin & Rose, 2007, p. 262) with some of the other semiotic systems are outlined. The advantage of a multimodal interface is that learners can pinpoint non-linguistic features and see video examples of members of the target culture displaying these behaviours. This analysis has applications for TESOL, in that it can make learners aware of the features of different registers, which they can then apply to their own communicative behaviours.

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