Literate identity negotiations and supportive teacher discourse moves in a comic writing workshop

Xue Qiao, Lindsey Moses, Laura Beth Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines students’ identities in teacher–student interactions during an eight-week comic unit within a fourth-grade literacy classroom. Though researchers have increasingly studied how teachers incorporated graphic novels and comics into the school literacy curriculum, few have documented the social interactions that students’ multimodal composing is embedded in. Using microethnographic discourse analysis, we traced the identity work of two case studies at different reading levels during whole-class discussions and writing conferences and how their teacher supported their positive identity development through discourse moves. In this article, we show that the teacher’s dialogic approach to teaching provided both students with opportunities to position themselves and be positioned as expert and comic author. We encourage educators to use multimodal literacy to create a supportive learning environment that transforms verbocentric school literacy and students’ identities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-226
Number of pages21
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022


  • Identity
  • comic composing
  • multimodal literacy
  • teacher discourse moves
  • writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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