Multimodal Dialogue in Small-Group Mathematics Learning

Rotem Abdu*, G. van Helden, Rosa Alberto, Arthur Bakker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, we combine dialogic and embodied theories of learning to create a unified analytic lens. Embodied cognition is a theoretical approach operating under the premise that thinking and communication are multimodal activities. Under this premise, dialogue between learners needs to be conceptualized using a multimodal lens. We identify multimodal voices as speech and movement bundles situated within a learning context and describe a phenomenon that we call Multimodal Dialogue – multimodal interaction between different multimodal voices. To demonstrate this phenomenon, we analyze a learning sequence by two third-grade students who participated in a mathematics lesson aimed to foster embodied learning of proportion. Our analysis zooms in on the phenomenon of a multimodal voice as a speech-and-movement bundle situated within a learning context. We further show how multimodal dialogic gaps – differences between multimodal voices within and between modalities – drive communication and eventual changes in voices.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100491
Number of pages12
JournalLearning, Culture and Social Interaction
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Dialogue
  • Multimodality
  • Learning
  • Small group
  • Mathematics lesson


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