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Emilia Djonov is a Senior Lecturer who specialises in language and literacy in early childhood, multiliteracies, multimodal and critical discourse analysis, social semiotics, educational linguistics and multilingualism. 

Research: Emilia’s research investigates multimodality, the use of different modes (language, visual design, gestures, 3D space and movement), media and technologies for communication and learning. This focus is at the heart of her contributions to critical multimodal discourse studies and research on young children’s multimodal literacy development, language learning and engagement with new technologies. Emilia is recognised for her theoretical and methodological innovation in extending and adapting social semiotic and systemic functional linguistic theory to the analysis of complex interactions, including those between children’s website design and navigation or between semiotic technologies (especially ubiquitous communication software) and their employment in various social practices (e.g. children’s interaction with e-games; PowerPoint-supported presentations; integration of websites and learning apps in classrooms).

In 2014-2018, Emilia led a project examining initiatives for promoting early language and literacy in community-based settings and is leading the research partnership project “Developing a context-sensitive framework for supporting early literacy across NSW public libraries”, which is funded by State Library of New South Wales.

Emilia supervises Higher Degree Research students and welcomes inquiries from potential candidates whose project interests align with her areas of specialisation. 

Teaching: Emilia connects disciplines and integrates research in curriculum, promotes active and reflective learning through the innovative use of digital technologies and authentic and diverse assessment tasks, and welcomes and engages reflexively with student feedback. Emilia currently convenes the following units in undergraduate and postgraduate programs offered by the School of Education:

  • ECHE8230 Language and Literacy in Early Childhood
  • EDST2120 Language and Literacy Learning in Early Childhood
  • EDST4100 Teaching English Language and Literacies in the later Primary School Years
  • EDST8208 Teaching English in the Primary School 3

Community: Emilia is on the Editorial Board for the international, peer-reviewed research journals Multimodal Communication (de Gruyter), Multimodality & Society (Sage), and Linguistics & Education (Elsevier). She has also led the development of professional learning resources and programs for early childhood educators and library staff involved in early language and literacy initiatives. 


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