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Personal profile


Emilia Djonov is a Senior Lecturer who specialises in language and literacy in early childhood, multiliteracies, multimodal and critical discourse analysis, social semiotics and educational linguistics. She is the Director of the Master of Education, Master of Early Childhood, and Master of Educational Leadership programs.

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).

Emilia is currently 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: As a lecturer and program director, 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 Department of Educational Studies:

  • ECH231 Young Children’s Language, Literature and Literacy
  • ECED823 Language and Literacy in Early Childhood
  • ECED886 Multimodality and Early Childhood

Community: Emilia is on the Editorial Board for the international, peer-reviewed research journal Multimodal Communication. She is also active in providing professional learning programs for early childhood educators and library staff involved in early literacy initiatives. 

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Research Outputs

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Advancing multimodal and critical discourse studies: interdisciplinary research inspired by Theo Van Leeuwen's social semiotics

    Zhao, S. (ed.), Djonov, E. (ed.), Björkvall, A. (ed.) & Boeriis, M. (ed.), 2018, New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group. 220 p. (Routledge studies in multimodality; vol. 19)

    Research output: Book/ReportEdited Book/Anthology

  • 6 Citations (Scopus)