When Children Read the World Before the Words: Games, Multiliteracies, and Language Education


Multi-modal reading by young children through interactions with digital provides many forms of meaning-making. Digital games are cultural artifacts that provide an environment that recruits modalities of language as oral, written, images, gestures, and sounds besides connecting diversity of people. To play games, children need to read the world before the words. They need to understand the meanings of colors, icons, sounds, to decode maps and when is the best time to press the button. So, much more than entertainment, games are language. Although children benefit from different forms of interaction with digital games, it might become a very exclusive and excluding social practice, when it comes to young children from less privileged social classes. In this sense, an extension project created at Goias State University, in Inhumas has developed games as teaching and learning material, for social practices during classes with young children. The extension project has been acting upon local language and curriculum policies since 2012, and in 2022 the group proposed a research project that has connected professors and students from diverse backgrounds, institutions and courses in efforts to create a multi platform game so children may learn English as an additional language while playing a game that consists in a dive into a fabulous world of children stories. This paper shows the initial steps that were taken in this collaborative research in order to bring these forms of meaning-making to children from the public schools who study English in Inhumas since 2006.


Giuliana Brossi
Professor, Language Education (Portuguese and English), Universidade Estadual de Goiás, Goiás, Brazil

Kevin Lopes
Student, Licenciatura, Universidade Estadual de Goiás, Goiás, Brazil

Michely Avelar
Student, PhD, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Technologies in Learning



Digital Media


When Children Read The World Before The Words: Games, Multiliteracies, And Language Education (Embed)