Chapter OneIntroduction1 .1 Research Background In this age of multimedia, there is an increasing awareness that meaning is rarelymade with language alone. Halliday (1994) theorized language as social semiotics and O\'Tool (1994) extends it to the realm of displayed art, such as painting, architecture andsculpture, providing that not only language but also these non-linguistic semiotic modescan be regarded as meaning potential. Kress and van Leeuween (1996, 2006) developed amethod of social semiotic analysis of visual communication and firstly create a descriptiveframework of multimodality, assigning representational, interpersonal and compositionalmeanings. Multimodality is the use of several semiotic modes and their combination within asocial-cultural domain which results in a semiotic product or event (Kress and vanLeeuwen, 2001).According to Hodge and Kress (1988), meaning consists in vision,hearing, actions, expressions and also other social semiotics, which are no longer regardedas subordination to language, but as meaning-making resources functioning together withlanguage. It is far from enough to focus only on language since no single semiotic can beunderstood alone. Therefore, Multimodal Discourse Analysis becomes popular. College Entrance Examination might be a significant test in one\'s life, of whichwriting plays a vital role. It takes up 20% of the total grade. It is noticed that in recentyears, picture compositions appear more and more frequently in all kinds of Englishexaminations in order to check students\' English ability. In the part of picture composition, one is required to form a verbal text according tothe given images which might be a story or just an illustration. Since it is always difficultfor students to catch the evocable realistic notions, the picture composition is surelyworthy of a deep study from a variety of perspectives. There might firstly be somedirections for a student to lead him into rules of composing，一and then some pictures aregiven. In this case, it is multimodal in that at least two kinds of semiotic resources areco-employed to make meaning.1.2 Rationale for the Present Research Systemic Functional Linguistics has placed great importance on the analysis ofdiscourse which is monomodal. Systemists consider language as the only mode in makingmeaning, neglecting the contribution of other modes, such as space, vision, sound,movement and others, to the discourse as a meaningfill unity. Although multimodality has been receiving more and more attention, yet previousstudies on multimodality focused mainly on the explanation of grammar in differentnon-linguistic modes. The suggestion, provided by Hu Zhuanglin (2007) that the ability ofreading multimodality (multiliteracies) should be cultivated, is ignored. This thesis conducts a comprehensive analysis of picture composition on the basis ofmultimodal discourse analysis. Writing is of great significance to test students\' languageability, and also takes up a high proportion in College Entrance Examination. Picturecomposition, a typical multimodal discourse appearing frequently in English examinations,has been neglected by scholars. The main purpose of the thesis is to provide strategies to cultivate multiliteracies onthe basis of analyzing picture compositions, both the images and the verbal texts inEnglish exams within the framework of multimodal discourse analysis. Specifically thematerials (data) analyzed in the present study are from College Entrance Examination ofBeijing in the year of 2008. Meanwhile, several questions in the context of the picture composition should beunfolded through the procedure of analyzing these materials:(I)How are the threemetafunctions of an image realized? (2) How do the two modes cooperate to constructmeaning in picture composition? (3) How are the specific meaning of an image extendedto an abstract one?1.3 Organization of the ThesisThe thesis includes six chapters. It begins with an introduction of present studies onMDA in modern linguistic context. On observing the lack of studies on multiliteracieswhich is proposed to refer to the reading and writing abilities in multimodal styles, thethesis conducts a research in this aspect in order to provide specific techniques formultiliteracies. References1.Baldry, A. P. (2004). Phase and transition type and instance二Patterns in media texts as seen through a multimodal concordance. In K. L. O\'Halloran (Ed.) Multimodal discourse analysis: Systemic扣nctional perspectives (pp. 83一108}. London: Continuum.2.Baldry, A.,&Thibanlt, P. J. (2006). Multimodal transcription and text ancr恤Z.S: A multimodal toolkit and cozrrsebook. .London, Oakville: Equinox.3.Barthes, R.(1977). Image, music, text. London: Fontana. Codognet, P. (2002). Ancient images and new technologies: The semiotics of the Web. Leoncrrdo. 35(1):41-49. Online: 4.De Beaugrand, R.,&Dressier, W.(1981).Introduction to text lingaristics. London: Longman.Gentle, F., Knight, M.,&Corrigan, M. (2006). Multiliteracies and information& communications technologies: Ensuring information access in the classroom for students with vision impairment. Online: www. ridbe.org.au.5..Halliday, M. A. K. (1975). Learning how to mean: Explorations in the http://sblunwen.com/gzyyxzlw/ development of language. London: Edward Arnold. 多元识读能力的培养Acknowledgements 4-7Abstract 7-8内容摘要 9-11Chapter One Introduction 11-14 1.1 Research Background 11-12 1.2 Rationale for the Present Research 12 1.3 Organization of the Thesis 12-14Chapter Two Literature Review 14-19 2.1 Overview of Systemic-Functional Multimodal Discourse Analysis 14-18 2.1.1 From Monomodality to Multimodality 14-15 2.1.2 Multimodal Discourse Analysis 15-17 2.1.3 Overview of Studies on Image-verbal Relations 17-18 2.2 Overview of Multiliteracies 18-19Chapter Three Theoretical Framework 19-34 3.1 The Semiotic Theory 19-20 3.1.1 Peirce\'s Semiotics 19-20 3.1.2 Saussure\'s Semiotics 20 3.2 Systemic Functional Linguistics 20-21 3.2.1 Language as a Social Semiotic 20 3.2.2 Metafunctions 20-21 3.3 Visual Grammar 21-34 3.3.1 The Representational Meaning 22-28 3.3.2 The Interactive Meaning 28-32 3.3.3 The Compositional Meaning 32-34Chapter Four Sample Analysis of Picture Composition in English Entrance Examinations 34-51...................................................