BreMM19 | González Chacón

Marcela González Chacón
Universidad de Costa Rica | San José, Costa Rica

Analyzing multimodal texts resources, classification, and correlations in preventive public health campaigns in Costa Rica

The satisfactory creation and implementation of preventive health campaigns is critical to sustain any public health system. Their effectiveness is measured by the level of comprehension and persuasion gotten by the target public, and, therefore; by the behavioral changes shown by these recipients.

This study aims to determine the textual characteristics of these multimodal materials in preventive health campaigns in Costa Rica, the present correlations between the organization of the materials and their classification, and the levels of persuasion achieved by the advertisements according to a sample of the target audience. The specific objectives proposed are: 1. to analyze the most relevant semiotic resources and the relations between verbal and visual specific sections within the multimodal materials used for health preventive campaigns; 2. to evaluate the multimodal constructions of the preventive actions that people should carry out according to the results gathered from the analysis; and, 3. to identify correlations between the organization of the materials and their classification according to the level of persuasion expressed by the participants.

The main reason for this study is to deepen into the genre description of health campaigns in relation to the present semiotic resources and some of the possible relationships that take place in these materials since this approach has not been explored in the country from a linguistic perspective. In due course, it will also be a goal to propose an alternative design for preventive campaign materials based on the discussions and results.

This research is divided into two phases: the descriptive study of the corpus and the quasiexperimental research based on the relationships between textual characteristics and potential persuasion degrees of the multimodal materials. In one hand, the first phase consists of three stages: collecting, systematizing, and analyzing the corpus by means of textual genre categories, dimensions such as composition, representation, and interactional/interpersonal; functions of textual segments within the global objective of each text; semiotic resources analysis; and processes in multimodal texts analysis. On the other hand, the objective of the second phase is to discern if the articulation of semiotic resources or the relationships between them favor persuasion according to the information they display. Subsequently, the preventive actions will be classified according to the speech acts, semiotic resources, processes, and relationships previously found in the first phase results in order to select different constructions carrying the same message. To
conclude, an instrument that places these constructions according to their persuasion effectiveness will be designed based on the participants’ opinions.


Bateman, J. (2014). Text and image: A critical introduction to the visual/verbal divide. Routledge.

Kress, G. R., & Van, L. T. (2006). Reading images: The grammar of visual design. London: Routledge.

Unsworth, L. (2006). Towards a metalanguage for multiliteracies education: Describing the meaning-making resources of language-image interaction. English teaching: Practice and critique, 5(1), 55-76.


My name is Marcela González Chacón. I am a student from the Master’s Degree in Linguistics at the Universidad de Costa Rica. After taking a Multimodality course in the masters, a few years back, I developed an interest in Multimodality that was first oriented to studying multimodal texts and their comprehension in children in the autism spectrum disorder. Then, I moved to the analysis of multimodal texts in preventive health campaigns and found out that I liked it a lot, so much so, that it became the topic for my master’s degree dissertation project.

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