Arlene is the co-ordinator of the Writing Centre. She teaches academic writing and communication and is particularly interested in the changing nature of literacy (including multiliteracies) and the relationship between the multimodal representational resources of diverse students and the expectations of the academy. She heads a research group, South African Multimodality in Education, which meets regularly, and hosts seminars and colloquia.
Her research for the next few years has two main objectives. Firstly, it looks at changing multimodal texts across disciplines in Higher Education, including new modes and new media. In doing this, the aim is to investigate the features of academic discourse in a multimodal environment. Secondly, it focuses on understanding how to better enable student access to these discourses through the use of multimodal pedagogies. The focus is on defining the features of multimodal academic discourse, including academic voice. She is currently co-editing a book with Denise Newfield entitled Recognition, Resources and Access.