WHO’S WHO IN A COURT: A MULTIMODAL EXPLORATION OF BOOKLETS FOR CHILDREN AND UNDER-18S

Katia Peruzzo

Abstract


Children and under-18s who are called to testify may require specific support and reassurance from adults to face the stressful experience of giving evidence. To help them and their families, in the 1990s British governmental bodies and voluntary organisations joined efforts to publish booklets known as the Child Witness Pack and the Young Witness Pack. This paper presents a study on a corpus of five booklets developed on the example of these two Packs. In particular, the study focuses on the ‘Who’s who’ section, where readers are presented with information on the persons they may encounter in court. The aim of the paper is twofold: first, to explore how the visual and the verbal components of these multimodal texts interact to contribute to knowledge mediation, which must take into account the readers’ cognitive development stage and emotional involvement, and second, to investigate the explanatory strategies used to introduce a young audience to legal terms.


Keywords


knowledge mediation, legal terminology, multimodal texts, children, explanatory strategies, emotional involvement

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