AIM: Explore what visual literacy means• Think about it, draw on research, and relate to your own experience of thinking• Discuss why literacy and language teachers, and teacher educators, need to recognise the role of visual thinking in learning in a multimodal world• Consider whether your learning and teaching approaches need to support visual thinking• Explore strategies for creating a learning environment in which visual thinking can play a deep and significant role in the learning process.
Visual Language - IntroductionWe all read visual language, whetheraccompanied by written or spoken words or not.
Need for visual literacy• Visual images fast becoming the most predominant form of communication• Recognising pictures precede recognition of words• Interpreting visual language play an important part in learning about world in general• Some people are visual thinkers• Necessary workplace skill
Pre-school children brought up in an environment where visual language plays an important part.• Direct to images before they can speak• Read pictures before they read words• Draw pictures before they write
Everyday CommunicationThree strands of language - oral, written, andvisual, essential for receiving and transmittinginformationEveryday face-to-face communication, wherethe spoken language cannot be separatedfrom the visual language of gestures, eyecontact, and facial expression.
Print where visuals convey meaningsnot necessarily presented as written text
Visual ThinkersThinking as fundamental to learning.But not all people think in the same way. Some people think onlyvisually, some only verbally (i.e. in words) and some do both (Cooper,2006).West (1997) defines visual thinking as:“... that form of thought in which images are generated or recalled inthe mind and are manipulated ... associated with other forms (as witha metaphor), rotated ... or otherwise transformed gradually from oneimage into another. These images may be visual representations ofmaterial things or they may be non-physical abstract concepts ...”• Test on man and woman walking
Why should we take account of visual thinking?“Any successful theory of pedagogy must be based on viewsabout how the human mind works in society and inclassrooms…” Kress (2000)Visual & verbal thinking involve:• taking in and generating information and ideas• processing information, and• storing and retrieving informationFor a successful, creative and meaningful learning experience,the learner needs a learning environment that supports allthese aspects of how they think.
Workplace SkillsInternet texts are strongly visualVisual images canhelp read and understand textssupport reading and help make meaning of textReaders should learn toexplore various forms of verbal and visual communication analysethe interaction between words and imagesthink critically about the meanings and effects produced.Focus on how to use images available to build reading skills.
Visual literacyThe ability to decode, interpret, create, question, challengeand evaluate texts that communicate with visual images aswell as, or rather than, words.Visually literate people can read the intended meaning in avisual text, interpret the purpose and intended meaning, andevaluate the form, structure and features of the text.It is important for teachers to be well informed and confidentso that they teach effectively and enjoy exploring visuallanguage.Many countries have included the study of visual language asan integral part of the study of the English language.
How Visuals HelpPictures may serve to help• (a) establish the setting, (b) define/develop the characters, (c) extend/develop the plot, (d) provide a different viewpoint, (e) contribute to the text’s coherence, and (f) reinforce the text.Levin’s five functions that help in text processing• decorational, representational, organizational, interpretational and transformational.
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Exploring Visual LanguageTeachers• learn how visual language works• acquire terminologyGain means of identifying, describing, discussing,analysing, and evaluating visual language, andthereby gain a better understanding of visuallanguage texts.Just as close reading of written texts promotesunderstanding in depth, so close study of visualtexts provides important insights.
Visual technologiesUse of ICT can have a great impact upon reading and learningstandards.Variety of ICT opportunities that can be used:• video/DVD• digital images• ICT texts/web-based texts• photographs/images• outlines, picture glossaries, etc. BECTA Research (2011)
How can using pictures help secondlanguage learners succeed in school?• For second language learners, meaningful interaction and plenty of conversation are essential. Visual materials can promote dialogues that stimulate thinking.• General education and special education teachers can initiate language-rich opportunities in all contexts.
Benefits for levels ELLs• Silent period: learner relies mostly on listening and nonverbal means for learning.1. Can use pictures to communicate their thoughts as well as representtheir comprehension.2. Need time to develop enough confidence and language skill beforeusing language to participate fully in classrooms.3. Visuals help to demonstrate what they know through non-verbalmeans and to build successful learning experiences. Also teachers canmake their instructions more explicit and comprehensible.• More proficient ELLs: learn to speak simple sentences1. Strongly aware of their mistakes in language.2. Visuals provide students with ample opportunities for them to talkabout a common topic across textual formats.3. Also makes content more explicit cont.
Benefits for levels ELLs• Most proficient stage: willing to participate in all aspects of classroom activities1. Help students to engage in content learning inmore creative and critical ways.2. Visual materials should become anchoringtools to help them access meanings anddemonstrate what they know.3. Build strategies based on visuals to self-regulate their learning process.
Benefits for persons with developmental disabilities• Workplace Success: Reading and writing supports communication, enhances access to information, and allows individuals to perform personal and work-related tasks with increased independence.• Personal development: literacy skills for the expression of needs, wants, information, feelings and ideas.• Enhancing communication, interpersonal interactions, access to employment opportunities, increased independence in terms of daily living skills and access to leisure activities.
ADVANTAGEStrigger student interestmeaningful contextualisationprompts for talkvocabulary work, drills, writing, etc.promote self-confidence among ELL studentspromote alternative ways of participatingallow opportunities for more interactionssuit the needs of ELL students with various levels of language proficiencyactivate background knowledgefocus on higher-order thinking and problem-solvingestablish a purpose for learnersprovide a structure for readingprovide additional context for accessing informationpromote study skills
Exploring Visual Language: a Framework“Close read" of visual language textDuring guided, shared, and independent reading of visuallanguage, ask:• What is the visual text about?• What visual language features are used? What effects do these features have on the reader?• What clues do the visual language features give the reader?• How do the visual, written, and oral texts interrelate and support each other?• Is this visual language meant to represent reality? How "true" is a text.• What is the main focus of attention of each illustration?
Teaching using visualsSTWHelp students focus on illustrations by askingWhat do I See? What do I Think? and What do IWonder? This strategy enables students to fullyexperience the message in picture books.Developed by Janet C. Richards and Nancy A.AndersonSTW promotes critical thinking, encouragesthoughtful prediction, and stimulates curiosity.