Multimodality and Teacher Education: investigating and promoting visual literacy practices

teacher-students-learningHow can teachers teach their students to read images when they themselves were not taught how to do it?

Over the last twenty years the widespread production and use of multimodal texts in educational settings, as well as advances in communication technologies has prompted educators to consider ways to address these changes through their educational practices. However, few in-service teachers are able to teach their students how to read both image and writing. Similarly, pre-service teachers receive little training in multimodal communication so as to teach their students to make meanings from multimodal texts.

Drawing from two different projects on the educational practices of in-service and pre-service teachers in Brazil, Dr Vânia Soares Barbosa and Dr Maria Zenaide Valdivino da Silva share their experiences of researching teachers’ visual literacy practices. The two projects that will be presented in this session have focused on pre-service and in-service teachers of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and explored how they engage with image and text in their educational practice. One of the projects further explored the impact that training in multimodality and reading images can have on how teachers incorporate visual literacy as part of learning.

The presenters argue that investing on teachers’ training in visual literacy and multimodality is key in preparing them to work in the contemporary education and communication landscapes.

About the speakers

Dr Vânia Soares Barbosa is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Foreign Language, Federal University of Piauí.

Dr Maria Zenaide Valdivino da Silva is a Professor of English Language and Teaching at State University of Rio Grande do Norte (UERN), Brazil, in the Department of Foreign Language.

The presenters’ research interests lie in the fields of social semiotics, multiliteracies, critical multimodal literacy, new technologies and language teaching, and analysis of textbooks.

The Visual and Multimodal Research Forum is a research hub for academic discussion on multimodality run by the UCL Centre for Multimodal Research.

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