The Image in English Language Teaching


Over much of 2016-17, Tyson Seburn spoke about the Visualiser role in his session, “Learner-sourced visuals: a higher level text’s best friend”, at IATEFL, TESL Canada Conference, and TOSCON. This talk series culminated at The Image Conference in Valetta, Malta in October 2016.

As part of this conference, he contributed a chapter based on this talk in the book, The Image in English Language Teaching, which has been published both digitally and in print. Below is the abstract for his chapter, “Learner-sourced visuals for deeper text engagement and conceptual comprehension”.

Despite best intentions, visuals are often an underutilised, cursory or completely absent aspect to reading skills lessons in language learning classrooms, most noticeably at higher levels. As teachers, we often rely on those provided with the texts or laboriously source them ourselves. However, is their use in either case effective for language learning or comprehending author meaning? Further to this, is it our responsibility to find the perfect image or can learners themselves benefit from doing so? This chapter aims to differentiate two uses of visuals for texts (decoration-based and utility-based) and provide a pedagogical rationale for giving learners the opportunity to source them for their own and their fellow classmates’ benefit.

You can download a free copy here.

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