Currently, the Ministry of Education in Taiwan is promoting a new national curriculum, which emphasizes students’ competencies to express their life experiences, thoughts, values, and affections using semiotic resources. In fact, the advent of computer technology has fundamentally changed the notion of literacy. As such, multimodal literacies should be developed and acquired by English learners in order to make connections between the English subject and their everyday lives. One of the multimodal literacies involves visual literacy. However, teachers are not prepared for new literacy practices. In particular, they have little idea how to apply visual representation (VR) to foreign language teaching and learning. To address this problem, the present study attempted to provide pre-service English teachers with an opportunity to design VR-enhanced instructional materials in a methods course. This research was situated in a teacher education program. Thirty pre-service English teachers participanted in this study. The present study aimed to shed light on (a) how the teachers incorporated VRs into literacy-based reading practices and (b) how they perceived the theory-enhanced teacher education course. Data regarding the ways the pre-service teachers incorporated VRs into the teaching of literacy-based reading came from their lesson plans, VR-enhanced instructional materials, and interviews. Data regarding their perceptions of the VR-enhanced teacher education course came from a questionnaire survey and interviews. Data analysis was conducted in an inductive process: conducting open coding, developing relationships among the open codes, and finally identifying themes. Data collected from the questionnaire were calculated into mean scores, indicating the degree to which the pre-service teachers agreed on the ways they learned to design and create VRs in the methods course. The results of this study indicate that the pre-service English teachers were knowledgeable about how VRs could be utilized to help language learners gain a better understanding of the reading text. The teachers’ knowledge of the “four roles” model was enacted in applying VRs to the teaching of reading comprehension. In addition, the pre-service teachers generally acknowledged the VR training in the ELT methods course. More specifically, they developed a deeper understanding of meanings conveyed in images and considered VRs an innovative approach to improving traditional linguistic-based teaching. The VR-based teacher development program was thought to empower the teachers to innovate their teaching, a shift away from traditional lectures on linguistic rules. However, most of the participating teachers were unable to apply VRs to the critical aspects of reading instructions, only a few of them succeeding in creating VRs in this regard. In this case, they thought they encountered difficulty in creating VRs to enhance the critical aspects of reading instructions. To address this problem, perhaps it may take time for them to develop a deeper understanding of relating VRs to the critical aspects of reading instructions. The present study has provided empirical evidence on developing pre-service English teachers’ VR competency in an ELT methods course. However, this research is limited to the teachers’ self-reports, so future research can advance with observations of actual teaching.
|Effective start/end date||2018/08/01 → 2019/07/31|
- visual representation
- visual literacy
- multimodal pedagogy
- literacy-based foreign language teaching
- pre-service English teachers
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