Multimodal Literacy, the Visual Arts & ELT

Is there a paradigm shift happening in the world of TEFL and language teaching? In this podcast, Emma Pratt talks to Anna Whitcher and Kieran Donaghy about Multimodal Literacy. Kieran and Anna are the dynamic partnership behind the Visual Arts Circle, a community of practice formed for language teachers to explore the visual arts and visual world in their practice as teachers.

What is Multimodal Literacy?

Multimodal literacy refers to our ability to interpret and effectively use more than just oral and written language. We’re talking about the visual world. By this we mean signs. representations, symbols and visual references, that, when mixed with the aural world, time, media and context, create whole other languages.

Why should we care?

We work with language and communication. That’s why. We ask the question, what does multimodal literacy mean to us in the language classroom presently and what they could mean? The circle’s key interest and objective is in exploring, researching, reflecting and finally providing approaches, techniques and materials that help other language teachers engage with the visual world meaningfully and with confidence in their classroom.

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The Image Conference to be Held in Lisbon


We are delighted to announce that the 6th edition of the Image Conference, the annual conference of the Visual Arts Circle, is being held in Lisbon, Portugal on 13th and 14th October in collaboration with APPI, the main Portuguese English teachers’ association. The event will be held in Escola Secundária Eça de Queirós. Leading experts and practitioners in the use of images in language learning will share their experiences, insights and know-how and provide participants with an excellent opportunity to enhance their competence in the innovative, critical and creative use of images in language education.

Registration is now open.

Speaker proposals for talks and workshops can be submitted until 31 August 2017 by filling in the Call for Papers form.

All proposals for the Image Conference must be related to the use of images in English language teaching and learning. Topics can include:
• images
• video
• film
• gaming
• art
• mental imagery.

We look forward to seeing you at our innovative conference in beautiful Lisbon.