[accessibleimage] Re: picture challenges with non-literate adult learners
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- To: accessibleimage@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2012 10:22:41 -0700
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Subject: [accessibleimage] picture challenges with non-literate adult
From: "Kaizen Program" <kaizen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, February 14, 2012 6:06 pm
To: "Tactile Graphics List" <accessibleimage@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Below is more from one of my lists for teachers of English to immigrants and
refugees. I think the discussion is of interest here on this list too,
albeit for somewhat different reasons.
Sylvie Kashdan, M.A.
KAIZEN PROGRAM for New English Learners with Visual Limitations
810-A Hiawatha Place South
Seattle, WA 98144, U.S.A.
phone: (206) 784-5619
In our culture we are accustomed to gaining information by visual means. Of
course every sighted person learns through visual means, but some cultures,
especially predominantly non-literate ones, are accustomed to learning
through oral means and through experience. As was mentioned earlier in this
discussion, 2-dimensional representations can be sources of confusion for
learners who haven't "learned to see" in a particular way, and are
unaccustomed to learning from this kind of image. Photographs are more
easily recognizable than drawings but some research has suggested that the
addition of color information is even more important for recognition,
especially for illiterate learners (Reis, 2006).
Even if learners are able to comprehend the more realistic images, more
abstract or symbolic elements can complicate things. The illustrations used
in our instructional materials can rely on artistic conventions that aren't
universally understood. Think about the things we learned in middle school
art classes such perspective, shading and silhouettes. Things can be drawn
out of scale for emphasis or rely on symbolic graphic devices like speech
bubbles and arrows. There are a lot of elements that can potentially throw
Some relevant writings:
Arbuckle, K. (2004). The language of pictures: Visual literacy and print
materials for adult basic education and training (ABET).* Language Matters;
Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa, 35*(2), 445-458.
Cook, B. (1980). Effective use of pictures in literacy education; A
literature review.* Literacy Review, 2*, 1-55.
Hill, L. (2008). The role of visuals in communicating health information to
low literate adults. *Focus on Basics: Connecting Research and Practice,
Hvitfeldt, C. (1985). Picture perception and interpretation among
preliterate adults.* Passage: A Journal of Refugee Education, 1*(1), 27-30.
Reis, A. (2006). Color makes a difference: Two-dimensional object naming in
literate and illiterate subjects.* Brain and Cognition, 60*(1), 49-54.
Strube, S., van de Craats, I., & van Hout, R. (2009). Telling picture
stories: Relevance and coherence in texts of the non-literate L2 learner.
In T. Wall & M. Leong (Eds.), *Low Educated Second Language and Literacy
Acquisition: Proceedings of the 5th Symposium, **Banff, 2009, *35-46.
Retrieved from http://www.leslla.org/
Schiffman, C. B. (1995). Visually translating educational materials for
ethnic populations. In R. E. Griffin (Ed.), *Eyes on the future: Converging
images, ideas, and instruction. selected readings from the annual
conference of the international visual literacy association (Chicago,
Illinois 18–22 Oct. 1995)* (pp. 67-78). Chicago: International Visual
Zimmer, A., & Zimmer, F. (1978). *Visual literacy in communication:
Designing for development*. Amersham, Bucks, UK: Hulton Publications.
Other related posts: