Saturday, 23 June 2018

Learner-created visuals for deeper text engagement and conceptual comprehension

This week I tried using an idea I'd read about a while ago by @seburnt Tyson Seburn: Learner-sourced visuals for deeper text engagement and conceptual comprehension p.79-88 - in The Image in English Language Teaching (2017).

I felt it was a such a great idea to ask for a visual interpretation of a text in an attempt to fully engage with the text and, as Tyson Seburn puts it (page 87), "learners are not only involved in their own learning, but also in the co-construction of text comprehension." I am currently teaching on a Presessional course with MA students about to study on various art and design and fashion courses in September, so they are mostly all talented artists. Consequently, rather than asking the learners to source related images, I decided to ask them to create visual interpretations.

One of their next formative assessments involves choosing an art and design movement and giving a group presentation. I had set a reading text on Cubism as a homework task for them to check understanding of unknown vocabulary. The next morning, I put them into groups and gave the following instruction:

They worked together and produced the following visual interpretations:



They were engaged throughout, collaborated well and clearly enjoyed the task. Then I asked them to give mini- presentations to explain and expand on how their visuals connected to the text.

Their visual representations and subsequent explanations clarified that learning had clearly taken place and I think the task definitely promoted a deeper text engagement and supported both language learning and text comprehension.

This is definitely an approach I will use again and an idea I'll work on developing.


  1. These are fantastic, Fiona. Please tell your students they've done a lovely job representing visually and to continue doing so. :)

  2. Thanks Tyson. Will do and will definitely continue encouraging visual engagement with texts on this course.