Macquarie University
01whole.pdf (63.62 MB)

Visual literacy instruction in Cambodian ELT: an action research study and a new pedagogical framework

Download (63.62 MB)
posted on 2022-03-28, 13:22 authored by Bophan Khan
Visual literacy complements verbal literacy (Braden, 2001; Dwyer, 1988; Stokes, 2002), and the synergy between the two enable language learners to effectively utilise visual resources that saturate their learning spaces. However, visual literacy along with multimodality is an underresearched area in ELT and TESOL (Early, Kendrick, & Potts, 2015; Kress, 2000). Guided by the social semiotics (Kress & van Leeuwen, 2006), multiliteracies pedagogy (Cope & Kalantzis, 2015), and socio-cultural theory of learning (Vygotsky, 1978), this thesis set out to address this gap through a qualitative study in two parts, conducted at a leading public university in Cambodia. Part One was a case study of visual teaching and learning practices among six EFL lecturers and four groups of learners, using classroom observations, document analyses, interviews, and a survey. Part Two probed the issue further by implementing action research in a class at the same research site, using the four instruments in Part One plus student focus groups and diaries. The action research entailed two cycles of interventions. The first cycle implicitly taught questions the students could use to approach a visual resource more critically. The second cycle explicitly taught visual literacy metalanguage and provided visual analysis practices through an adapted model of the Teaching and Learning Cycle (da Silva Joyce, 2014). Part One suggested that the lecturer and student participants had varying degrees of visual literacy, were better at interpreting than creating visual resources, and generally agreed on the facilitative potential of visual literacy instruction for language learning. Part Two revealed that the visual teaching interventions in both cycles ameliorated learning attitudes, engagement, motivation, memory, vocabulary and grammar learning, and critical thinking. A pedagogical framework and two visual literacy instructional approaches have been proposed for ELT researchers and practitioners who believe in the educational value of visual multimodal resources and seek practical ways to use visual literacy to help achieve language learning, educational, and professional goals.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction -- Chapter 2. Literature review -- Chapter 3. Methodology -- Chapter 4. Results and discussion for Part One’s case study -- Chapter 5. Literature review for Part Two’s action research -- Chapter 6. Results and discussion for Part Two’s action research -- Chapter 7. Implications of the thesis : a new pedagogical framework and two approaches for visual literacy instruction -- Chapter 8. Conclusion -- References -- Appendices.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 282-313

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Linguistics

Department, Centre or School

Department of Linguistics

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Stephen H.

Additional Supervisor 1

John Knox


Copyright Bophan Khan 2017. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (xx, 374 pages) colour illustrations

Former Identifiers