Petrie, Gina Mikel
November 2003
Reading Matrix: An International Online Journal;2003, Vol. 3 Issue 3, p137
Academic Journal
This paper describes a qualitative study in which English as a second language (ESL) teachers' views on the innovation of visual language (the use of both words and graphics, images, placement, etc. to make meaning) were explored. The researcher carried out interviews with seven experienced instructors who taught ESL to adults in intensive English programs. Five teaching sites in the Pacific Northwest were included in the study. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed according to the grounded theory method. It was discovered that teachers viewed the graphics, images, placement, symbols, etc. that appears on visualizing technologies as separate from the linguistic text rather than viewing it as visual language. They demonstrated ambivalence by talking about the graphics, images, placement, symbols, etc. positively when they appear to enhance second language acquisition and negatively when the graphics, etc. seem to distract students from understanding the linguistic message. Teachers viewed reading on-line as a technical skill and responded with different teaching strategies than they use with print texts.


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