Testing learners' attitudes - visual components of texts as bridges or barriers to learning
This article considers how visual images in texts may enhance or inhibit language learning. It draws on Kress and Van Leeuwen’s (1996) work on the grammar of visual design, recognising that visual images form part of a powerful semiotic system that carries representational and connotative meanings in a manner comparable to that of words, sentences and larger textual units. It takes note of the ways in which new technologies have introduced more visual material in printed texts than was available before. And it reports on an investigation into the specific responses of Grade 10 learners to visuals of people featuring different characteristics. Eventually we need to develop learning materials where visuals facilitate and motivate language learning, and simultaneously facilitate the development of socially responsible values.