n Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - Explorations through picture books : opportunities for teaching and learning

Volume 42, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-9570



The argument is put forward that graphic or illustrated material can make a valuable contribution to reading and viewing with discrimination and enjoyment in all school phases. This article focuses on the genre of the picture book, one that is frequently associated with pre-school children or beginner readers. It raises examples of how picture books can add another dimension to learning, particularly in the field of language. It is argued that this genre can play a useful role both in the education of children throughout their primary school years and beyond, and in the field of language methodology and related areas in teacher education. The writer cites examples of his own experience when working with pre-service students. This includes the facilitating of ideas for teaching and learning, for example in language study, or exploring themes such as satire and humour. The study of picture books as a genre also encourages visual literacy through revealing connections between graphic art and verbal text. It is maintained that picture books encourage variety in the teaching of literature and language and in engaging with meanings at different levels. Ultimately, the study of quality picture books raises questions about the elusiveness and complexity of verbal and pictorial texts, and challenges the notion that outcomes in reading can be tied to meanings that emerge from the printed page alone.

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