Seeing is natural, but viewing is not: teaching visual literacy in a rural classroom

Mbelani, M. and Murray, S.R. (2009) Seeing is natural, but viewing is not: teaching visual literacy in a rural classroom. Education as Change, 13 (1). pp. 59-71. ISSN 1947-9417



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This paper reports on a collaborative action research case study into Grade 10 teaching and learning of visual literacy in a rural high school into the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Visual literacy is a new aspect that has been incorporated in English First Additional Language National Curriculum Statement (Grade 10-12), which has been implemented in Grade 10 from 2006. With the aim of gaining knowledge and improving performance in visual literacy, I designed a unit of lessons, which exposed learners to visual grammar and visual texts and I collected data around the implementation of the lesson unit as evidenced by journal writing, interviews and non-participant observation. The data revealed that visual literacy could be taught meaningfully in a rural high school as the learners could identify, cut, paste and critically discuss elements of visual language and they finally designed their own advertisements in groups. However, the following factors emerged as hindrances to the successful teaching of visual literacy in this case: lack of resources; learners' lack of a foundation in visual literacy from Grades 7-9; and problems revolving around time management and pacing.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Visual literacy; Action research; visual grammar; advertisements; reading and viewing; critical language awareness; feedback; English language teaching; South Africa; rural education; Grade 10; teacher development; National Curriculum Statement; NCS
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Education > Education
Research Institutes and Units > Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA)
ID Code:1388
Deposited By: Mr Madeyandile Mbelani
Deposited On:15 Jun 2009
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:20
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