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East Meets West? Identifying points of contestation when mediating understandings about Eastern picturebooks with children

Citation

Huynh, NT and Thomas, A and To, VT, East Meets West? Identifying points of contestation when mediating understandings about Eastern picturebooks with children, 9th International Conference on Multimodality, 15-17 August 2018, University of Southern Denmark (2018) [Conference Extract]


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Abstract

Picturebooks draw on a reader’s knowledge about social and cultural meanings to contribute to the interpretive possibilities of the narrative in a variety of ways. They also rely on a reader’s background of understanding how images work to make meaning. However, in multicultural societies such as Australia, it is common for school children to engage with picturebooks from a multiplicity of cultures. As teachers mediate children’s understandings, one challenge they are faced with is understanding how best to help children read and interpret images from Eastern cultures. The Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2016) draws heavily on Kress and van Leeuwen’s (2006) semiotic theory when teaching visual language. Yet, Kress and van Leeuwen clearly identify their framework as one devised from a Western perspective. This presentation takes as its starting point a study which examined the ways in which Vietnamese culture is represented in 3 children’s picturebooks. This study used an integrated framework developed from current western perspectives for visual analysis (Kalantzis & Cope, 2012; Kalantzis et al., 2016; Kress & van Leeuwen, 2006; Serafini, 2014). The process of analysing visual texts created by Eastern illustrators raised a number of critical issues about such Western frameworks. Our analyses illuminate the relationships among the narrative genre, picturebook images, and thematic interpretation of the texts, and how the latter can be problematic when the dominant Western "ways of looking" at images are the only ways teachers might mediate such texts with their students.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:Vietnamese culture, children’s picturebooks, semiotic theory, multimodality, nonwestern images
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and Pedagogy
Research Field:English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. LOTE, ESL and TESOL)
Objective Division:Cultural Understanding
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Languages and Literature
UTAS Author:Huynh, NT (Mr Ngoc Tai Huynh)
UTAS Author:Thomas, A (Dr Angela Thomas)
UTAS Author:To, VT (Dr Vinh To)
ID Code:129369
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2018-11-27
Last Modified:2018-12-14
Downloads:0

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