Beyond words: An enquiry into children’s home visual communication practices

This research focuses on young children’s experiences of the visual mode embedded in new multimodal literacy practices. An enquiry was undertaken into the role of visual and digital images in a group of 11 four-year-olds’ out-of-school lives. The children photographed their use of a range of primarily visual-based media at home, to produce a book of images and text that was used as the basis for child interviews and discussion on the topic. The data was further supported by questionnaire results from 28 parents on their four-year-olds’ access and frequency of use of range of primarily visual-based media. The project found a multilingual and ethnically diverse group of children, in an international school in Tokyo, to be using a wide range of media, including cameras, television, DVD, drawing, websites, picture books and comics. These findings enlighten understanding of young children’s use and engagement with the visual mode as one part of wider multimodal literacy practices.

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