Document Type : Research article


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Translation Studies, Jahrom University, Jahrom, Fars, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Teaching English as a Foreign Language, University of Hormozgan, Bandar Abbas, Iran.


Following an ethnographic approach, this study was intended to investigate how children transfer meaning in their drawings, as a manifestation of their visual literacy competence. To this end, 32 six- and seven-year-old Iranian male children were observed for six class sessions as they engaged in learning activities that involved drawing. Building upon Kress and Van Leeuwen’s (1996) theoretical framework of Visual Grammar, children’s drawings were analyzed. Field notes were also used to describe experiences and observations the researcher made while participating in the class. Furthermore, children’s descriptions of their own drawings were used as complementary evidence to the analysis. The results of the analyses revealed that drawing upon a variety of visual resources, such as talks, written texts, gestures, and objects, children made ideational, interpersonal and textual meanings in their drawings. Furthermore, although each drawing was uniquely created by different types of interests and provided the specific context for the visual structures and forms, some features such as use of space and line framings, diagonal lines, curved/bent figures, profile form, and tilted body position were shared by most children in their meaning-making act. The findings can help educators and practitioners promote children’s visual literacy, and propose pedagogical and practical implications.


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