Putting visual literacy and multimodality literacy at the centre of the language learning agenda.
The Image Conference, the annual conference of The School for Training, is an innovative and collaborative project which seeks to explore the possibilities which film, video, photographs and paintings offer to both language teachers and language learners. The rationale behind The Image Conference is that in the twenty-first century, the ability to interpret, analyse and create images is an integral part of literacy.The key aims of the conference are to put images, visual literacy and multimodality literacy at the centre of the language learning agenda, to offer guidance on using visual texts and multimodal texts critically and creatively in language teaching and to explore how visual texts and multimodal texts can be used in language education to foster empathy and promote social justice.
The Image Conference brings together leading experts and practitioners in the use of visual texts and multimodal texts in language learning who share their experiences, insights and know-how and provides participants with an excellent opportunity to enhance their competence in the innovative and creative use of images.
The Image Conference was an excellent and timely event and something entirely new on the ELT conference circuit. It was great to see so many people discussing the “visual turn” from so many different angles. As such, it has helped consolidate the role of images, gaming and video in our profession.
It’s highly unusual to attend or speak at a conference in English language teaching that is very different than the others. As a regular conference speaker around the world I found the concept and execution of the Image Conference to be refreshing and innovative while not straying too far from a formula that works for attendees and presenters.
The Image Conference has provided a new perspective which challenges the well-established vision of the praxis of ELT through a methodologies and approaches view. It is only by changing the way we look at things that we will be able to bring innovative and creative practice to our field. I think this is the richest way in which the Image Conference has contributed to my work as a professional.