Visual literacy in adult English language teaching: An exploration of teachers’ understandings and self-reported practices

In a visual society, visual literacy – the ability to meaningfully interpret and create images – plays a central role in effective communication. This study explores adult English language teachers’ understandings of visual literacy, and their self-reported practices using images in their classrooms that are populated by overseas students preparing for university, or migrants settling in Australia. Findings revealed that the participating teachers used images to help their learners improve their reading, writing and speaking skills, rather than develop visual literacy. This approach signals the need for more explicit inclusion of visual literacy in teacher education and in adult English language teaching programs.