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A picture is worth a thousand words: Using photo-elicitation within research and teaching


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As ESOL teachers, we are all well aware of the importance of using visuals when supporting our student’s learning. This is regarded as common practice. Scrivener (2011) suggests using pictures as a starting point for writing; Harmer (2007) comments that teachers have always used pictures and photographs to facilitate learning; Harper (2003) comments that, photography can produce useful data, which sheds light on our understanding of sociological factors. It is thought that photography can become a way of expressing some ideas, feelings or emotions that may be subtle or that the participant/learner may be too sensitive to express. Are we therefore using this tool to its full potential?

In my recently completed research project, a group of international students was asked to take photographs of aspects of life that hindered or helped them during their study. It was through this project that I developed some unanticipated insights surrounding the effectiveness of photo-elicitation within research. The depth of information gained, highlighted how important visuals are both within the classroom and as a research tool.
In this presentation I will discuss the usefulness of photo-elicitation in research surrounding ESOL learners and as a tool within the classroom. I will firstly share some of my experiences of using photo-elicitation during a recent research project into the expectations and experiences of international students at a tertiary institution. Secondly I will outline some current literature surrounding the use of photo-elicitation within research. This will be followed by a discussion/ suggestions regarding how this tool can be used within the ESOL classroom.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Photo-elicitation, data collection, research
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1028 Education Research
Divisions: Schools > School of Education
Depositing User: Adie Haultain
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2013 04:43
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 03:09

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