IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


A multimodal approach to understanding visualisations of literary texts in EFL classes

11 March 2020, 5:00 pm–6:30 pm

Books. Image: Jessica Ruscello via Unsplash

In this talk, Dr Rumiko Oyama presents her latest research on university students’ visualisation of literary texts as the basis for understanding their approach to reading.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Sophia Diamantopoulou


Room 803
UCL Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way

What can we learn about students' understanding of literary texts when we get them to actively visualise and draw the stories they read? 

Dr Oyama argues that the experience of reading is enriched when teachers encourage students to visualise what they read and articulate it through image, speech and writing. 

The empirical data from Dr. Oyama’s research project involve illustrations created by Japanese university undergraduate students with a degree in literature. Further to reading short stories from English literature, the students were asked to visualise the elements of the story that are more salient to them and explain the reasons for their choices. 

Drawing from multimodality frameworks in the work of Gunther Kress and Theo Van Leeuwen, Dr Oyama analyses the visualisations of student’s verbal narratives about specific literary texts, as a way of tracking what and how students read. 

These visualisations reveal the challenges that arise from making sense of literary texts related to socio-cultural and historical contexts with which the students are not familiar. 

This is a useful pedagogical tool for teachers, especially in those cases when making sense of the narrative requires students to have a precise grasp of the spatial arrangement of characters and objects involved. 


Image: Jessica Ruscello via Unsplash

About the Speaker

Dr Rumiko Oyama

Associate Professor of English Literature at Graduate School of Arts and Letters at Meiji University

Dr Rumiko Oyama's scholarly work develops in the field of ‘grammar’ of iconography and scenography and multimodal approaches to the analysis of texts.