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|Assessing integrative reading of images and text in group reading comprehension tests
|Unsworth, Len (author); Chan, E (author)
|Over the last decade or two, images have become increasingly prominent in the vast majority of texts read by students. Because images are used increasingly in a complementary role to the verbal text, it is now inadequate to consider reading simply as processing information in print. The need to redefine literacy and literacy pedagogy in the light of the increasing influence of images has been widely advocated, with many arguing that the visual-verbal interface is now a crucial dimension of literacy learning and development. While there is ongoing work on the nature of meaning-making resources at the intersection of language and image, to date no re-conceptualised model of reading comprehension based on the integrative role of language and image has emerged. In Australia, mandatory group reading comprehension tests conducted by the states and territories for Year 3 and Year 5 children in government primary schools have been replaced by national tests in 2008. A number of the state tests did seek to assess children's meaning- making from the integrative use of images and language in reading materials. However, Unsworth, Thomas and Bush (2004) have shown that features of images and texts, and reading strategies other than those expected by test developers may be used by students in responding to test items. The problem is that there is no consistent, substantive theoretical framework that enables test constructors to address how the images and the print, both separately and in combination, contribute to overall text meaning. Hence, with no clear basis for specifying the types of image-language relations or generating questions that will test how students comprehend them, the assessment of children's integrative reading of images and language in multimodal texts remains somewhat haphazard. This paper outlines some preliminary findings from a study of the NSW BST designed to investigate the nature of image- language relations in the stimulus materials and children's comprehension of them.
|Source of Publication:
|Curriculum Perspectives, 28(3), p. 71-76
|Place of Publication:
|Fields of Research (FoR) 2008:
|130204 English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl LOTE, ESL and TESOL)
|Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008:
|930301 Assessment and Evaluation of Curriculum
|HERDC Category Description:
|C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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