Drawings are talking: Exploring language learners' beliefs through visual narratives


APPLIED LINGUISTICS REVIEW, vol.9, pp.177-200, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1515/applirev-2016-1062
  • Page Numbers: pp.177-200


This paper reports on a study, which suggests an alternative use of drawings in language classrooms. The study uses young children's drawings about learning English as an innovative way of investigating their perceptions of what it means to learn a foreign language. The images of language learning constructed by the children in their drawings may provide us with insights into their own personal experience of language learning. In order to understand what sense they have made of the language learning process, the participants were told to draw a picture of themselves as learners of English. A qualitative image-based interpretative research approach was used in the analysis of the drawings. In order to verify the interpretations of the drawings, informal interviews were conducted with each student individually following the drawing session. The findings provide us with a window into the students' minds and help us to develop a framework for understanding young learners' language learning beliefs. The paper ends with a discussion of the findings, the implications for language classrooms and suggestions for future research.