Visual images in state and private publishers of English Language Teaching (ELT) textbooks in Indonesia
: a multimodal analysis

  • Dewi Elmiana

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Education

Abstract

Visual images are common everywhere and are included in many student textbooks. Teachers use them as tools in teaching, and students use them to help them comprehend lessons, particularly in learning language. Visual images provide the context and setting where language is presented, and text features permits student to use them to improve their comprehension of the content of the text. However, the question of whether visual images present pedagogical features or are only figurative to attract students’ attention have led to considerable discussion on what comprises ‘informative’ visual images in textbooks. This thesis was designed to scrutinize these issues. The purpose of the study is to analyse pedagogical representations of visual images in Indonesian English Language Teaching (ELT) textbooks. In particular, it compares state and private ELT textbooks in terms of the extent to which they support the aims of foreign language learning in unit openers, informational value in the pictorial zone, and text-image functions as informative, illustrative, and decorative.

Data in this study come from twenty-one Indonesian ELT textbooks at senior high school level. These have been updated in line with the latest curriculum revisions and contain 3,524 visual images. This study used document analysis and textbooks as primary sources. To answer the research questions, this study employed qualitative content analysis.
The results of this study indicate that the aims presented in each unit opener in both state and private ELT textbooks are based on the standards proposed by the Indonesian Ministry of Education. The findings also show that all textbooks for grade ten provide visual images in the unit opener, whilst in grade eleven, one out of two textbooks does not offer these to support student comprehension. In addition, in grade twelve, none of the units use visual images to explain the topics and the aims outlined in the unit opener.

However, it is notable that all ELT textbooks by private zone of visual images in both state and private ELT textbooks are extremely varied. Despite this, the results indicate that visual images in state ELT textbooks convey the meaning of familiarity and self-evidence of the information provided by the text. In contrast, in private ELT textbooks, visual images determine the meaning of ideal information for the text. This allows for the conclusion that both state and private publishers of ELT textbooks present pedagogical aspects that can help students to understand the text and do the task activities.

In terms of text-image function, the results of data analysis show that in state ELT textbooks, visual images represent pedagogical aspects only in grade ten, which provides evidence for claims by text that help students to comprehend the meaning of the text. In contrast, for grades eleven and twelve, text-images have no function, meaning that the visual images and linguistic components have no semantic relationship. Therefore, these visual images provide irrelevant information that does not help students to understand and comprehend the text. Furthermore, in private ELT textbooks, the results for grades ten and eleven show that visual images convey an evidence, and articulate primary information for the text, while those for grade twelve indicate that visual images represent evidence of the truth claimed by the text. Therefore, visual images in private ELT textbooks represent pedagogical aspects in which visual images seem likely to assist student comprehension in learning language.

Overall, this study contributes to raising awareness for textbook developers or materials designers. In particular, it is essential for illustrators to position visual images carefully in relation to the text. Notably, this study has methodological contributions for the analysis of unit openers in textbooks as resources for teachers and students, as studies on their importance, particularly in ELT textbooks, is absent from the literature.publishers provide visual images. Other findings demonstrate that the percentages of the pictorial
zone of visual images in both state and private ELT textbooks are extremely varied. Despite this, the results indicate that visual images in state ELT textbooks convey the meaning of familiarity and self-evidence of the information provided by the text. In contrast, in private ELT textbooks, visual images determine the meaning of ideal information for the text. This allows for the conclusion that both state and private publishers of ELT textbooks present pedagogical aspects that can help students to understand the text and do the task activities.

In terms of text-image function, the results of data analysis show that in state ELT textbooks, visual images represent pedagogical aspects only in grade ten, which provides evidence for claims by text that help students to comprehend the meaning of the text. In contrast, for grades eleven and twelve, text-images have no function, meaning that the visual images and linguistic components have no semantic relationship. Therefore, these visual images provide irrelevant information that does not help students to understand and comprehend the text. Furthermore, in private ELT textbooks, the results for grades ten and eleven show that visual images convey an evidence, and articulate primary information for the text, while those for grade twelve indicate that visual images represent evidence of the truth claimed by the text. Therefore, visual images in private ELT textbooks represent pedagogical aspects in which visual images seem likely to assist student comprehension in learning language.

Overall, this study contributes to raising awareness for textbook developers or materials designers. In particular, it is essential for illustrators to position visual images carefully in relation to the text. Notably, this study has methodological contributions for the analysis of unit openers in textbooks as resources for teachers and students, as studies on their importance, particularly in ELT textbooks, is absent from the literature.
Date of AwardDec 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SponsorsIndonesia Endowment Fund for Education (Lembaga Pengelola Dana Pendidikan/LPDP)
SupervisorCaroline Linse (Supervisor) & Ibrar Bhatt (Supervisor)

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