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In-service training emphasises importance of presenting information as combination of words and images
In a teacher training held for teachers working in alternative education in the NGO sector in Niwai block of Rajasthan on August 27, the trainees brought to the notice of the resource person that in the new English textbook of class X this year under revised curriculum, no visual or pictures have been included.

This was viewed as a major departure of the format of the textbook's structure and unsuitable font size along with slant towards the middle class culture.

"Simple visuals and sketches allow them to explain the meaning behind various vocabulary and sentence structures without much explanation. In addition, visuals prompt questions from students' student Talking Time and lead them to the answering questions," said the resource person.

The session was held to learn and draw simple visuals to link them with and textual material. "It is better for teacher to learn and draw his or own visuals to support the text and use them as touch-points to refer back to throughout the lesson," added the resource person.

The resource person advised that with secondary level students, the teacher may have students to predict what a lesson will be about based on the visual drawn from the opening paragraph.

Moreover, in this world of multimedia, visual images are becoming increasingly important since the information is needed as a combination of words and images.

A quick demonstration of drawing visuals to introduce a textbook lesson with centrality of 'describing skill' was taken up that was followed by exposure to drawing visuals by the participants.

The resource person explained that visual literacy is the ability that helps a person to decode, interpret and evaluate text that gets communicated with visual images. Once the teacher and students become visually literate, they also become apt in reading the intended meaning in a visual and interpret both the purpose and intended meaning.

Teachers must first acquire visual literacy and use visuals to enhance comprehension of students. It is held that the visual information can support reading and help make meaning of text, concluded the resource person.

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