Comprehension of Intercultural Visual Discourse by Children Through Cartoons


Ondokuz Mayıs Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, vol.39, no.3, pp.183-191, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier


The purpose of that study is to use cartoons for comprehension of intercultural visual discourse by cartoons. This study also aims to reveal the effect of age of children acquiring a second language. As is known, culture is said to be an integrated part of language learning in language classrooms. Therefore, learners are exposed to new culture through updated teaching methods. Culture should be presented in a discourse that it can take on different meanings in different contexts. Discourse is not limited to the written and spoken language, but it includes extralinguistic and semiotic processes. Cartoons as a visual are texts which can be read and understood and are influenced by cultures. Thus, they function outside of language and they are required to a process of analysis called as visual discourse analysis. Visual discourse analysis deepens decoding and understanding the meaning of visuals and what they are intended to represent as well as how the audience interprets them. Our study discusses how well primary and secondary school students are able to understand and interpret visual discourse through cartoons. Five cartoons showing culture have been chosen randomly for this study. One hundred and thirty nine students took part in this study. Based on the critical period hypothesis for language acquisition, which proposes that the outcome of language acquisition is not uniform over the lifespan but rather is best during early childhood, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grade students were chosen for this study. In conclusion, cartoons may help learners to extract meanings with the help of discourse minimizing their misunderstandings arising from cross cultural differences. Key Words: cartoons, comprehension, culture, intercultural discourse, visual discourse