Major Papers


picture books, English as a Foreign Language, language acquisition, multiliteracies theory, visual literacy


The current English as a Foreign Language (EFL) education in China uses a teacher-centered and examination-oriented approach. Chinese EFL teachers emphasize teaching in relation only to examination content such as vocabulary and grammar. Currently, it is uncommon to utilize picture books in EFL teaching beyond elementary school and little attention is given to visual literacy. This research explores the importance of developing meaning-making between illustrations and linguistic texts in picture books to augment language acquisition skills. For example, by teaching the metalanguage of the Elements of Design (line, form, texture, etc.), students can learn this terminology to enhance their visual literacy and ability to analyze visual texts. This study uses multiliteracies as the theoretical framework to examine picture books as a resource to accelerate Chinese EFL learners’ language learning. Suggestions are given for EFL teachers to facilitate Chinese EFL learners acquiring the target language of English by using picture books strategically to develop their communication skills as well as their capacities for creative and critical thinking.

Primary Advisor

Susan Holloway

Program Reader

George Zhou

Degree Name

Master of Education



Document Type

Major Research Paper