The Grammar of Visual Design as a tool to read images: a reading experience with pre-service teachers


  • Vania Soares Barbosa Universidade Federal do Piauí
  • Antonia Dilamar Araújo Universidade Estadual do Ceará (UECE)



grammar of visual design, visual literacy, teacher education


Advances in digital technologies have made us immerse in an increasing world of images, turning us not only consumers, but also producers of multimodal texts. Consequently, communication has become more and more visual, and conceptions on what is to be literate in the 21st Century need to be rethought to prepare its citizens to read, interpret and express themselves through those texts.  How to achieve it and what are the gains and losses from this achievement is a concern educators have, especially those in teaching training. This paper is part of a study that aimed at investigating the viability of teaching categories from the Grammar of Visual Design (Kress and van Leeuwen, 2006), as a tool to promote visual literacy when reading and viewing skills are integrated (Barbosa, 2017). In this part of the study, we discuss the meaning eight pre-services teachers made when reading an advertisement, and its implication to their visual literacy according to Callow’s model (2005). The results showed the rise of a reader-viewer (Serafini, 2014; Barbosa, 2017), who makes meaning on the verbal and the visual, more conscious, and aware of the importance of integrating those modes, but also more critical and structuralist, and less affective.

Keywords: the grammar of visual design; visual literacy; teacher education.  

Biografia do Autor

Vania Soares Barbosa, Universidade Federal do Piauí

Doutora em Linguística Aplicada pelo Programa de Pós-Graduação em Linguística Aplicada da Universidade Estadual do Ceará. Professora adjunto da Universidade Federal do Piauí. 

Antonia Dilamar Araújo, Universidade Estadual do Ceará (UECE)

Doutora em Letras (Língua Inglesa e Linguística Aplicada) pela Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina. Professora titular da Universidade Estadual do Ceará.




Como Citar

Soares Barbosa, V., & Araújo, A. D. (2022). The Grammar of Visual Design as a tool to read images: a reading experience with pre-service teachers . Calidoscópio, 20(1).