Visual prompts and visual methods in multilingualism research

An international three-day workshop with the aim of reflecting on the use of pictures in a language-based discipline. This workshop is part of MultiLing’s Colloquium B, “Engaging innovative methodologies in studying multilingualism across the lifespan”.

About the workshop

Pictures are used in elicitation tasks to test for vocabulary, they are prompts to initiate free speech and to assess children's story telling abilities and they are used in experiments to understand eye movement as it is relevant in speech processing. Researchers present pictures to elicit language. But drawings are also used to understand languages in the lives of speakers, e.g. when children are asked to draw language portraits or take pictures of relevant places linked to minoritized languages. Children then produce pictures that help them to talk about languages and language experience.

Just as utterances cannot be seen as neutral representations of the world, neither can pictures. The aim of this workshop is thus to discuss how and why we make use of visual prompts and visual methods and how this influences what we learn about speech and language experience.

Overarching questions

This part of the workshop is meant to center around discussions of the use of pictures in multilingualism research. This includes questions and topics like:

  • Where do pictures start? Visual cues and graphic elements in prompts
  • What kind of visual literacy is needed to deal with pictures in the language sciences?
  • How do translations and cultural bias play out in visual prompts and language testing?
  • Accessibility of activities – relating to children's lifeworlds by using picture books and stories
  • Verbalizing the unspeakable – drawing as a way to elicitate emotions and experiences
  • Creativity in methods, creativity in languages – engaging on art-based research and translanguaging
  • Collaborative research around visual methods

The invited participants of this workshop represent a mix of researchers: sociocognitive and psycholinguistically oriented researchers from MultiLing and the UiO as well as researchers from ethnographic, sociocultural and phenomenological traditions, among them international guests with a background in creative methodology. You can find the programme here.

Published Dec. 19, 2018 4:22 PM - Last modified Nov. 12, 2019 4:40 PM