This teacher research inquiry investigated the text structural supports and challenges in reading and understanding Shaun Tan’s award winning visual narrative, The Arrival. It also studied the supports and challenges of an Internet-based instructional sequence in supporting the viewers’ comprehension of this text. Participants were 40 teachers within the context of graduate school coursework on teaching multicultural literature and the language arts. Data sources were compiled and analyzed documenting the teachers’ interpretations of the visual images and understanding of the text before, during and after the reading of the text. Results show that the text provided visual text structural cues that provided important information to readers about literary conventions such as setting and timeframe, foreshadowing, symbolism and the like. It was determined that a more systematic approach to teaching and assessing visual textual conventions would enhance understanding of the text. Three areas of strength of the instructional sequence that facilitated an understanding of the text were 1) the opportunities for social interaction and the co construction of meaning throughout the instructional sequence 2) the availability of the Internet as a tool to facilitate inquiry at the point of need, and 3) the opportunity to make the content relevant to the participants as they applied what they learned to a personal experience with immigration. This study has implications for guiding the comprehension of complex visual narratives such as The Arrival.
Kurkjian, Catherine and Kara-Soteriou, Julia
"Insights Into Negotiating Shaun Tan’s The Arrival Using a Literature Cyberlesson,"
SANE journal: Sequential Art Narrative in Education: Vol. 1
, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/sane/vol1/iss3/2