Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Published in Visual Communication 2020

DOI 10.1177/1470357220904395


Copyright © 2020 Theresa Catalano. Published by SAGE Publications. Used by permission.


Despite well documented benefits of dual language (DL) programs which deliver educational content in two languages, there are still few DL programs in the United States. As such, there is a need to understand how to effectively persuade more states/districts to adopt the programs. In addition, more critical research is needed that focuses on how the programs are represented visually, as well as how this visual representation reflects wider discourses about DL education that could impede the programs from reaching those who need them most. In this article, the author explores ideologies behind DL program discourse by looking at photojournalism (or in some cases, stock photos) from 34 local online news reports. She employed multimodal critical discourse analysis (MCDA), including a thematic analysis of images. Findings reveal that many of the discourses (e.g. neoliberalism) seen in analyses of written text were repeated visually but, in some cases, visual data communicated different discourses that were advanced in nuanced ways. The author concludes by urging more critical work in visual communication that focuses on educational issues.