The Use of Infographics to Enhance Reading Comprehension Skills among Learners

El uso de infografías para mejorar las habilidades de comprensión de lectura en estudiantes

Keywords: pedagogical intervention, reading comprehension, infographics, visual literacy (en_US)
Keywords: intervención pedagógica, comprensión lectora, infografía, alfabetización visual (es_ES)

Abstract (en_US)

This article describes a pedagogical intervention carried out at a public university in Colombia. A total of 26 psychology students, aged between 19 and 26 years old, taking English classes for academic purposes, and in their fourth semester, participated in this study. This intervention was implemented for an academic semester and aimed to help learners develop their English reading skills—from literal to critical comprehension of short academic texts—through the use of infographics, which are visual tools that combine texts and graphs to help users communicate information. Teachers used students’ infographics to assess their understanding of short academic texts in English, and they interviewed students to learn their opinions on the intervention. Further, teachers implemented a colour-coding technique in interview transcripts to show relevant patterns in the student opinions. This data analysis indicated that the students clearly understood the ideas from the texts because they were able to go beyond reading to dynamise information in the infographics while using the visual aids as mediators in expressing their ideas. In conclusion, the infographics were beneficial in developing the students’ reading skills. They presented an opportunity to the students to paraphrase main ideas from the texts and represent their understanding of the readings. In addition, this pedagogical intervention was useful for teachers because it enabled them explore reading comprehension using a new strategy that might be helpful in English classes.

Abstract (es_ES)

Este artículo describe una intervención pedagógica realizada en una universidad pública de Colombia. Un total de 26 estudiantes de psicología, de entre 19 y 26 años de edad, que tomaban clases de inglés con fines académicos, y que cursaban su cuarto semestre, participaron en este estudio. Esta intervención se implementó durante un semestre académico y tuvo como objetivo ayudar a los estudiantes a desarrollar sus habilidades de lectura en inglés (desde la comprensión literal hasta la comprensión crítica de textos académicos cortos), mediante el uso de infografías, que son herramientas visuales que combinan textos y gráficos para ayudar a los usuarios a comunicar información. Los profesores utilizaron las infografías de los estudiantes para evaluar su comprensión de textos académicos cortos en inglés, y entrevistaron a los estudiantes para conocer sus opiniones sobre la intervención. Además, los profesores implementaron una técnica de codificación por colores en las transcripciones de las entrevistas para mostrar patrones relevantes en las opiniones de los estudiantes. Este análisis de datos indicó que los estudiantes entendieron claramente las ideas de los textos porque fueron capaces de ir más allá de la lectura para dinamizar la información en las infografías y utilizar las ayudas visuales como mediadores para expresar sus ideas. En conclusión, las infografías fueron beneficiosas para el desarrollo de las habilidades de lectura de los estudiantes. Presentaron una oportunidad a los estudiantes para parafrasear las ideas principales de los textos y representar su comprensión de las lecturas. Además, esta intervención pedagógica fue útil para los profesores porque les permitió explorar la comprensión lectora utilizando una nueva estrategia que podría ser útil en las clases de inglés.

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Author Biographies

Lorena Andrea López Cupita, Universidad La Gran Colombia

Lorena Andrea López Cupita holds an MA in applied linguistics to TEFL from Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, Colombia. She also holds a BA in Spanish and English from Universidad Pedagógica Nacional. Her research areas include collaborative learning, ICTs, and blended learning.

Laura Milena Puerta Franco, Fundación Universitaria Konrad Lorenz

Laura Milena Puerta Franco holds a master in Applied Linguistics to TEFL. She has worked as an English teacher at different universities in Bogotá-Colombia for about 8 years. Her research interests vary between conversation analysis, discourse analysis, language acquisition and ICTs in education.  She has experience working with learning management systems such as Blackboard and Moodle and preparing material for computer-mediated courses.  

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How to Cite
López Cupita, L. A., & Puerta Franco, L. M. (2019). The Use of Infographics to Enhance Reading Comprehension Skills among Learners. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, 21(2). https://doi.org/10.14483/22487085.12963
Published: 2019-11-07
Section
Reflections on Praxis