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Interpreting Vietnamese picturebooks with a Western semiotic framework


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Huynh, NT, Thomas, A ORCID: 0000-0003-4508-2874 and To, VT ORCID: 0000-0002-2698-3207 2020 , 'Interpreting Vietnamese picturebooks with a Western semiotic framework', paper presented at the 8th OpenTESOL International Conference, 23 May 2020, Virtual Conference, Online.

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The use of children's picturebooks has been reported as supporting both cultural and intercultural awareness in children. One of the well-known theories accounting for contemporary analysis of picturebooks is the social semiotics. However, research on intercultural awareness to date has not examined the ways in which non-Western picturebooks can be interpreted by Western semiotic frameworks. The primary aim of this paper is to demonstrate how images in East Asian picturebooks can be analyzed by a Western semiotic framework. To do this, we analyzed several selected double-page openings in one Vietnamese picturebook with a framework developed by Painter, Martin, and Unsworth (2013). The findings were that general meanings of the selected images can be interpreted with the proposed Western framework. However, the cultural meanings of these images are not revealed by using this framework. Further studies on a framework for interpreting cultural meanings of East Asian images in picturebooks are recommended. Findings and suggestions from this paper also provide helpful references for Vietnamese teachers of English to apply picturebooks in their classrooms.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Authors/Creators:Huynh, NT and Thomas, A and To, VT
Keywords: picturebooks, intercultural awareness, social semiotics, East Asian images, Vietnamese teachers of English
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the 8th OpenTESOL International Conference
Publisher: Open University, Ho Chi Minh City
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