Snímek 1 -

Snímek 1 -

Visuals for teaching about German speaking countries
in German language textbooks
Karolna Pekov
Visuals can be considered cultural products which present a perspective of the target culture. However, there are some general features which visuals should
possess to make learning from textbooks effective. Visuals can be characterized by different types, they can present various sociocultural contents and
possess different functions. Based on 2 own investigations, the poster aims to provide a description of selected features of visuals for teaching about German
speaking countries in German as a foreign language textbooks used in Czech lower secondary schools.

Theoretical framework
Selected theoretical and empirical findings and principles of teaching culture which were reflected in the presented research:
(1) Textbooks should contain various types of visuals so that visuals suit different types of pupils and activate different thinking operations of pupils (Einsiedler &
Martschinke, 1997)
(2) Teaching culture should not just include providing factual knowledge about the target culture (geographical, historical etc.). It should also include providing knowledge
about everyday life and knowledge for developing awareness of pupils own and foreign culture and for building values and attitudes (ABCD-Thesen, 1990; Byram, 1993).
(3) German language textbooks should include contents presenting all German speaking countries (ABCD-Thesen, 1990).
(4) Visuals should correspond with text. The most facilitative of prose learning are visuals in organisation, interpretation and transformation function (Carney & Levin, 2002).
(5) Visuals are important in the process of learning a foreign language mainly in enhancing, activation and review function.

Investigation no. 1

Investigation no. 2

Research aim

Research aim

To describe what types, functions and contents of visuals for teaching
about German speaking countries are to be identified in German language
textbooks used in Czech lower secondary schools.

To investigate how teachers evaluate visuals for teaching about German
speaking countries in the textbook they use (concerning types, contents and
functions of visuals).

Research sample

Research sample

4 German language textbooks used in Czech lower secondary schools:

6 German language teachers teaching at Czech lower secondary schools,
evaluating the textbook Deutsch mit Max (the most frequently used in
Czech lower secondary schools)

1. Fiarov, O., & Zbrankov, M. (2007). Nmina A1. Deutsch mit Max dl 2. Uebnice pro
zkladn koly a vcelet gymnzia. Plze: Fraus. (Czech publisher)
2. Funk, H. et al. (2003). [email protected] - Nmina jako druh ciz jazyk. Kursbuch A2. Berlin, Mnchen:
Langenscheidt. (German publisher)
3. Jankskov, M. et al. (2010). Macht mit!: uebnice nminy pro zkladn koly a vcelet
gymnzia, druh ciz jazyk. 2. dl. Praha: Polyglot. (Czech publisher)
4. Kopp, G., Bttner, S., & Albert, J. (2005). Planet 2: Deutsch fr Jugendliche. Kursbuch.
Ismaning: Hueber Verlag. (German publisher)

a qualitative analysis based on the data of semistructural interviews



Teachers pointed out some aspects of visuals they require in their textbook:
types: more photographs and maps (mainly in geographical context)
contents: more topics which can appeal pupils (everyday topics, travel,
sport etc.), more topics related to Austria
functions: more visuals in the representation function (more texts which
can be used in combination with visuals for a pre-reading task,
communicative activities etc.)

a quantitative analysis based on the application of the system of
categories as a research instrument
system of categories based on theoretical works of Ballstaedt (1997),
Weidenmann (1991), Byram (1993), Carney and Levin (2002), Biechele
(1996) and Pchov (1990), concerning types, contents and functions of






1. realistic

T1.1 photograph

1. sociocultural

O1.1 national geography

1. in relation to

F1.1 decoration

T1.2 photograph of an authentic object
2. analogous

3. logical

5. cartographic

F1.2 representation

T1.3 reproduction of an art work

O1.3 state and politics

F1.3 organization

T2.1 drawing

01.4 culture and science

F1.4 interpretation

T2.2 comics

01.5 daily life

F1.5 transformation

T2.3 sketch

01.6 social interaction

F1.6 none

T3.1 chart and diagram

O1.7 national and social identity

T3.2 table
4. symbolic

O1.2 national history

T4.1 pictogram

2. geographical 02.1 Germany
02.2 Austria

T4.2 symbol and logo

02.3 Switzerland

T5.1 map

02.4 Luxembourg, Liechtenstein

T5.2 plan

02.5 more German speaking countries

6. combined

02.6 undefined

Figure 1: Types of visuals

Figure 2: Contents of visuals

2. in relation to
the process of

F2.1 engaging
F2.2 construction
F2.3 activation
F2.4 review

3. in relation to

F3.1 communication and socialization
F3.2 orientation and regulation
F3.3 promotion
F3.4 intercultural
F3.5 stereotyping
F3.6 factual


Figure 3: Functions of visuals

Total number of visuals for teaching about German speaking countries in the sample: 585
common features of the analysed textbooks:
types: similar distribution (statistically verified: 2 = 13,11; p = 0,13)
high amount of realistic visuals (70-80 %), low amount of logical and cartographic
visuals (0-5 %)
contents (sociocultural aspect): high amount of visuals related to daily life (30-50 %),
low amount of visuals related to politics and history (0-3 %)
contents (geographical aspect): high amount of undefined contents (45-80 %)
functions: low amount of functions supporting prose-learning (F1.3, F1.4, F1.5; 0-5 %)
differences between the textbooks coming from Czech and German publishers:
contents (geographical aspect): German textbooks are more Germany-centred
functions: more activities with visuals in German textbooks - higher amount of the
activation function (by 15 % and 40 %)

Karolna Pekov
Masaryk University Brno
Faculty of Education
Po 7, Brno 602 00
E-mail: [email protected]

The poster was prepared
for the ECER 2012 with
scholarship fund of PdF
MU and the project
SKOLA 2012.

for the textbook design
1. in order to develop different ways of pupils thinking there
should be more differentiated types of visuals (not only
realistic, also logical and cartographic visuals) in the German
language textbooks,
2. in order to intensify the process of learning, visuals should
be accompanied by texts which correspond with the content
of the visuals,
3. due to the dominant occurrence of visuals depicting
Germany, there should be more visuals relating to other
German speaking countries (e.g. Austria) in the textbooks.

ABCD-Thesen zur Rolle der Landeskunde im Deutschunterricht. (1990).
Fremdsprache Deutsch, 3, 6061.
Ballstaedt, S. P. (1997). Wissenvermittlung. Die Gestaltung von Lernmaterial.
Weinheim: Beltz Psychologie Verlags Union.
Biechele, B. (1996). Bilder als Kommunikate und Lernmedien im
Fremdsprachenunterricht/ DaF. Informationen Deutsch als Fremdsprache (Info
DaF), 23(6), 746757.
Byram, M. (1993). Germany. Its Representation in Textbooks for Teaching
in Great Britain. Frankfurt a.M.: Diesterweg.
Carney, R. N., Levin, J. R. (2002). Pictorial Illustrations Still Improve Students
Learning from Text. Educational Psychology Review, 14(1), 526.
Einsiedler, W., & Martschinke, S. (1997). Elaboriertheit und Strukturiertheit in
Schulbuchillustrationen des Grundschulsachunterrichts. Nrnberg: Institut fr
Grundschulforschung der Universitt Erlangen Nrnberg.
Pchov, I.(1990). K funkci vizuli v rozvoji osobnosti ka. Pedagogika, 40(6),
Weidenmann, B. (1991). Lernen mit Bildmedien. Psychologische und didaktische
Grundlagen. Weinheim (u.a.): Beltz.

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