Introduction to visual metalanguage

Jennifer Asha

2 Hours

Available all year

Online unmoderated course


This short course provides an introduction to teaching visual literacy. The visual elements of texts are defined, and participants learn how illustrators and visual text composers use them to meet particular purposes, to express meanings for their intended audience. This course will use examples from imaginative, informative or persuasive texts to discuss the general purpose of literature and, specifically, the way the visual elements work to meet the purpose of the text.

Teachers can use the metalanguage outlined in this course to help them to understand and think about texts as they plan and prepare their lessons. This course is an excellent start to learning about visual literacy and a much needed resource if you are planning a unit of work with a focus on visual literacy.

Learning outcomes: 

  • Identify visual elements in texts
  • Learn how illustrators and visual text composers use visual elements to meet particular purposes, to express meanings for their intended audience
  • Explore how we are positioned by images
  • Understand how the text is composed and how choices help to structure the text to convey meaning

Who should participate?

  • Teachers- Years F-6
  • Literacy Leaders
  • Teacher Librarians

What else do I need to know?

This course is self-paced and unmoderated, meaning all participants have access to materials for 365 days from the date they register. 

This course is designed as a companion professional development resource for the PETAA text, The potential of the visual: Teaching literacy with multimodal texts. This text is recommended reading for this course.

How does it work?

  • Individuals: upon registration individuals will be sent a link to access the PL on our online learning platform.
  • Group Booking: Schools interested in making a group booking should email us the number of teachers they wish to enrol in order to receive a quote. 


Cost of participation
Member $60


PL Subscription School Member
Access here
Group booking (10+)


Not a member? Sign up here to access group pricing, discounts and our member resource portal.


 Completing this course comprises 2 hours (NSW - Elective PL) of online professional learning addressing standards 2.5.2 and 3.3.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Suggested reading:



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