An Enquiry into Young Children’s Interaction with and Comprehension of The Visual Mode in Japan

September 2010- 2013
Funded by ESRC 1+3
Dylan Yamada-Rice (formally) University of Sheffield

This was my doctoral research. The study considered the impact of increasingly visual means of communication (brought about by changes in digital media) on young children’s emerging knowledge of communication practices. Specfically, it looked at a group of seven children’s (between the ages of 3 and 6-years-old) interaction with and comprehension of the visual mode. The research took place over a six-month period in and around Tokyo, Japan.

The data were collected using children’s photographs of their interest in the visual mode, video recordings of environmental walks, interviews and mapping. They were analysed using content analysis, stop-motion animation and thematic analysis.

The data illustrated how young children primarily make meaning of the visual mode through their knowledge of an interest in the physical world. It also shows how some of their visual mode comprehension is emerging through interest in fictional visual texts such as comics, animation and gaming. 

Related Publications

Yamada-Rice, D. (2017) Using visual and digital research methods to capture young children’s interaction with and comprehension of images. In: Christensen, P. and James, A. (eds) Research with Children: Perspectives and Practice, 3rd Edition, Routledge.

Yamada-Rice, D. (2015) 'Semiotic Landscapes: Cultural affordances of texts in and of Japanese landscapes'. In: Pahl, K. & Rowsell, J. (eds)  Routledge Handbook of Literacy Studies. Routledge.

Yamada-Rice, D. (2014) 'The Semiotic Landscape and Three-Year-Olds’ Emerging Understanding of Multimodal Communication Practices', Journal of Early Childhood Research, 12, 2, 154–184.

Yamada-Rice, D. (2014) 'Using Multimodal Social Semiotic Theory and Visual Methods to Consider Young Children’s Interaction with and Comprehension of Images'. SAGE Research Methods Cases Collection.

Yamada-Rice, D. (2011) 'A Comparative Study of Visuals in the Urban Landscapes of Tokyo and London', Visual Communication, 10, 2, 175–186

Yamada-Rice, D. (2011) New Media, evolving multimodal literacy practices and the potential impact of increased use of the visual mode in the urban environment on young children’s learning. Literacy, Vol. 45, No. 1, p.32-43.

Related Talks

‘Conveying the Tohoku Earthquake: an Illustration of Japanese Codes and Conventions of the Visual Mode in TV Coverage of a Natural Disaster’, International Conference on Multimodality, Institute of Education, 2014.

‘Tentative Thoughts on the Future of Multimodal Data Collection and Analysis’, Analysing Multimodal Discourse Seminar, Lancaster University 14th Feb 2010).

‘Visual Aspects of Contemporary Multimodality: an Enquiry into Young Children’s Interaction with and Comprehension of the Visual Mode in Japan’, 46th UKLA International Conference, University of Winchester 10th July 2010)