There are cultural, political and social concerns associated with the learning of language. For example, as researchers state the ownership of language, the study of it is usually built around a homogeneous community. However, a homogeneous community is not who use the language. The language spoken by diverse communities of people come from different social values and language practices. An idealized native speaker competence might be ideally impossible, but language speaking can be improved by better knowledge the conception of social and cultural values connected with language learning.
The work of Kiss and Weninger offers a way to overcome barriers in language learning. Better knowledge on the influence of culture and the use of visuals is presented in their work. Furthermore, their study is seen to provide a way for instructors to make use of visuals and cultural information in order to make language learning better for the students. As researcher’s state
“Learners bring a central resource to the language classroom: their experiences and previous knowledge as cultural beings. It would be unfortunate not to draw on this both as a means of broadening learners’ interpretative repertoire through socially negotiated cultural meanings, and to develop language skills through oral communication in which everyone can participate” (Kiss & Weninger, 2017, p.194).
Visual texts are useful for knowing the cultural complexity associated with the student. The student interpretation of the texts needs to be understood by instructor. This makes the student the focal point of the learning process. Students and their learning of the knowledge are created in a context where they are influenced by their cultural experiences. Hence authors Kiss & Weninger (2017) propose that it would be better to know them as multicultural beings to promote their learning.
The topic selected by researchers Kiss & Weninger (2017) is by itself a difficult one. Firstly, in their own words, the authors acknowledge that this form of an interpretive knowledge is rare and yet they there is significance associated with it. Visual texts are made use of in everyday communication and there are many layers of learning associated with it. They are complex and yet the authors call them an idea for improving language earning for students. Kiss & Weninger (2017) believe this because it could improve communication competencies in students. “Cultural meanings are not locked into these materials; they are emergent and dependent on cultural and subcultural membership, lived experiences, and the geo-cultural grounding of learners who interact with them” (Kiss & Weninger, 2017, p.186).