Picture books are supportive especially for younger learners, as the pictures can enhance the students' understanding of the English texts, deal with a large plurality of topics and can therefore be functional for many purposes in the EFL classroom, as for example cross-curricular or intercultural learning. As, however, most picture books have not been especially created for learners of English, some of them might not exactly meet the students’ needs. But how can teachers – with the huge variety of picture books which we can find on the market today – find the right book for their students and their purposes? This presentation shall report on research into aspects such as authenticity, pictures and visual literacy, which need to be considered when choosing picture books for the EFL classroom. It mainly concentrates on the needs of German students in the primary school during their first two years of learning English, but the presented criteria can certainly also be adapted for young learners of English in other countries. The research will refer to examples of picture books by authors such as John Burningham, Julia Donaldson and Raymond Briggs.
Insa Katharina Albrecht
• postgraduate student at Hildesheim University
• research in the fields of picture books and development of a catalogue of criteria for selecting picture books for the primary EFL classroom
• teaching experience in internships in primary schools in Germany as well as in England