Emmie Thomas

Palo Alto, CA, United States

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Emmie Thomas
Posted over 3 years ago
Why is visual literacy discouraged in most cultures & WHAT CAN WE DO to change that?
It’s interesting that Robert Cornell should bring up Bruch Schneier’s statement, “we are a species of story tellers. We respond to stories more than data.” This resonates with us very much. In our Knowji Vocab apps, we strived to teach vocabulary through the use of illustrations, stories and audio. We created a set of characters that interrelate with one another in the example sentences throughout the lessons. This provides learners richer context for learning. It also helps to elicit emotions from the learner, which also helps with learning and remembering. It is very difficult to learn obscure and abstract words and ideas with a simple short definition. Such de-contextualized learning is boring and makes developing a visual representation of an idea difficult in our minds. Robert, what is the name of your project?
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Emmie Thomas
Posted over 3 years ago
Why is visual literacy discouraged in most cultures & WHAT CAN WE DO to change that?
With regards to the size of vocabulary, the average person uses 2000 words that encompass 95% of spoken communication. A well-educated native English speaker should have a vocabulary size of about 20,000 words by the time they are in college. I believe most people have a significantly smaller vocabulary than that – particularly given that 50% of American adults can’t read at an 8th grade level.
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Emmie Thomas
Posted over 3 years ago
Why is visual literacy discouraged in most cultures & WHAT CAN WE DO to change that?
About cost of illiteracy, I once read from a training journal that illiteracy costs U.S. businesses $60 billion a year in lost productivity. I can try to dig up the research if anyone is interested. Sunni, what you said about the ridicule of the use of visual language is very interesting. We haven't seen or heard of such before, so sharing references to this fact would be really instructive. I am wondering if the use of visual language is so often missing because the ability to illustrate our thoughts is a difficult skill to acquire, despite its tremendous learning value. When we illustrated pictures 1500 SAT words for our iphone apps (Knowji Vocab), it required an enormous amount of creativity, talent and time and the project took thousands of hours to put together. For instance, how would one go about drawing words like "abstract" or "conception"?