As books were to us, films are to our students. Like any text, a film can be read if you know the language and the signifiers that are used to make meaning. It is not enough to use film as an entertaining addition to our other texts. We need to approach it as a medium in itself with its own language, signifiers and methods. This way our students can still learn the important critical skills that they need while getting a solid understanding of visual literacy.
Teaching visual literacy and film requires a whole new vocabulary. Often this is referred to as a meta-language. Whatever we call it, our students need to know it in order to speak and write analytically about film as text. This A4 poster covers the basic essentials.