Multimodal Literacy and Humor Perception in Spanish Editorial Cartoons
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Humor has been proven to be a very efficient pedagogical tool. In a world increasingly dominated by visual forms of communication, cartoons have become a common resource for instructors of foreign language courses. However, it has been observed that not all subjects with the same level of proficiency in the target language are always able to understand the humorous discourse of the cartoons. Focusing on Spanish editorial cartoons, this thesis investigated the idea that there are more factors than language proficiency influencing the comprehension of multimodal texts. As verbal-visual forms of communication, they demand the reader to draw on different literacies for their decoding. The purpose of this work was, therefore, the study of the relationship between readers' visual literacy and perception of humor in political cartoons. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected comparing the participants' results of a pre and a post-test on cartoon analysis before and after attending a workshop on the visual language of cartoons. The analysis showed that the workshop had a significant impact on the experimental group who, having improved their level of visual literacy, were better able to decode the humorous messages of cartoons and to create their own applying the new knowledge.
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