According to Latuheru (1988), pictures have several functions in the teaching and learning process. First, picture can translate abstract ideas into more realistic forms. Second, pictures are easily obtained, e.g. from schoolbooks, newspapers and magazines. Third, pictures are usable in different kinds of academic levels. Fourth, picture can save the teacher's time and energy. In addition, Raimes (1983), pictures in sequence provide for a variety of guided and free writing exercises. A picture sequence, such as a comic strip, provides the subject matter for writing narrative and for speculating about the story beyond the pictures in the strip. A set of parallel pictures provide materials that offer guidance on vocabulary, sentence structure, and organization, and then let the students to write about new subject matter.
Meanwhile, Klasek (1972) states that there are several advantages of pictures.First, the picture is inexpensive, familiar medium of communication. Moreover, picture can be arranged in sequence and can be adapted to many subjects. In addition, picture has a multiplicity of uses - by individual student, on bulletin boards and on flame board. Furthermore, picture can assist in the prevention of, and correction of, misconceptions. Besides, picture can translate word symbols, record events, explain process, extend experiences, draw comparison, show contrast, show continuity, focus attentions, and develop critical judgment.
Additionally, Wright (1989) states that pictures are very important in helping students to retell experiences or understand something since they can represent place, object, people, etc. Pictures help the students understand a more general context, which may be made of pictures, the teacher's actions, the student's action, sound effect and words. This overall context of new language will have meaning to the students.
Dale (1969) adds that pictures have advantages of their own. They can bring the students closed to the very point of visual
context with reality itself. They can also compress or otherwise manipulate reality for teaching purposes or change the size of an object too small or too large to be visually understood in its actual dimensions. They enable us to travel to an inaccessible place, to study in detail, and to accomplish a great many other learning that would be impossible otherwise.
In addition, Sulaeman (1988) states that pictures are essential visual media since they can show concrete visual description of the ideas they bring. They can make readers understand the ideas or information they bring clearly, even more clearly than written or oral words.
Brown, et. al. (1983) state that pictures may improve the students' visual literacy. For example, pictures may help them to comprehend various abstractions. There are some valuable uses for pictures such as stimulating students' interest and helping readers to understand and remember the content of accompanying verbal materials.
Brown, J. W. 1983. AV Instruction: Technology, Media, and Methods. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Dale, E. 1969. Audio Visual Methods in Teaching. New York: Dryden Press.
Klasek, C. B. 1972. International Media in Modern School. London: Macmillan Press.
Latuheru, J. D. 1988. Media Pembelajaran dalan Proses Belajar Mengajar Masa Kini. Jakarta: P3G
Raimes, A. 1983. Techniques in Teaching Writing. New York: Oxford University Press.
Sulaeman, D. 1988. Teknologi/Metodologi Pengajaran. Jakarta: Depdikbud.