This paper links Systemic Functional-based multimodal discourse analysis and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teacher education through the workshop “Multimodal Literacy in the EFL classroom” (MLEFL). Drawing upon ‘multimodal analysis for critical thinking’ (MACT) pedagogy (O’Halloran et al., 2017) and the Systemic Approach to teaching critical viewing (Lim and Tan, 2017, Lim, 2018), MLEFL aims at involving student teachers (STs) in a transformative process through which STs with no previous instruction on multimodality are introduced to multimodal literacy. After being engaged in making meaning through various semiotic resources and conducting multimodal analysis with the use of a pedagogic metalanguage, STs complete a task of representing their new experiences via the process of creating a lesson plan aimed at promoting primary school students’ multimodal literacy. The paper presents MLEFL as a design for learning (Kress and Selander, 2012). It serves two purposes: to present the content and syllabus of the MLEFL workshop and to reflect upon its implementation and effectiveness. The paper reports on the qualitative findings from a small-scale research conducted with twenty pre-service EFL teachers who participated in the four-week workshop in a virtual environment. It investigates STs’ perceptions shared in workshop evaluation forms and participation in the forum as well as their assignments for signs of learning. The analysis of the findings revealed differences in STs’ capacities (Kress, 2010: 175) which support the effectiveness of the workshop. Most STs created lesson plans which promote critical viewing, used the pedagogic metalanguage efficiently and explained the design of their activities with well-informed rationale.