Sunday 1 April 2012

Using pictures in language classes

Everyone knows that a picture is worth a thousand words, a phrase attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte although other sources say it has originated in ancient China. Be as it may, teachers use pictures in the classroom very often and with good reason. 

Pictures stimulate thinking, encourage creativity, boost learners' confidence, appeal to visual students.

Take for instance pictures of babies. The internet abounds in them, and you can find numerous images having their own story behind. Here I made a collage of extremely eloquent baby pictures. These images may be used for speaking about human emotions. Students would find it easier to identify themselves with a baby rather than an adult, recognizing familiar emotions easily.
Students can write a caption for each picture or they can simply name emotions/ feelings displayed by a baby in each picture.

Another win-win object in pictures perfect for speaking practice is an animal. As popular as the pictures of babies, and possibly even more favoured, are images of different animals caught in various situations. Animal "faces" are no less expressive than human faces. 

Students can devise a story based on the moment caught in the picture, or they can combine several pictures to use in one story. They can write an allegory where animals represent humans. Again, the pictures are fantastic for describing emotions, feelings, attitude.

 More resources:

Excellent ideas and tips on The eltpics ideas site for teachers Take a photo and... 
Picture This: 5 Unique Ways to Practice Grammar Using Pictures 
Picture Projects for Visual Learners
On Twitter follow the hashtag #eltpics.


Elina said...

Awsome pics, good method - way to go Mom!!! :))

Anonymous said...

Hello Baiba, are you familiar with It's a great tool!


Baiba said...

Thanks for reminding me of Fotobabble! I know it and I have used it, it's real fun, kids love it!