art / articles / creativity / esl / efl / motivating learners / the four skills

Introducing Visuals

To keep your students motivated and interested in the lesson, it’s always a good idea to give them something to look at. How many times have you seen your students’ eyes scanning the classroom walls or gazing out the window into the world beyond? In modernity, of course, technology is also an enemy in this area: iPhones / Pads etc. provide a sea of distaction.

So give them something to look at whenever you can. Ideally, you want to give your learners something to focus on (a visual) that is related to the activity, the lesson, its aims and will support students’ learning. If it is a text or reading orientated activity, the focus is likely to be directed to this. However, if this is not the case, then you can use pictures / flashcards, realia / objects or the (interative) board to add a visual stimulus. You, as the teacher, can also add to show: move, act a little, bring the language to life.

Simple visuals can often be the most effective.

If possible, during listening activities, try not to have your learners listening ‘blindly’, without a visual focus. Perhaps you could have a picture related to the topic they are hearing about or make some notes in the form of a thought map on the board beforehand, so students direct their focus to relevant language. Similarly, speaking activities can also be supported using these ideas.

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