Using art in the english classroom or using english in the art classroom
Enric Calvet, 14
Art in the English classroom or English in the Art classroom?
I really believe ART has got an important place in
language learning. Children are naturally creative
and respond to visual images and have most
Art can assist a teacher with many aspects of
teaching English, for instance when teaching the
names of colours. And not only the Primary and
Secondary colours.... What about the different
tones like sky blue, teal, magenta, lilac, scarlet, azure, chartreuse, burgundy,
crimson, apple green, lemon or canary yellow, burnt orange, dusty pink, forest
green, battleship gray, chocolate brown, mahogany, tan, ivory, off-white ... !!!!
Or, when teaching shapes or simple tools artists use (including tools students
use every day such as pencils, pens, erasers, rulers, etc.)
Books of paintings and artists are great vocabulary builders.
Every painting can be a topic for discussion. Even just reading the various
descriptions in the book can be a worthwhile language activity.
Have a visit to the Greatest Museums of the World through Internet. Enter
different rooms, zoom in on specific paintings and read the pop-up descriptions.
There is a whole world of digital art in the net. Drawing programs such as
Paint, Gimp, Inkscape, Corel, Google Sketchup, ZBrush, TuxPaint, ArtRage and
Twisted Brush can be also very useful to produce some nice artworks.
Bring a piece of art to the 'show and tell' area in your class. This is a wonderful
speaking opportunity. Let’s exploit all the possibilities our town offers: local
artists, museums or art galleries, Exhibitions, Art schools ... a talk with an
expert can be a good opportunity for further speaking in the class.
Finally, let students use their talents to illustrate their writing essays, short
stories, descriptions, family, vacation, and other such typical ESL topics.
ART can add another dimension to teaching English in an integrate way,
CONTENT and LANGUAGE.
Here you are some ideas:
Introduce and practice communicative functions: Asking and expressing
opinions: what do you think...? What’s your opinion...? I think... In my
opinion... I agree... I disagree...
Learn new vocabulary: adjectives, art materials, techniques,..
Express feelings, moods, likes and dislikes...
Make a card with a message to send to someone.
Create a display in the school corridor with children’s opinions.
Decorate a T-shirt with a short message or connected words.
Make a booklet with images made by all the children in the class.
Upload productions in the school blog