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TEACHING ENGLISH
THROUGH PICTURES

 ERCILIA DELANCER
 ENGLISH LANGUAGE FELLOW
 BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN
 FEBRUARY 9, 2013
Please take a minute to
      do so now
A PICTURE IS WORTH A
  THOUSAND WORDS
WARM UP ACTIVITY
• Find your partner for this workshop by
  finding the match to the card in your
  seat.

• With your partner, come up with a list
  of uses for pictures in the English
  language classroom.
• You got five minutes for this activity.
WHY USE PICTURES?
• Students like to look at pictures.
• Pictures catch their interest and
  imagination.
• Pictures provide a visual description of
  the world – including people, places
  and things that students have only
  heard about.
RATIONALE FOR USING
       PICTURES
• Visuals are a good and useful tool for
  examination purposes because they
  lead the learner to draw out language
  from their own knowledge and
  personal experiences through
  exposure to the stimuli presented.
RATIONALE FOR USING
       PICTURES
• They also permit strategies to
  organize knowledge into semantic or
  associative clusters. Moreover,
  imagery is combined with texts to
  make subjects more likely to think
  about the process of language more
  fully.
RATIONALE FOR USING
       PICTURES
• Visual images encourage the learner
  to predict, infer, and deduce
  information from a variety of sources.
  Images help to bring the outside world
  into the classroom, and thus help to
  make the situation more real and in
  turn help the learner to use
  appropriate associated language.
RATIONALE FOR USING
       PICTURES
• Humans have several distinct
  intelligences, and any significant
  achievement involves a blending of
  intelligences.
• Blending is useful because different
  intelligences are valued to varying
  degrees by different cultures.
How many uses for
         pictures?
• There must be hundreds of ways to
  use pictures in the classroom
  including:
• teach, practice, or review new
  vocabulary
• do guided practice (drills)
• practice grammatical structures
HOW MANY USES FOR
       PICTURES?
• do writing activities
• practice listening comprehension
• do semi-guided or free speaking
  practice such as problem solving
  activities, role plays, discussions, and
  so on.
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU
      NEED?
• Depending on the purpose of the
  activity, a task can take up five
  minutes at the beginning or end of a
  class, or last 20 minutes or more in
  the main part of the class.
CHOOSING PICTURES
• Pictures are illustrations that are cut
  from a magazine, newspapers or
  other sources. They're mostly
  photographs, but drawings, collages,
  maps or other illustrations can be
  used for certain activities. Each
  picture should be at least 13 x 18 cm,
  but preferably about 20 x 25 cm, i.e.,
  almost an entire magazine page.
AVOID TEXT IN YOUR
        PICTURES
• Pictures are easier to use without any
  printed text on them. You will only be
  able to use pictures with text for
  certain activities. If pictures do include
  text, the text should be in English.
• You can collect the pictures yourself,
  or ask your students to bring them in
  for you.
GET TO KNOW YOUR
        STUDENTS
• Students are good at getting pictures
  of famous people, sports and objects
  they like, which gives you a good
  opportunity to learn about students'
  interests.
SORTING THE PICTURES
• Try to identify a structure or function
  that can be practiced with each
  picture. You should paste the pictures
  on letter-sized paper, and punch holes
  in them to keep them in a binder. You
  can sort them out by level or grade, by
  activity or by topic.
LABEL YOUR FOLDERS

• Some topics are: faces, famous
  people, clothes, food, actions, sports,
  professions, nationalities/cultures,
  unusual pictures, cities, interiors,
  nature, and so on. You can write
  notes on the back of the sheets.
IDEAS, IDEA, IDEAS
• The following is a catalog of ideas we
  have put together from a variety of
  sources.

• We hope you can add your own list of
  ideas to it as well as gather others
  from your colleagues.
WRITE A PORTRAIT

• Hand each student the photo of a
  person, not a celebrity, and have
  him/her describe it using the handouts
  for both physical and personality traits,
  and the imagination to provide a
  suitable job and hobbies according to
  the age of the person.
WRITE A PORTRAIT

• Once the portrait is completed,
  students can come to the front to
  describe their portrait, or can submit it
  as a writing assignment.
WHAT’S FOR DINNER?

• Provide students with a photo of a
  dish and have the student come up
  with an entire menu for dinner that
  day.

• The student/group with the most
  detailed menu wins a small prize.
CELEBRITIES
• Write short captions describing the
  achievements for each celebrity
  picture.

• Hang the celebrity pictures nearby
  and have the students match the
  caption for each.
“SPECULATION”
• Material: Pictures with unusual
  situations (e.g., a man balancing
  chairs on his arms, feet and head, a
  female executive tied and gagged in
  her office, a very muddy Mercedes
  parked in the business district of a
  city, etc.).
SPECULATION – AN
    EXAMPLE
“SPECULATION”
• Elicit question words and write them
  on the board: where, why, who, when,
  what, etc.

• Tell the students to work in pairs or
  small groups and explain the picture,
  using the questions words. Do one
  picture with the class as an example.
INTERVIEW A CELEBRITY
• Distribute pictures of some of the
  students’ favorite celebrities including
  sport figures, entertainers, politicians
  and writers.
• Have the students complete a list of
  questions in preparation for an
  interview of their favorite personality.
• The student with the longest list wins.
VARIATION
• Write a caption describing each
  celebrity such as their place of origin,
  most celebrated accomplishment,
  marital status and so on.

• Have the students match the caption
  to the photo.
BEFORE AND AFTER

• Provide each student, or group, with
  an intriguing picture and ask them to
  come up with an explanation as to
  what happened immediately before
  the picture was taken and right after.
“AN ACCIDENT WAITING
     TO HAPPEN”
WHAT’S THE STORY?
• Bring a group of pictures showing
  people doing something.
• Distribute one to each student.
• Have the students create the most
  imaginative story behind the picture by
  emphasizing that there is no right or
  wrong answer.
WRITING A SHORT STORY
• Give each student an envelope
  containing photos of 2-3 people, a
  photo of a landscape (place) and a
  particular situation.

• The student writes a short story based
  on the materials in front of her/him.
HOW DO THEY FEEL?
• Teach or review adjectives describing
  moods and feelings: happy, sad,
  angry, upset, cheerful, etc.

• Hand out pictures and ask students to
  describe how the people feel, and why
  they feel that way. What happened
  that made them feel this way?
HOW DO THEY FEEL?
• As a follow up, students can present
  their descriptions to the group, and
  their classmates can add additional
  information about the person in the
  picture.
• Variation: You may want to use this
  activity to have students speculate,
  using modals like may, might/might
  have, must/must have, etc.
SIMILARITIES AND
        DIFFERENCES
• Provide each pair of students with a
  set of pictures containing similar, but
  not identical items.
• Students sit back-to-back and ask
  each other “Yes” or “No” questions to
  find out what the pictures have in
  common.
WHICH PICTURE IS IT
         ABOUT?
• Give each student a picture and have
  them write five sentences, all true,
  about their picture.
• Pictures are displayed around the
  room and each student read their
  description while the rest try to guess
  which picture is being described.
PICTURE DICTATION
• Picture dictation targets several skills
  and learning styles.
• Listening is at the forefront.
• Good enunciation skills are necessary
  for the person doing the dictating.
• Both the “artist” and the person
  dictating must use good
  communication strategies.
PICTURE DICTATION
• Continued….
• Such as circumlocution and
  rephrasing to negotiate meaning.
• Haptic learners get a chance to stand
  up, move around, and or draw.
LOOKING FOR A DATE
• Put a picture of a person on the board
  and ask the students to tell you his/her
  name, age and job. Write whatever
  they tell you on the board.
• Then ask them to describe him/her
  physically (again write what they tell
  you on the board). Repeat this
  procedure for his/her character and
  hobbies.
LOOKING FOR A DATE
• Read the description of the person
  and elicit from the students that
  he/she is not happy because they are
  single and would like to meet a
  man/woman.
• Students should provide a portrait of
  the type of person the man/woman in
  the picture is looking for.
LOOKING FOR A DATE -
       VARIATION
• Students get their own photo, describe
  it without showing it to anybody else,
  leave it face down on the table and
  then walk around listening to other
  students’ descriptions of their photo
  until he/she finds a suitable person for
  their own character.
LOOKING FOR A DATE
• After you have given them enough time to
  find partners, stop the activity (if they are
  being very choosy give them a time limit
  and tell them they must compromise and
  find a partner). Conduct a feedback session
  and ask the students to tell the class about
  their invented character and the partner that
  they have found. The class can then see
  the pictures for the first time and decide if
  they think it will be a successful
  relationship.
LOOKING FOR A HOUSE -
     VARIATION
• You can change the context and
  replace the pictures of the people with
  pictures of houses/flats and ask the
  students to be either estate agents or
  buyers looking for a place to live.
  Again they can write descriptions of
  places they want to sell (of varying
  standards) and places they would like
  to buy, mingle and try to find their
  dream homes.
ELABORATE
         DESCRIPTION
• Students gather in groups of 3-4.
• Teacher hands a picture/postcard to
  the student who will be doing the
  describing. Famous paintings,
  drawings, and sculptures are great for
  this activity.
• The student describes and the rest
  draw their picture.
ELABORATE
         DESCRIPTION
• At the end, the teacher gathers the
  original picture and the drawings.
• Drawings are displayed and the rest of
  the class is asked to guess what the
  original picture was.
• If they can guess correctly, the team
  wins a point.
PRACTICING
PREPOSITIONS OF PLACE
• Students sit back to back and listen as
  the teacher describes a picture
  containing details about a room: living
  room, dining room, bedroom, porch,
  etc.
• Each students draws a picture of the
  room. At the end, the teacher shows
  her picture and students compare
  theirs to see who came closest to it.
PRACTICING
PREPOSITIONS OF PLACE
• The teacher distributes a picture to the
  student in the pair who will be doing
  the describing while the other student
  draws.

• At the end, the students compare
  pictures to see how well the dictation
  went.
COMPARATIVES AND
     SUPERLATIVES
• Provide students with photos
  containing a group of people and have
  them practice comparatives and
  superlatives by focusing on the
  characteristics of the people in the
  photo such as age, height, build,
  attractiveness, musical talent, sense
  of humor and so on.
COMPARATIVES AND
     SUPERLATIVES
• VARIATION:
• Have the students bring a family
  group photo to the class and then
  describe each member using
  superlatives/comparatives. For
  example: My brother Brian was the
  tallest while my sister Brooke was the
  shortest.
IF I WERE THERE….
• Show students a picture of a location
  and have them brainstorm about the
  place: where it is, what people
  normally do there. Also elicit
  vocabulary words related to the
  location.
• Ask the students what they would do if
  they were there, how they would be
  feeling, etc.
“HAVE THAT
      CONVERSATION”
• Show a sample picture – not the one
  you want students to use later. Ask
  what the people are doing, what they
  are talking about, what some of the
  words or expressions are that they are
  using. Elicit or teach vocabulary if
  necessary.
• Distribute pictures to the students to
  create their own conversation.
“HAVE THAT
       CONVERSATION?

• As a follow up, you can ask several
  pairs to perform their dialogs in front
  of the group. The class votes on the
  best dialog for the people in the
  picture.
WHAT DO YOU SEE?
• Bring a collection of landscape photos
  to the classroom and distribute one to
  each student.
• Students write a description of what
  they see.
• Display the photos and description
  side-by-side and have the students
  match them.
WHAT’S GOING ON?
• Distribute a picture to the student on
  the front row who looks at it and writes
  an action verb in his piece of paper.
• He/she passes down both pieces to
  the next students who adds another
  verb and so on to the end of the row.
• The row who finishes with the longest
  list wins a point.
WRITE THE CAPTION
• Show a picture on the board and ask
  students to create a caption for it.
• Hand each student an interesting
  picture and ask him/her to write an
  appropriate caption for the local
  newspaper.
• Pictures and captions are displayed
  around the room and students match
  them.
WRITE THE CAPTION-
       VARIATION
• For lower level students, compose two
  alternate captions for each picture and
  have the students select what they
  consider to be the appropriate one
  working in pairs or small groups.

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Using pictures in the efl classroom

  • 1. TEACHING ENGLISH THROUGH PICTURES ERCILIA DELANCER ENGLISH LANGUAGE FELLOW BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN FEBRUARY 9, 2013
  • 2. Please take a minute to do so now
  • 3. A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS
  • 4. WARM UP ACTIVITY • Find your partner for this workshop by finding the match to the card in your seat. • With your partner, come up with a list of uses for pictures in the English language classroom. • You got five minutes for this activity.
  • 5. WHY USE PICTURES? • Students like to look at pictures. • Pictures catch their interest and imagination. • Pictures provide a visual description of the world – including people, places and things that students have only heard about.
  • 6. RATIONALE FOR USING PICTURES • Visuals are a good and useful tool for examination purposes because they lead the learner to draw out language from their own knowledge and personal experiences through exposure to the stimuli presented.
  • 7. RATIONALE FOR USING PICTURES • They also permit strategies to organize knowledge into semantic or associative clusters. Moreover, imagery is combined with texts to make subjects more likely to think about the process of language more fully.
  • 8. RATIONALE FOR USING PICTURES • Visual images encourage the learner to predict, infer, and deduce information from a variety of sources. Images help to bring the outside world into the classroom, and thus help to make the situation more real and in turn help the learner to use appropriate associated language.
  • 9. RATIONALE FOR USING PICTURES • Humans have several distinct intelligences, and any significant achievement involves a blending of intelligences. • Blending is useful because different intelligences are valued to varying degrees by different cultures.
  • 10. How many uses for pictures? • There must be hundreds of ways to use pictures in the classroom including: • teach, practice, or review new vocabulary • do guided practice (drills) • practice grammatical structures
  • 11. HOW MANY USES FOR PICTURES? • do writing activities • practice listening comprehension • do semi-guided or free speaking practice such as problem solving activities, role plays, discussions, and so on.
  • 12. HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED? • Depending on the purpose of the activity, a task can take up five minutes at the beginning or end of a class, or last 20 minutes or more in the main part of the class.
  • 13. CHOOSING PICTURES • Pictures are illustrations that are cut from a magazine, newspapers or other sources. They're mostly photographs, but drawings, collages, maps or other illustrations can be used for certain activities. Each picture should be at least 13 x 18 cm, but preferably about 20 x 25 cm, i.e., almost an entire magazine page.
  • 14. AVOID TEXT IN YOUR PICTURES • Pictures are easier to use without any printed text on them. You will only be able to use pictures with text for certain activities. If pictures do include text, the text should be in English. • You can collect the pictures yourself, or ask your students to bring them in for you.
  • 15. GET TO KNOW YOUR STUDENTS • Students are good at getting pictures of famous people, sports and objects they like, which gives you a good opportunity to learn about students' interests.
  • 16. SORTING THE PICTURES • Try to identify a structure or function that can be practiced with each picture. You should paste the pictures on letter-sized paper, and punch holes in them to keep them in a binder. You can sort them out by level or grade, by activity or by topic.
  • 17. LABEL YOUR FOLDERS • Some topics are: faces, famous people, clothes, food, actions, sports, professions, nationalities/cultures, unusual pictures, cities, interiors, nature, and so on. You can write notes on the back of the sheets.
  • 18. IDEAS, IDEA, IDEAS • The following is a catalog of ideas we have put together from a variety of sources. • We hope you can add your own list of ideas to it as well as gather others from your colleagues.
  • 19. WRITE A PORTRAIT • Hand each student the photo of a person, not a celebrity, and have him/her describe it using the handouts for both physical and personality traits, and the imagination to provide a suitable job and hobbies according to the age of the person.
  • 20. WRITE A PORTRAIT • Once the portrait is completed, students can come to the front to describe their portrait, or can submit it as a writing assignment.
  • 21. WHAT’S FOR DINNER? • Provide students with a photo of a dish and have the student come up with an entire menu for dinner that day. • The student/group with the most detailed menu wins a small prize.
  • 22. CELEBRITIES • Write short captions describing the achievements for each celebrity picture. • Hang the celebrity pictures nearby and have the students match the caption for each.
  • 23. “SPECULATION” • Material: Pictures with unusual situations (e.g., a man balancing chairs on his arms, feet and head, a female executive tied and gagged in her office, a very muddy Mercedes parked in the business district of a city, etc.).
  • 25. “SPECULATION” • Elicit question words and write them on the board: where, why, who, when, what, etc. • Tell the students to work in pairs or small groups and explain the picture, using the questions words. Do one picture with the class as an example.
  • 26. INTERVIEW A CELEBRITY • Distribute pictures of some of the students’ favorite celebrities including sport figures, entertainers, politicians and writers. • Have the students complete a list of questions in preparation for an interview of their favorite personality. • The student with the longest list wins.
  • 27. VARIATION • Write a caption describing each celebrity such as their place of origin, most celebrated accomplishment, marital status and so on. • Have the students match the caption to the photo.
  • 28. BEFORE AND AFTER • Provide each student, or group, with an intriguing picture and ask them to come up with an explanation as to what happened immediately before the picture was taken and right after.
  • 29. “AN ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN”
  • 30. WHAT’S THE STORY? • Bring a group of pictures showing people doing something. • Distribute one to each student. • Have the students create the most imaginative story behind the picture by emphasizing that there is no right or wrong answer.
  • 31. WRITING A SHORT STORY • Give each student an envelope containing photos of 2-3 people, a photo of a landscape (place) and a particular situation. • The student writes a short story based on the materials in front of her/him.
  • 32. HOW DO THEY FEEL? • Teach or review adjectives describing moods and feelings: happy, sad, angry, upset, cheerful, etc. • Hand out pictures and ask students to describe how the people feel, and why they feel that way. What happened that made them feel this way?
  • 33. HOW DO THEY FEEL? • As a follow up, students can present their descriptions to the group, and their classmates can add additional information about the person in the picture. • Variation: You may want to use this activity to have students speculate, using modals like may, might/might have, must/must have, etc.
  • 34. SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES • Provide each pair of students with a set of pictures containing similar, but not identical items. • Students sit back-to-back and ask each other “Yes” or “No” questions to find out what the pictures have in common.
  • 35. WHICH PICTURE IS IT ABOUT? • Give each student a picture and have them write five sentences, all true, about their picture. • Pictures are displayed around the room and each student read their description while the rest try to guess which picture is being described.
  • 36. PICTURE DICTATION • Picture dictation targets several skills and learning styles. • Listening is at the forefront. • Good enunciation skills are necessary for the person doing the dictating. • Both the “artist” and the person dictating must use good communication strategies.
  • 37. PICTURE DICTATION • Continued…. • Such as circumlocution and rephrasing to negotiate meaning. • Haptic learners get a chance to stand up, move around, and or draw.
  • 38. LOOKING FOR A DATE • Put a picture of a person on the board and ask the students to tell you his/her name, age and job. Write whatever they tell you on the board. • Then ask them to describe him/her physically (again write what they tell you on the board). Repeat this procedure for his/her character and hobbies.
  • 39. LOOKING FOR A DATE • Read the description of the person and elicit from the students that he/she is not happy because they are single and would like to meet a man/woman. • Students should provide a portrait of the type of person the man/woman in the picture is looking for.
  • 40. LOOKING FOR A DATE - VARIATION • Students get their own photo, describe it without showing it to anybody else, leave it face down on the table and then walk around listening to other students’ descriptions of their photo until he/she finds a suitable person for their own character.
  • 41. LOOKING FOR A DATE • After you have given them enough time to find partners, stop the activity (if they are being very choosy give them a time limit and tell them they must compromise and find a partner). Conduct a feedback session and ask the students to tell the class about their invented character and the partner that they have found. The class can then see the pictures for the first time and decide if they think it will be a successful relationship.
  • 42. LOOKING FOR A HOUSE - VARIATION • You can change the context and replace the pictures of the people with pictures of houses/flats and ask the students to be either estate agents or buyers looking for a place to live. Again they can write descriptions of places they want to sell (of varying standards) and places they would like to buy, mingle and try to find their dream homes.
  • 43. ELABORATE DESCRIPTION • Students gather in groups of 3-4. • Teacher hands a picture/postcard to the student who will be doing the describing. Famous paintings, drawings, and sculptures are great for this activity. • The student describes and the rest draw their picture.
  • 44. ELABORATE DESCRIPTION • At the end, the teacher gathers the original picture and the drawings. • Drawings are displayed and the rest of the class is asked to guess what the original picture was. • If they can guess correctly, the team wins a point.
  • 45. PRACTICING PREPOSITIONS OF PLACE • Students sit back to back and listen as the teacher describes a picture containing details about a room: living room, dining room, bedroom, porch, etc. • Each students draws a picture of the room. At the end, the teacher shows her picture and students compare theirs to see who came closest to it.
  • 46. PRACTICING PREPOSITIONS OF PLACE • The teacher distributes a picture to the student in the pair who will be doing the describing while the other student draws. • At the end, the students compare pictures to see how well the dictation went.
  • 47. COMPARATIVES AND SUPERLATIVES • Provide students with photos containing a group of people and have them practice comparatives and superlatives by focusing on the characteristics of the people in the photo such as age, height, build, attractiveness, musical talent, sense of humor and so on.
  • 48. COMPARATIVES AND SUPERLATIVES • VARIATION: • Have the students bring a family group photo to the class and then describe each member using superlatives/comparatives. For example: My brother Brian was the tallest while my sister Brooke was the shortest.
  • 49. IF I WERE THERE…. • Show students a picture of a location and have them brainstorm about the place: where it is, what people normally do there. Also elicit vocabulary words related to the location. • Ask the students what they would do if they were there, how they would be feeling, etc.
  • 50. “HAVE THAT CONVERSATION” • Show a sample picture – not the one you want students to use later. Ask what the people are doing, what they are talking about, what some of the words or expressions are that they are using. Elicit or teach vocabulary if necessary. • Distribute pictures to the students to create their own conversation.
  • 51. “HAVE THAT CONVERSATION? • As a follow up, you can ask several pairs to perform their dialogs in front of the group. The class votes on the best dialog for the people in the picture.
  • 52. WHAT DO YOU SEE? • Bring a collection of landscape photos to the classroom and distribute one to each student. • Students write a description of what they see. • Display the photos and description side-by-side and have the students match them.
  • 53. WHAT’S GOING ON? • Distribute a picture to the student on the front row who looks at it and writes an action verb in his piece of paper. • He/she passes down both pieces to the next students who adds another verb and so on to the end of the row. • The row who finishes with the longest list wins a point.
  • 54. WRITE THE CAPTION • Show a picture on the board and ask students to create a caption for it. • Hand each student an interesting picture and ask him/her to write an appropriate caption for the local newspaper. • Pictures and captions are displayed around the room and students match them.
  • 55. WRITE THE CAPTION- VARIATION • For lower level students, compose two alternate captions for each picture and have the students select what they consider to be the appropriate one working in pairs or small groups.