Although video and films can supplement classroom instruction for ESL students, helping them better visualize concepts, careful planning and curriculum alignment is needed for their inclusion in the classroom. This report includes the questions to consider when selecting films and videos to use for instruction.
If you needed a reason to show short films or videos in your classroom, this is it. Films provide visual content as well as the opportunity to hear language used authentically. While films will never replace instruction from a teacher and cannot substitute for peer-to-peer interactions, and films can be used to support your language instruction in the classroom.
Using pictures to capture your students’ interest and solid understanding can impact learning success if you ask the right kinds of questions. Using photographs from history can be particularly invaluable because students can extract meaning from a photograph that that would not derive from a textbook passage.
Visual learners benefit greatly from the extra time we take in the classroom to visually code our instructional materials. Visual coding can be as simple as highlighting a concept in a particular color, such as yellow for verbs, instead of always using a picture.
The very first piece of advice in this article is one that may get overlooked the most: “Make it visual.” Visualization includes modeling. Using non-linguistic representation in the classroom helps ESL kids quickly bridge the gap between learning vocabulary and content.
Why reach for pictures or other graphic organizers all the time when there’s plenty of art that can also be used to make your point? Using fine art as an instructional vehicle integrates visual arts with your content for a win-win thematic approach to learning.
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Using graphic organizers with ESL students can move learning forward quickly, and this article includes a handy link to finding some of the best graphic organizers available so that you don’t have to search endlessly for visuals that may or may not work in your classroom.