Sunday, 27 June 2010

How to use pictures in the ESL class (IV)

ELL Vocabulary Building
  • Choose one photograph and ask one or two questions, such as “How many animals do you see?” and “Where are they?” Then have students come up with two more questions about the photograph and have them ask their questions to a partner. Next have each pair choose their own photograph and come up with questions for their new photographs. Have them ask each other the questions that they create and encourage them to keep the conversation going even after their initial questions have been answered.
  • This activity can be modified to become a writing lesson. Instead of pairing students to discuss the photographs, have students write descriptions of a photograph and then read their descriptions to the class or in pairs.
  • Use the photos to liven up a lesson about prepositional phrases showing location, such as “in front of,” “behind,” “to the right of,” “to the left of,” etc. Have each student choose a photo and describe the composition of the photograph either aloud or in writing using prepositional phrases showing location (“the girl is in front of the boy,” “the piano is to the left of the teacher,” etc). You might want to ask all students to start from the left side of the photograph and move to the right explaining everything that they see as they go, so that they do not miss any of the depicted persons or objects. For students who have already mastered the most basic prepositional phrases showing location, add less basic phrases such as “in the distance,” “across from,” “in the foreground,” etc.

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