Make it visual
Using visual aids - for teachers; How to Use Visualization to Achieve Your Goals - for students; Personal Experience - Anna Bushmina;
VISUAL AIDS - IDEAS FOR TEACHERS
It is understood that all our students have different learning styles - some will benefit from trying things on their own, others need things explained and showed for them, yet others prefer reading the information. But one of the most powerful teaching tools are visual aids; they help make abstract things more concrete and easier to retain, they make information understandable and possible to grasp and they are also a lot of fun! Let’s look at some types of visual aids and how we can use them in class.
Photographs, images, paintings can set the tone for the whole lesson. Use pictures to introduce new vocabulary and do a matching exercise, add them to flashcards or group them into categories. Pictures may convey mood, they can be described and dissected. Here are some exercises you can do:
1. Think of the topic of the lesson and find a picture that is somehow related to it. Ask your students to brainstorm what it is about and guess the topic.
2. Use pictures to explain some words - even abstract words can be explained this way, and it will help the teacher avoid using L1.
3. Ask your students to think what the picture makes them feel. This can be a good way to study or revise adjectives for feelings and emotions.
4. Ask students to compare two or more pictures - and learn comparative constructions!
5. Divide your students in pairs and ask one to describe the picture in detail and the other to draw it. The students will then compare the result with the original picture, and you may even turn it into a competition. You can make the task more challenging by setting a time limit.
6. Before role-playing a conversation, show students a picture of people talking in a similar conversation. This will help them feel the atmosphere and get into their roles.
Posters can be a great tool to inspire and educate your students. Use them to introduce or revise grammar and vocabulary, ask students to create posters themselves, and you may even print them and hang them around the classroom. They will make even the most boring grammar topic more fun! You can use different colours to colour-code, images to illustrate your points, icons for quick reference and so much more.
A great website you can use is Canva, and a great many teachers have already utilised it for teaching purposes.
Infographics are a perfect classroom tool because they can make complex information easier to understand. These posters may replace texts and will teach students to read graphs, charts and talk about numbers and patterns. Several exams like IELTS Academic requires students to be able to do that, so using a bright and colourful infographic may make the preparation a bit more interesting. In data visualization, colour plays a bigger role than just for decoration.
Creative presentations will help keep your students engaged for longer, and may give them a much-needed break from the routine. A creative presentation template can go a long way to keep your students from snoring in the middle of class. For starters, introduce bright colors and creative fonts into your slide design. You can also combine photos, charts and icons to illustrate concepts. Presenting information in a creative and visually-stimulating way can help get students excited about a topic.
Brightly designed checklists can be used for a multitude of purposes - to keep track of your students’ progress, to introduce lesson or course objectives, or to present the curriculum itself. Recently, various checklists have become all the rage on Instagram and some other social platforms, so teachers should try to keep up with this popular demand!
We have talked before about how to use authentic realia in class, and visual aids are a huge part of that. Bring in restaurant menus, brochures and leaflets, movie posters, tickets, programs, newspapers, magazines, you name it. These will expose students to natural language patterns, prepare them to real-life situations and help you create the atmosphere of the target culture.
Now these are harder to adapt to adults or higher levels, but personal memorabilia, classroom objects even furniture can be utilised for visual purposes. The only limit is your imagination!
How do you use visual aids in class? Share your thought and ideas!
How to Use Visualization to Achieve Your Goals
Visualization should not be confused with the "think it and you will be it" advice peddled by popular self-help gurus. It is not a gimmick, nor does it involve dreaming or hoping for a better future. By Frank Niles, Ph.D., Huffpost Contributor
In life and work, success begins with a goal. It could be losing weight, asking for a raise, quitting smoking or starting your own business. Big or small, goals give us purpose and, like a compass, keep us headed in the right direction. Of course, it then takes lots of hard work and determination to reach your destination.
Writing over 2,000 years ago, Aristotle described the process this way: "First, have a definite, clear, practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends: wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end."
Unfortunately, many of us remain stuck at the goal stage. We start out with good intentions and perhaps a plan, but then we can't seem to make it happen.
There are countless reasons that this occurs - busyness, impatience, fear and negative social pressures are some of the usual culprits - so how do we respond to these challenges and move in the direction of our goal?
Seeing Is Believing
Before we can believe in a goal, we first must have an idea of what it looks like. To paraphrase the old adage: we must see it before we can believe it.
This is where visualization comes in, which is simply a technique for creating a mental image of a future event. When we visualize our desired outcome, we begin to "see" the possibility of achieving it. Through visualization, we catch a glimpse of what is, in the words of one writer, our "preferred future." When this happens, we are motivated and prepared to pursue our goal.
Visualization should not be confused with the "think it and you will be it" advice peddled by popular self-help gurus. It is not a gimmick, nor does it involve dreaming or hoping for a better future. Rather, visualization is a well-developed method of performance improvement supported by substantial scientific evidence and used by successful people across a range of fields.
Take athletes, for example. Studies show that visualization increases athletic performance by improving motivation, coordination and concentration. It also aids in relaxation and helps reduce fear and anxiety. In the words of one researcher, "visualization helps the athlete just do it and do it with confidence, poise, and perfection."
Former NBA great Jerry West is a great example of how this works. Known for hitting shots at the buzzer, he acquired the nickname "Mr. Clutch." When asked what accounted for his ability to make the big shots, West explained that he had rehearsed making those same shots countless times in his mind. Other sports legends like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Tiger Woods and pitcher Roy Halladay have also used visualization to improve their performance and achieve their personal best.
Why Visualization Works
According to research using brain imagery, visualization works because neurons in our brains, those electrically excitable cells that transmit information, interpret imagery as equivalent to a real-life action. When we visualize an act, the brain generates an impulse that tells our neurons to "perform" the movement. This creates a new neural pathway - clusters of cells in our brain that work together to create memories or learned behaviors - that primes our body to act in a way consistent to what we imagined. All of this occurs without actually performing the physical activity, yet it achieves a similar result.
Putting It All Together
Remember, you don't have to be an elite athlete to benefit from visualization. Whether you're a student, businessperson, parent or spouse, visualization will keep you tethered to your goal and increase your chances of achieving it. The power of visualization is available to all people.
There are two types of visualization, each of which serves a distinct purpose, but for greatest effect, they should be used together. The first method is outcome visualization and involves envisioning yourself achieving your goal. To do this, create a detailed mental image of the desired outcome using all of your senses.
For example, if your goal is to run your first marathon, visualize yourself crossing the finish line in the time you desire. Hold that mental image as long as possible. What does it feel like to pass under the finishing banner, looking at your watch, the cool air on your overheated body? Who is there to greet you as you finish? Your family? Friends? Other runners? Imagine the excitement, satisfaction, and thrill you will experience as you walk off the lactic acid and fall exhausted into their arms.
Some people find it useful to write their goal down, and then, in as much detail as possible, translate it into a visual representation. It could be a hand-drawn picture, a photograph or a diagram. The media doesn't matter, just as long as it helps you create a vivid mental image and stay motivated.
The second type of visualization is process visualization. It involves envisioning each of the actions necessary to achieve the outcome you want. Focus on completing each of the steps you need to achieve your goal, but not on the overall goal itself.
Back to the marathon example: Before the race, visualize yourself running well - legs pumping like pistons, arms relaxed, breathing controlled. In your mind, break the course into sections and visualize how you will run each part, thinking about your pace, gait and split time. Imagine what it will feel like when you hit "the wall," that point in the race where your body wants to stop, and more importantly, what you must do to break through it.
You may never run a marathon. However, you can use the same principles to achieve any goal - create a vivid mental picture of yourself succeeding, envision what you must do during each step of the process and, like a runner pushing through "the wall," use positive mental imagery to stay focused and motivated when you experience obstacles or setbacks.
Visualization does not guarantee success. It also does not replace hard work and practice. But when combined with diligent effort (and, I would add, a strong support network), it is a powerful way to achieve positive, behavioral change and create the life you desire.
Do you use visualisation? We are dying to know how!
Hi! My name is Anna and I have been teaching Russian language as a second one for several years now. In my free time I like playing badminton, reading non-fiction books and taking care of my plants. When I have a lot (!) of free time I spend most of it travelling or going to the movies. Love pelmeni and hate cold weather.
I think that visual materials are very important in the work of a teacher because it helps to diversify the lesson process, entertain students and quickly change the types of work in the classroom. For example, I always prepare a presentation for my classes, in which there is a lesson plan (so that students know what they will be doing today), questions for discussion in a group, grammar assignments, various videos, photos, etc. When you explain the material and illustrate it at the same time, the material is better perceived and better absorbed, students build associations between the topic of the lesson and the visual material, which is why they memorize and progress faster.
In addition to presentations, I use videos on YouTube, the Nearpod platform, where you can create various presentations and tasks in a active and creative way. It especially helps to conduct tests in the format of an online game - this makes the process less serious and more relaxed, adds excitement to students. You can use sites like Nearpod or Kahoot for this as well. Beautiful presentations and videos help to keep the attention of students, for whom it is important that the lesson is not monotonous. In my experience, it makes no difference how old your students are - fourteen or forty - everyone loves to play and watch videos.
I also discovered that even if you work according to a textbook and complete the tasks that each student has in the book, displaying a scanned assignment from a textbook on a presentation slide helps students concentrate. Probably, this creates the illusion that you can miss something if you get distracted because the teacher will simply change the slide.
Moreover, my students say that working with pictures while having new lexical items in classes helps to memorize words easier. In this case, it can work visa versa. Actually, after 1-2 classes the same illustrations of the words can be used. As for me, I ask a particular question like: "What can you see on this picture?". Sometimes I even wrongly name an item on the picture for making my students a bit confused and making them switch on their Brians and memory. With this example, I always use questions like "Are you sure that it's ...?" or "Do you think it's ... ?". Works on 100%.
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