Thursday, February 15, 2007
Using pictures to revise vocabulary
A couple of weeks I posted an idea about how we can use Flickr to help students with their basic vocabulary. I also thought that this would work well with more advanced students and indeed it does when describing concrete nouns (i.e. things we can actually see and touch) or action verbs such as "crash", it is not so great with other words e.g.invincible is very hard to explain just using a picture.
However, what we can do is use the internet to help students revise items they've already covered in their course books etc. The slide show above uses items from a difficult text I covered with one of my students while doing unit 6 of the Headway Upper - Intermediate course book.
The basic idea is that we go through the items in the usual manner, but when it comes to revising them we use Slide.com to make a slide show with images that illustrate the new word's meaning. As long as the image is meaningful to the student it doesn't matter if its meaning is obscure to you and me. Also, this is not simply a copy and paste exercise as I found out myself when I Googled the different lexical items in the passage in order to find good, representative images. You need to think and search about what you want to show.
The slide show then acts as a visual mnemonic when students need to revise for their unit/term tests.