If you’re teaching English language learners, you know that using visuals is not only important for successful learning, it’s imperative.
Whenever possible, visuals should be a part of every lesson for all topics and content areas. To find visuals for your lessons, go online to search for images or video clips to support focus words. If your students face a word they don’t understand, be sure to stop and discuss it. They can draw, describe, and/or create mental pictures from their background knowledge or other experiences that may help them figure out the new word.
A picture dictionary is a great resource to have on hand. It not only has strong visual support but when incorporated into games, it can really get students excited about learning new words.
Take the classic I Spy game, for example. By giving clues, you can guide your students through the dictionary to find a mystery picture.
- Start with a general clue like, “I Spy a piece of food,” to get them using the Table of Contents to find the right category pages.
- From there, your clues can become more specific like, “I Spy a vegetable,” and even more detailed like, “I Spy a red vegetable.”
After you have modeled this game, allow students to work together to play I Spy in small groups, practicing their English language in a fun, engaging manner.
To find more support for your English Learners, explore Continental’s TEAM Toolkits. They provide valuable activities to help students with listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills to promote academic language success.
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