Two of my greatest interests in life are teaching and photography. I love to combine the two whenever I can. A great photograph can inspire interest, curiosity, stories, memories and many more great things for ESL classrooms. They can be used in warm up activities as well as for the basis of whole courses.
Photography is great because it doesn’t throw a whole bunch of words at you. Let's face it, learning a language can be scary, all of a sudden you are back to being a baby again linguistically but this time you don't have parents around cooing at you and pointing out easy to learn vocabulary. This time, you are in a classroom with a bunch of other learners and you can't even remember how you learned your first language to start with. To add insult to injury, you can't cry when you don't get what you want and are frustrated. No wonder so many people give up and quit coming to class.. One thing that people recommend is that teachers bring in realia (real stuff that can be touched, felt and experienced) because that is how we learned about the world when we were babies and it worked then, after all, we all have a first language don't we. The problem with this is that if you are like me it is not always practical to bring so much stuff into the classroom with me. Most of the time I don't have one single classroom in which I teach, I move around and besides, I don't have every piece of realia I need just lying around my house. This is where photographs come to the rescue. I can bring in a picture of a tree instead of dragging a whole tree in from the garden. Sure, my students are not going to get to touch the bark and smell the leaves but photography has many advantages and uses nonetheless. Here are some activities I have found helpful in teaching zero level beginners using photography.
Introducing New Vocabulary
Hi, I'm Kia.
I help ESL / EFL teachers create fun, effective courses that students love.