Tips for Teaching English Learners Video Series: Using Visuals in Your ESL Lessons
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.
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.