mercoledì 8 gennaio 2014

7 ways to use INFOGRAPHICS in the English classroom

This is my first post of 2014 and I'd like to kick off the new year by writing about the latest popular phenomenon on the web: INFOGRAPHICS.

What is an infographic?
An Infographic (information graphic)  is a visual representation of a data set or instructive material. It takes a large amount of information in text or numerical form and then condenses it into a combination of images and text, allowing viewers to quickly grasp the essential insights the data contains.

Can infographics be used in the English classroom?
Yes, of course. These are 7 ways to use INFOGRAPHICS in the English classroom.

1. TO TEACH (OR REVIEW) NUMBERS - Let's face the truth: students do not like numbers. Maybe because it's the first thing they learn when they study a foreign language, (sometimes even before the alphabet). In infographics you can find very long numbers and your students can practice their pronunciation.
Tip: When a student does not know (or does not remember) the pronunciation of a number I usually ask to the class randomly until someone pronounces it correctly. Afterwards we drill it chorally.

2. TO TEACH NEW VOCABULARY - Each infographic is an incredible source of new vocabulary. You can find infographics about music, religion, education, cinema, jobs, social networks etc. Here you are some examples from the free newspaper Metro.uk (e-edition).

3. TO MAKE PREDICTIONS  - In my humble opinion this is the funniest way you can use infographics for. I usually copy only some numbers and the topic on the board and let my students guess what those numbers are related to. My students usually come up with many "contrasting" ideas which lead to li(o)vely debates.
Tip: Students'minds may go blank when they see all those numbers, give examples/ideas.


4. TO RETRIEVE INFORMATION - This activity usually comes after making predictions. Students have to check whether their suppositions were true or false by reading the infographic.
Tip: For lower levels you can simply prepare a set of questions and ask your students to answer them.

5. TO PRACTICE BUSINESS PRESENTATIONS - I'm sure that among your students there is a business person always in troubles with their presentations at the workplace. Well, infographics can be used as PPT slides while the students rehearse for their speech.
Tip: Keep the infographics on the PC and let your students use a pencil while they are talking, it will make them feel more confident.

6. TO ELABORATE - We always ask our students to sum up texts. Why don't we try to do the opposite? Why don't we ask them to elaborate short pieces of information into something detailed? Give your students an infographic and ask them to write an article starting from the information they have. It is an excellent exercise to practice their writing skills.

7. TO COLLECT USEFUL INFORMATION - We can use infographics but we can also create them! http://www.easel.ly and http://infogr.am are two free websites your students can use to make their own infographics. My students and I usually create them at the of the year to review what we have studied or to concentrate useful information for the exams. Eventually, we print the infographics out and stick them on the walls.

Do you use infographics in your English classes? How? Please, share your experience with me!

4 commenti:

  1. hi..Im college student, thanks for sharing :)

    RispondiElimina
  2. Hello, my pleasure. I hope it is useful!

    RispondiElimina
  3. Hi Larissa,

    Just to let you know that we’ve shortlisted this blog post for this month’s TeachingEnglish blog award and I’ll be making a post about it on today’s TeachingEnglish Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/TeachingEnglish.BritishCouncil, if you’d like to check there for likes and comments.

    Best,
    Ann

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. Hello Ann,
      Thank you! I'm honoured to be nominated!

      All the best,
      Larissa

      Elimina