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Terence Komathy Aiman


These include flashcards, photographs, blackboard drawings, wallcharts and realia (i.e. objects themselves). They extensively used for conveying meaning and particularly useful for teaching concrete items of vocabulary such as food or furniture, and certain areas of vocabulary such as places, professions, descriptions of people, actions and activities (such as sport and verbs of movement). Easily to practice activities involving student interaction. For example: A set of pictures illustrating sporting activities could be used as means of presenting items such as skiing, sailing, climbing, etc.

Visual technique for the presentation of new lexical items pertain to visual memory, which is considered helpful especially with vocabulary retention. Learners can remember the presented material far more effectively if it has been presented by means of visual aids. They help students associate presented material in a meaningful way.

Teachers can benefit from the use of: flashcards, photographs and pictures, blackboard drawings word pictures mime and gesture action

Picture Flashcards
David A Hill (1990) classified pictures according to their size into three key categories: Large (20x30 cm): useful for whole-class work Medium (10x15 cm): useful for group-work Small (5x5 cm): useful for games and other group-work activities (Hill 1990: 5)

Big Picture Flashcards

Big picture flashcards are very helpful tools in presenting and drilling forms of new words, since they draw learners attention and make these often boring activities more enjoyable. At the same time flashcards (as well as other forms of pictures and visual aids in general) enable students to link the meaning of the words with real-world images immediately. When using flashcards in presentation, it is easy to involve learners actively and to combine the presentation with controlled practice.

The presentation of vocabulary with flashcards can be done in lots of various ways, for example in telling a story or just simply based on a set of vocabulary for a particular topic. Big flashcards are suitable for vocabulary practice and testing. To draw students attention, it is advisable to reveal pictures in an interesting way. Wright and Haleem (1996) presented several activities that might be modified for this purpose, such as Flashing picture, where the teacher just flashes the cards quickly and students guess or describe what they saw.

Word Flashcards
Help mainly in teaching the spelling of newly learnt words. Being used in a similar way as picture flashcards, they can enrich the lesson. On top of that, those two can be indeed combined and applied together, e.g. in a matching or labeling activity.

Drawing On The Board

Wright and Haleem (1996: 8) presented another very inspiring idea of using drawing on the board: They suggest using it in combination with flashcards or pictures from magazines. For example: The teacher draws a scene and supplements it with individual pictures of people, animals or things. A house could be drawn and pictures of furniture could be placed inside by the. This can be used for the presentation or practice of names of rooms or furniture, prepositions of place, home activities, together with the phrase there is/are.


Mime and Gesture

These are often used to supplement other ways of conveying meaning. When teaching an item such as to swerve, a teacher might build a situation to illustrate it, making use of the blackboard and gesture to reinforce the concept.