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Enhance Language Learning - Multi-Media in the ESL, TEFL, TESOL Classroom

Monday, April 21, 2014

Visuals are a great tool to help with student comprehension as well as make your English Language Teaching (ELT) / English Language Learning (ELL) or any language classroom a more exciting place to learn. Unfortunately, not all schools are equipped for this type of learning but most schools will have a multi-media room that can be utilized on an "as needed" basis by their teachers. In addition, the lesson could involve graphics and images using less technology based methods for presentation. For example, if you don't have an LCD, look at using Flashcards or an overhead projector. Simply displaying your handout can truly help an English as a Second Language student grasp what you are trying to say or accomplish. It is far superior to a teacher standing in front of the class with a worksheet while pointing at something the students can't see.

What is Multi-Media?

Multimedia is various combinations of text, graphics, sound, video and animation. It can be controlled, coordinated and delivered on a computer screen and implies interactivity which means the user is engaged in the presentation of information. In addition, multi-media can act as a more 'capable peer' as well as be a tool for student-student and student-teacher interaction. It can lead to more collaborative learning experiences while allowing students to learn with multi-media or from multi-media.

Why is multi-media important to the learning process?

The brain recognizes much more in the visual cortex where our visual memory is located. Comprehension can often only occur after students are able to construct a mental image of what is meant. Once the student forms a mental image, then the concept is 'understood'. Therefore, the more visual we make learning, the greater the amount of subject matter that can be memorized and retained. I don't want to get long winded and pedantic but I think this can help getting you thinking on how to make your language learning lessons more exciting whether it is your first teaching job or you have been teaching for years!

Here are some great sites for multi-media and pre-made power-points lessons:

ESL TEFL TESOL Lesson Plans:   totalesl.com/lesson.php

Interactive English Grammar:   totalesl.com/education.php

PBSKids:   pbskids.org

EdTech:   edtech.sandi.net

Jefferson County Schools:    jc-schools.net/ppt.html

There are many more but this should get you started. If you would like to see a complete list of educational resources online, I have made a directory of ESL TEFL TESOL Resources (TotalESL.com/resource.php) based on the school subjects.

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