There are other ways for creating communication
situation in the classroom. Suppose , we have used a picture that shows a head
with its various parts: hair , eyes , nose , ears , mouth. Those parts have
been named in English ; the students have printed the names in their notebooks
with their copies of the picture. Now the stage is set for an experience in
which the pupils use those English words to communicate. The activity may go
First, the teacher introduces the topic of life on the
other planets, using several pictures and ( if necessary) a few sentences in
the student’s language. The learners are then told that they are going to read
about a visitor from another planet. Their job is to draw a picture of the
visitor , according to the sentences which they are going to read. For example , if they read that the imaginary
visitor has two heads, they must draw two heads. No one should look at a
classmate’s drawing. They will have five minutes for reading the description
and drawing the picture. However , if the learners cannot read English, the
description must be read by the teacher.
Each pupil takes a pencil and a blank sheet of paper
on which to make his drawing. The description
of the visitor ( which the
teacher had previously printed on a large sheet) is taped to the wall , and the
students begin the task.
The sentences that describe the visitor may be these:
I have a friend from Mars. My friend has a
big head. He has three eyes . He doesn’t have hair . In place of hair he has
five ears. His five ears are on top of his head. His neck is very long. Please
draw the picture of this visitor from Mars.
During the time allowed for this activity the teacher
walks around the room, observing the works of the learners one of them is asked
to copy his drawing on the blackboard, while the teacher reads the description
aloud. The drawing is discussed . Does it fit the description? The teacher’s
own drawing (made before class, on a large sheet) is displayed.
There is a discussion (in English ) of differences between the learners’
drawings and the teacher’s model.
Besides , for
homework , each pupil may make a different drawing which represents an imagined
visitor from another planet – his own
idea of such a visitor. When the pupils draw a picture of a scene , they know the meanings of the
English words that the teacher will use while talking about the parts of their
scenes. The meanings are in their mind before they are given the English word.
Fortunately , much of the basic vocabulary represents
things which are easy to draw- even when the pupil isn’t an artist. Most people
can draw well enough to show meanings of pen , table , flower, ect. Even the
least artistic teacher can draw pictures to represent the words cup , key , dish,
ect. If the teacher prefers not to make pictures , there is almost always some
members of the class who will enjoy doing so . Young learners are especially
fond of drawing- particularly when they are permitted to draw on the
Here is a way to use the learners’ artistic talents
for the introduction of the new vocabulary. Two students who like to draw are
asked to go to the blackboard . The teacher explains that these two helpers
will draw some pictures for the class , and that the teacher will give the
English word for each picture after it has been drawn. Each of the two helpers
– working side-by-side draws a series of
pictures , as instructed by the teacher, who whispers directions. For example ,
the teacher’s whispered instructions may be as follows, “two or three trees, a
few clouds, the sun , a few birds , a mountain .”
After each of
these has been drawn by both helpers, the teacher gives the English word for
what was pictured , and it is copied into notebooks by members of the class.
When the scene is completed , the helpers take their seats. Another learner is
asked to come to the blackboard whose job is to point to any part of either
picture which is mentioned during the following conversation:
: I see three clouds in this picture . ( The pupil at the board points to them)
What else do you see ?
MEMBER OF THE CLASS : I see four birds in the picture . (The student at the
The conversation is continued by various pupils until
all parts of both pictures have been mentioned and pointed to.
Such techniques encourages the pupils to use new
vocabulary through such activities as the following:
games in which members of the class are identified by locations and by clothing
that are performed in response to commands
of pictures by students to match English descriptions
of pictures drawn by members of the class
Such techniques require no
special equipment or material , and they give the learners personal reasons for
feeling that English words for familiar objects are good to know.