How to Teach ESL Vocabulary with Visual Stimuli

How to teach ESL vocabulary with visual stimuli:

  • First, compile a healthy stack of magazines. The material should be appropriate to your students’ ages.
  • Grab stacks of flashcards, glue sticks and scissors. Hopefully you have some of this stuff lying around already. Make a few flashcards yourself. Pick a new vocabulary word and cut out pics from magazines that represent it. These homemade illustrated flashcards will serve as examples for your students.
  • It’s class time. Present a few new words to your class, discussing the definition and usage of each.
  • Show examples of your creative flashcards and let them loose in groups to develop their own using the words you presented at the beginning of the activity. The groups will support communication, a great ESL sub-skill.
  • Once your ESL students have developed their flashcard masterpieces, it’s time to present. Each student will explain their new word, definition and the photos they chose for that specific word. This creates a lasting visual memory, boosting comprehension when opportunities for practical use come knocking.