Home ESL Teacher getting inventive with hand-drawn graphics

getting inventive with hand-drawn graphics

getting inventive with hand-drawn graphics


On this submit, Emily Bryson explores graphic facilitation and sketchnoting for the English language classroom. She shares some sensible, low preparation, actions and a mess of advantages that visible educating methods convey.  

What’s graphic facilitation?

Graphic facilitation is using visuals reminiscent of drawings, icons, diagrams, and movement charts to guide individuals in the direction of a shared purpose. It has its roots in design industries reminiscent of engineering and structure however can be widespread in enterprise contexts. Normally, the graphics are hand-drawn by a graphic facilitator who creates the visuals stay in the course of the session or prepares them prematurely. 

How did I get into it?

My first encounter with graphic facilitation was throughout my secondment on the Scottish Refugee Council. The coach there hand drew many visible instruments on flipcharts to seize info reminiscent of suggestions, feedback, and viewers demographics at occasions. These had been revolutionary, multisensory methods which I quickly adopted for my very own English language classroom.  

I later serendipitously attended a coaching session at my faculty the place a graphic facilitator confirmed lecturers easy drawings and templates to make use of in school. I used to be instantly hooked. 

Why is it excellent for ELT?

Since then I’ve developed my expertise and found there are various advantages of graphic facilitation for English Language Instructing: 

Visuals make studying a language extra: 

  • comprehensible
  • accessible
  • memorable
  • multisensory
  • inventive
  • enjoyable

Creating or utilizing visuals in school permits college students the chance to work together with the language in some ways and use every of their 4 expertise. When college students create their very own visuals, they take time to work together totally with the language they’re studying, offering extra alternatives to interpret the knowledge, take up it and memorise it. 

It’s additionally a good way to test understanding, increase creativity and incorporate crucial considering into classes. I like utilizing it to make rubrics and directions clearer. 

Top-of-the-line issues about it’s the large discount in preparation time. I now have so many visible templates in my head, that I can rapidly draw one on the board and get a complete three hour lesson out of it!

Maybe most excitingly, after a few years of educating, it reignited my spark. As academics, I really feel all of us have our ups and downs. Once I found graphic facilitation, I used to be in a little bit of a rut. I’d been educating for about fifteen years and all of it felt a bit like nothing ever modified. Since my introduction to graphic facilitation a number of years in the past, each day appears like play time. I can’t wait to get within the classroom and check out a special concept and or see the delight on college students’ faces once they study in a singular and inventive means. 

Listed below are a few of these advantages summarised as a sketchnote: 

What’s sketchnoting? 

Technically, sketchnoting is a type of graphic recording slightly than graphic facilitation. It’s a technique of summarising info into partaking textual content and photos. 

It’s a superb technique to help neurodiverse learners. For instance, it reduces processing load for learners with dyslexia and offers learners with AD(H)D a productive process whereas listening. 

It’s additionally enjoyable and aids info retention. Personally, I discover I focus extra on a webinar or speak once I sketchnote it. I’m additionally extra more likely to evaluate (and keep in mind) my notes. 

Right here’s one other instance sketchnote taken from Cambridge Main Path Exercise Ebook 3, web page 50. Every easy drawing helps learners with textual content comprehension. You possibly can ask learners to label the related elements, reply questions on the textual content or ask them to pay attention and create their very own sketchnote or notes. 

Is graphic facilitation new to ELT? 

Sure and no. In some ways, we’ve been utilizing graphic facilitation in ELT for years. For instance, Jade Blue has an superior weblog submit on utilizing visuals within the ELT classroom. Visible educating methods reminiscent of graphic organisers, Venn diagrams, and thoughts maps have been round for many years. 

Likewise, drawing in school definitely isn’t new to ELT. Nonetheless, in some methods, graphic facilitation provides a fascinating twist to those visible methodologies. For instance, it makes use of metaphorical visible templates reminiscent of this highway map. That is easy (and nil prep) to attract on the whiteboard and can be utilized to point out a journey, inform a narrative, think about learner objectives and even visualise a previous or future profession path. And, after all, visualise previous and future tenses. 

How can I exploit it in school? 

One of many easiest methods to make use of it in school is to adapt digital visuals and add easy hand-drawn graphics. 

For instance, right here’s a graphic organiser from Cambridge Main Path Scholar’s Ebook 3, web page 55. This is a superb means to assist college students categorise. 

In school, you would add a touch of graphic facilitation magic by drawing one thing like this on the whiteboard: 

Ask college students so as to add their concepts to this visible template on the whiteboard utilizing post-it notes or whiteboard markers. On-line, you would draw this, add it to a whiteboard app (e.g. Jamboard or Mural) then ask college students so as to add digital post-its, icons or textual content. It naturally makes studying extra interactive and a bit completely different. College students may create their very own templates of their notebooks, or you would hand draw then photocopy one for every scholar. 

You would additionally do that with thoughts maps. Right here’s one from Cambridge Main Path Exercise Ebook 3,  web page 42. College students might first full the thoughts map of their guide. 

As an extension process, you would ask them to sketchnote it or re-draw it and add hand-drawn icons. This additional interplay offers college students time to assume critically about their studying and visualise it, growing their possibilities of remembering any new vocabulary. They’re additionally more likely to evaluate and keep in mind their notes in the event that they’re visually partaking.

What if I’m not assured with drawing? 

Graphic Facilitation isn’t about being inventive, however about getting your level throughout. It focuses on creating a visible vocabulary of straightforward icons. Identical to studying a language, when you’ve realized to attract round 100 (or so) of those rapidly, you’ll acquire confidence and be capable of talk visually. 

You’ll discover that my polar bear is not at all excellent, but it surely’s apparent what it’s speculated to be! College students don’t wish to watch a instructor spending without end drawing – fast and communicative is the purpose. Actually, imperfection can create laughter and provides college students the arrogance to attract. ‘Really feel the concern and draw anyway’ is my motto. 

In the event you’d like to realize confidence in drawing for the classroom, there are many course choices accessible on my web site. 

Can’t I simply search on-line for photographs? 

Once I first began educating, I drew lots, however I finished once I realised I might rapidly search the web for a picture. Displaying college students visuals this manner is useful, however when you show one thing else in your display screen, the picture is gone and the supportive factor is misplaced. In the event you add drawings subsequent to new vocabulary on the whiteboard, they’ll keep there for almost all of the category, and college students can copy them to their very own notebooks. 

Hand-drawn photographs have the added bonus of bringing a contact of pleasure to the classroom and you’ll keep away from by accident displaying offensive or embarrassing content material!

Do you utilize any of the visible educating methods talked about on this weblog submit? We’d love to listen to your ideas and concepts. Share them within the feedback.