Infographics have become one of the most effective ways to deliver facts and statistics to readers. They are visually very carefully designed to represent complex information very quickly, and that’s probably why social media is full of them.
There are online sites that offer free tools to create them yourself and, as fas as I can see, they are becoming more and more popular among teachers who see in this new form of visual representation a fantastic way to promote critical and creative thinking. Learners have the chance to represent information and create connections between ideas, just as they would do with graphs or mind maps. So, I understand why they should be playing a relevant role in classrooms nowadays. Go to Infographics in the classroom to find some ideas.
But why not use them the other way round? I propose using the infographic to produce language and express the ideas it communicates.
I think if you choose the right visual you have the media to get students using specific grammar points, vocabulary or functional language you want. Here are some ideas.
INFOGRAPHICS FOR PRACTISING LINKERS
Most visuals contain enough facts and figures to practise how to:
- add information
- contrast and compare facts
- express conditionals or cause and effect. The Wonderbag. An example of using infographics.
TAKE TWO INFOGRAPHICS ON THE SAME TOPIC AND COMPARE INFORMATION
There are many infographic websites to visit where you can choose visuals for the classoom. So, you might even come across the same content described either in a different way, or not using the same facts or figures. This means you have a great resource to use in the EFL classroom for students to compare and discuss.
CULTURAL AWARENESS ACTIVITIES
There are also infographics about festivities that we celebrate all year round. I propose giving students either individually or in groups the chance to tell each other about a specific event or holiday, or even giving a short class presentation with the visual aid of the infographic in the background.
Filed at Infographicsposters.com in Holiday Infographics
REVISE VOCABULARY OR COLLOCATIONS
Show the visual on the interactive board and cover key words you want your learners to revise. Get them to guess the word or explore collocations.
Creating a guessing game is not too demanding and might make a good warm-up to start a new content area. I would use the same mehtod as with revising lexis, but instead, it would be preferable to choose a visual that contains fun facts for learners to guess the missing information.
The advantages of using infographics.
I recommend using infographics because they are visually very powerful and perfectly adapt to the needs of an EFL classroom.
- It is a kind of media that, unlike video or audio, easily adapts to a variety of levels.
- It is relatively easy to find infographics for almost any topic, which means you will always have input available.
- The language outcome is easily predictable. So it is perfect for training a specific grammar point.
The main downside to using them is that sifting through the numerous infographics available can be time-consuming. But it can help to follow sites that design and distribute infographics and keep a collection. Also, if the class has its own pinterest account the visuals could be pinned and tracked down more easily by teachers and students.
Have you ever used infographics in your EFL classroom?