Sunday, February 17, 2008

Preparing Unique Flash Cards to Stimulate Your English Language Learners Vocabulary

Any Experienced EFL Teacher Knows

Any experienced EFL teacher knows that flash cards in several different forms are not only handy and useful in the English language learning classroom, but are highly effective, versatile and fun. They’re also cheap to acquire or produce and, in fact, could even be made by the learners themselves.

They can be used to drill learners in the English (or other foreign language) alphabet, placed face down for concentration games as well as being used to memorize vocabulary elements, images, phrases or even grammar aspects. Indeed, what class room could be considered to be fully equipped without at least one or two sets of language element-related flash cards? You can prepare digital versions of your favorites for use online.

Useful and Versatile

The usefulness and versatility of flash cards virtually assures that they will never become “outdated” as an EFL or foreign language learning didactic tool. But with a new twist, an added “spin” or two along with a dash of imagination, they leap to the fore as a welcome addition to the English teaching repertoire of any ELT professional. The idea is to “think outside the box” just a bit and come up with a deck of flash cards which is more creative than your current ones. What do your English language learners like? What are their interests, favorite actors, actresses, entertainers, comic book or cartoon characters and sports personalities? Who’s “hot” in the news or in the minds of your English learners? Your English language learners’ ages, grade levels and interests will determine what’s most useful for them. Why not try using these characters and personalities as flash card images?

For Example, How About …

How about something more intriguing like:

• “A” is for Angelina Jolie, Abraham Lincoln, Al Capone or Antonio Banderas
• “B” is for Batman, Barney, Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis or Bart Simpson

There’s also Bill Gates, Bob Marley, Mr. Bean and Bugs Bunny – get the idea?

• “D” is for Princess Diana, Dare Devil or Dexter
• “E” is for Einstein, Evel Knievel, Elvis Presley or Elton John
• “F” is for the Fantastic Four, Felix the Cat, Fidel Castro or Frank Sinatra
• “G” is for George Clooney or George W. Bush
• “H” is for Homer Simpson, Halle Berry or Harrison Ford
• “I” is for Ironman
• “J” is for Julia Roberts, Juanes, James Bond or Juan Pablo Montoya
• “K” is for Kaliman
• “L” is for the Lion King
• “M” is for Michael Jackson, Malcolm X, Marilyn Monroe or Michael Jordan

There’s also Mickey Mouse, Mike Tyson, or Martin Luther King

• “O” is for Oprah Winfrey or 007
• “P” is for Pele, Pamela Anderson, Pokemon, Paris Hilton or the Power Puff Girls
• “S” is for Shakira, Shaggy, Superman, Spiderman or Snow White

There’s also Shakespeare, Salvador Dali or Stan and Oliver

• “T” is for Tupac Shakur
• “U” is for Underdog
• “W” is for Winnie the Pooh or Whoopi Goldberg
• “X” is for the X-men
• “Z” is for Zidane or Zorro

These are just some ideas for starters. Well, you didn’t expect me to do ALL the work for you now, did you? Surely you get the idea and your English learners will happily fill in the rest of these and many, many others for you. Don’t worry, this will truly be a snap. Try this with your English or other foreign language classes and you’ll have one or more sets of “celebrity” flash cards ready to use by this time next week.

For some of my greatest tips, tricks and techniques for quickly and easily learning virtually any of the world's 6912 living languages just go to:

Larry M. Lynch is an English language teaching and learning expert author and university professor in Cali, Colombia. Now YOU too can live your dreams in paradise, find romance, high adventure and get paid while travelling for free. For more information on the lucrative, fascinating field of teaching English as a Foreign Language, get your copy of his no-cost, full multi-media, hypertext-linked pdf ebook, “If You Want to Teach English Abroad, Here’s What You Need to Know” by sending an e-mail to with "free ELT Ebook" in the subject line. Need professional, original content and photos or images for your blog, newsletter, e-zine or website? Want more information, have a comment or special request? Contact the author by e-mail for a prompt response.


Victoria Eugenia Carrillo said...

The use of teaching materials in the teaching of English language agrees with the latest trend of using so-called "anchors" that the NeuroLing├╝istic Programming theory recommends, either by association or similar concepts between either association between dissimilar concepts but in sharp contrast, this is good for students because communication can be done with visual contents, hearing contents and kinesthetic contents to reach all audiences. All previous concepts are common to most of the theories about the teaching learning processes that have appeared over time.

Fercho said...

Flash cards are important elements to teach vocabulary and to develop communicative skills. They are focus on repeating, memorizing, reading or listening, besides other skills. The teacher must plan this activity with a very specific objective according to the students level. They can be used with a puzzle, too where the meanings are in the words given by the teacher.