Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Six Super Cell Phone Photo Projects Your English and Foreign Language Learners Will Love

If your learners have any high-tech imaging devices like a cell phone with photo-taking capability, a digital camera or they have a digital camcorder, you can assign them one of these six diverse high visual impact projects to help them explore not only their high-technology devices, but boost their EFL (English as a foreign language) production skills as well.

1. A Scavenger Hunt

Assign your English as a Foreign Language learners to get digital photos of from 10 to 20 or so items. Locations of these items should be in or near the classroom and well within the school or institute facility campus. Photos of what, you might ask? Here are some suggested topics:

- Close-ups
- Occupations
- Colors
- Landscapes
- Nature
- Technology

2. A Rainbow

No, not necessarily a real one, but EFL learners will photograph illustrations of the different colors that can be found in objects all around them. Start with the basic colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, gray, brown, black and white.

3. Verb Illustrations

The idea here is to show verbs in a staged or natural photo. You can specify regular or irregular verbs like jump, run, play, talk, walk, sing, laugh, or whatever others you may wish or leave the choice open to the English language learners. I’ve often found this last option to be more interesting and diverse for both the EFL learners and me.

4. Different Viewpoints

How can you photograph something from the viewpoints of over, under, around, through, on, beside, behind, across from or between? Let your EFL learners figure it all out and record their ideas. Hopefully you’ll get shots from worm’s eye views to bird’s eye views and a plethora of views in between.

5. Photojournalism

For this multi-faceted project learners shoot up to half a dozen or so photographs to illustrate a short written or spoken discourse to be presented in class. This could be in small groups, in pairs of learners or individually prepared by each EFL learner.

6. Abstracts
If it worked for Salvadore Dali and Pablo Picasso, why shouldn’t it work for your EFL learners as well? They will base their abstract photos on a particular color or other theme selected either by you – or even better yet – by the learners. And oh yes, you might want to pre-approve themes and topics first. Why? To avoid any incidences of “objectionable” or borderline obscene content of any type, that’s why.

So if your EFL learners have a cell phone with photo-taking capability, or they have a digital camera, one of these diverse projects can help them to sharpen their visual-spatial multiple intelligence abilities and aid in boosting their English as a foreign language skills too.

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an English language teaching and learning expert author and university professor in Cali, Colombia. For more information on entering into or advancing in the fascinating field of ELT send for his no-cost pdf Ebook, “If You Want to Teach English Abroad, Here’s What You Need to Know”, send an e-mail with "free ELT Ebook" in the subject line. For comments, questions, requests, to receive more information or to be added to his free TESOL articles and teaching materials mailing list, e-mail: lynchlarrym@gmail.com

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