Picture Introduction

This can be used in the very first lesson or at any point in time, really.

  1. Choose a few photos that represent something about yourself. Mine are: a chicken, the Golden Arches, a group of school kids in Japan, a mountain in Arizona, a diving mask.
  2. Put the pictures on the board (or if you have a projector, project them all) so everyone can see them all at once. Alternatively, if they are smaller, give each pair a photo which they will pass around.
  3. Tell the learners: These photos represent a part of my life in the past or present. Brainstorm with your partner what you think the connection is.
  4. Give the learners enough time, usually 10 minutes to brainstorm what they think the connection is.
  5. As a whole class ask for ideas. What is the connection to the chicken? Groups might say: Do you love to eat chicken? Do you have a pet chicken? etc. If they guess it you could give them a point. If not, give little tips like: There is a connection to one of my past jobs, until they discover the story (I worked on a chicken farm for 2 years. It was my first job. I didn’t like it and on a side note, I am now a vegetarian.).
  6. Continue playing until all the stories have been discovered.
  7. Depending on the size of the class you can ask them to show a picture (just google image search) that represents something about themselves the others don’t know. If the group is large, have them do it in small groups or pairs. If the group is small, do it as a whole class. Alternative: as homework they should bring in 3 pictures (these do not have to be pictures of themselves! They can use “stock” photos to represent the concept).

For 1-1 training this can also be used. Just ask directly: What do you think the connection is? Follow up by bouncing it back to the learner. What about you? Have you ever worked with animals? Tell me about it.

A-Z with Photos

This is great for all levels.

  1. Put the learners in pairs. Ask them to label a piece of paper with A, B, C…Z.
  2. Explain that you will show them all a photo (you might make copies for each pair or send/give them the url). They need to find a word in the photo for each letter of the alphabet (so choose a photo with a lot happening). They can use verbs, nouns or even prepositions usually.
  3. Show them the photo. Circle and help where necessary. I allow dictionaries/online dictionaries.
  4. The winner is the first group finished or when you call time, the group with the most words. You could also give points for unique words that other groups didn’t have in their list? Be creative. 🙂

1-1: This can be used in 1-1 lessons, but the trainer should allow the learner to take the lead.

Phone Pic Show and Tell

This is good for all levels and they learn not only new vocabulary when they need it but new things about their classmates.

1. Choose a photo from your phone.

2. Encourage the learners to find out as much as possible about the photo (where was it, who is in it, what are those things in the background etc.).  Feed them new vocabulary immediately as they need it (board it).  Let them “get the story”.  Clearly, selfies are not as fun as an abstract or unusual shot.

3. Have the learners show a photo from their phone and repeat.

If you have too many in the group you could either do this in pairs or have one or two people present a photo every week.

1-1: This works well in 1-1 lessons as described above.