Friday, March 02, 2012

Interactive Whiteboard in Teaching English To Young Learners

"IWBs are seen as a valuable tool supporting interactive whole class teaching, the focus of some attention in recent years. One of the reasons this is seen as desirable is that it provides an ICT alternative to rooms with banks of computers which came to be seen as giving individuals access to technology yet reinforcing the idea that using ICT is something apart from rather than integrated into the normal work of the class (Ofsted, 2004)".

"IWBs are widely perceived to improve teaching and learning, adding value to the learner's experience in the classroom and increasing motivation (Kennewell and Morgan, 2003).

But, it is better to see an example!  At school Joan Marques Casals, in Terrassa, near Barcelona, one of the English teachers, Josep Ramon Vidal has opened the doors of his classroom to share with us the experience of teaching English as a second language, to a group of young learners (Year 1), with the support of an InteractiveWhiteboard.

Interactive White Boards used in the ESL classes ...
  • add a "wow" factor to the class as learners appreciate modern technology;
  • allow for productive whole class teaching by providing a visually engaging presentation tool;
  • allow for interactivity by making use of the different ways of manipulating the applications that are running on the screen - for example, layering pictures or text, overwriting, highlighting, hiding, revealing, dragging and dropping text, pictures etc.;
  • allow the learners to manipulate the information on the screen. They can do this from their seat, taking the pen or using the fingers and working at the IWB in front of the class;
  • allow for the showcasing of learners' presentations;
  • give us an electronic flipchart with as many pages as we want;
  • allow us to prepare multiple electronic flipchart pages before the class and to select the order of presentation. We can add text or drawings to the pages according to how the learners respond and revise the lesson by reviewing the flipchart sequence page by page;
  • allow for a vast array of text type, colour, symbols, pictures, hyperlinks to sound files, video clips and internet pages to be incorporated;
  • support different learning preferences – allowing for visual, auditory and kinaesthetic input - it has been said that the IWB is where VAK meets ICT;
  • give us quality computer graphics which allow for the visualisation of concepts otherwise difficult to represent;
  • are claimed to improve levels of information retention;
  • allow us print off anything that appears on the board and give copies to the learners.
Any comments?
Any new interesting ideas to work with IWB with VYL of English?
Suggestions will be welcomed!


    1. For young learners, one of the fastest ways to teach them is by giving them illustrations of what you are teaching to them. Providing visual stimuli is one of the best avenues for expression, as it the students to have a clear image of the concept in their heads. Visual presentation can get their attention and be more interested to focus in their study.

      *Sam Jephson

    2. Completely agree, Sam! A visual stimulus is probably the most important one in Kindergarten and Primary. Of course we don't have to forget about audio and kinaesthetic input. Concept visualisation is the key in education!