Thursday, 11 June 2009

Flickr groups for Languages: Getting Relevant and Stimulating Visuals in your Lessons

Looking for suitable visuals for languages lesson is often a time-consuming experience but the impact on classes is often worth it. I have been using Flickr creative commons search, which is a source of many interesting and visually stimulating materials.

What makes a good picture for language teaching?
*clear picture of one object if the picture is illustrating a vocabulary item
*obvious cultural link e.g. if I am teaching about houses in Spain, I want to show pictures from different Spanish-speaking countries and use them as an opportunity to raise cultural awareness: different styles, colours, materials, size of garden, fences, balcony, tiles….
*strange, “Arty” picture to make an impact particularly to teach cognates or words for concepts.
As a result a lot of searching is necessary…

Some time ago, I joined the Images4Education Flickr group and a number of other languages group. The aim of the groups is to share visuals that could be used to teach languages. I also blogged about the project here.

Ideas to get authentic pictures
Members of the group could take pictures “on demand” through contacts developed through the group. The origin of the pictures can be identified easily and the group pool can easily be searched by topic if correct tagging habits are encouraged.

I was particularly interested to find out about @aliceayel 's new Flickr group, Images to Teach Languages as it already has a great number of pictures. The group currently has 35 members and 375 shared items.

How do I go about joining the group?
Join flickr at and join the group

and share your pictures to teach languages. Remember to tag the pictures by topics as well as describing what is on the picture.

Hoping to see very soon your contributions to the group pool...

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