Guided description

With this slideshow we go beyond the traditional picture description by deciding when and how we show some vocabulary and prompts to students to help them describe the picture. We can start by showing students the image and elicit some sentences and vocabulary. If they get stuck, or if we are interested in giving them some specific vocabulary or practice, then we can show the text which is hidden in a text box. On mouse click, the hidden text appears.

To see an example of this slideshow type, please download this file or watch it online below:

 

Why can this slideshow be useful for our daily ELT practice? Well, it helps us to:

  • Get students’ attention: the screen attracts their attention and the fact of giving them some help is useful to avoid the fact that some students feel lost and switch off sometimes.
  • Check previous knowledge: before showing the vocabulary, we can ask students some questions about the picture to see what structures and vocabulary they remember.
  • Activate schemata: students start thinking about the topic related to the picture.
  • Pre-teach vocabulary: we may show the vocabulary from the very beginning so that students learn it and use it.
  • Use different groupings: this can be a whole-class activity, but it can also be run as pair work, where pairs have to come up with, say, 2 or 3 sentences about the picture. Group work is also possible, especially if we set up some kind of competition (for example, build sentences about the picture using at least two of the words in the box).
  • Create challenge or opportunity: by showing the picture without any help we create a challenge, by giving students words and structures we create opportunities.

And how can you do this? Once you check which software you have on your computer, choose one of these tutorials:

Tutorial for PowerPoint 2010 users.

Tutorial for PowerPoint 2003 users.

Tutorial for Open Office users.

Interactive video tutorial (PowerPoint 2003 version)

 

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