23 Oct 2008

Using flashcards in class

What is a flashcard?

A flashcard is a card which has a picture on one side and the word in the other side, or the picture and the word in one side.

What are they useful for?

They are really useful for many things, it depends on the vocabulary or grammar point you are teaching to your students. You can use them to introduce new vocabulary or to ask your students to tell a story based on the pictures shown in the flashcards. They give students interesting and challenging speaking practice. And, students can remember the vocabulary easily because they can see the image.
Using flashcards our students will be able to understand the new vocabulary without the need of translating it.

How do I make a flashcard set?

You can buy them but making them it is quite easy and cheap. You only need to buy a blank big card and do little ones. After that, you can draw the pictures if you like it, write the word with a thick pen, or crayon and put them into in a little plastic pocket to avoid they break.
If you are good at computers, you can do them easily using a word processor, searching for pictures on the net since there are a lot of them, and finally, writing the word. Besides, there are free flashcards in some links I have posted in the blog.

Flashcards games

1. What is missing? (school objects or another topic)

The teacher puts the set of cards on the table. Then, the teacher asks to a student:
Have you got a pen? The student answers: Yes, I have got. Then, he/she goes to the table, takes the flashcard with a pen, and gives it to the teacher saying: Here you are. The teacher asks him/her to stick the card on the board. When all the cards are on the board, the teacher asks a student to leave the class. Then, another student takes a card and hide it. After that, all the class says: Come in to the student who is out, and ask him/her What is missing? The student has to guess it.

2. Who is who? (yes / no questions)

The students sit down in a circle. The, the teacher sticks a flashcard with a famous person picture on each student's forehead. After that the teacher asks one student to start making a question to guess who is him/her. For example: Am I an actor? They only can ask yes/no questions but not the question "Am I a girl or a boy? They game finish when everybody has guessed the character.

3. Tell a story (past simple)

Divide the students in groups of 3 or 4. Give to each group some cards with interesting pictures to retell a story in the past simple. They have to put the cards in order and then, make up an story with them and tell it to the rest of the class. They have to reward the best story.
You will find great ESL/EFL Flashcards Website on my blog right column. And if you are interested in more ideas related to flashcards to use in the classroom you shouldn't miss this site: TOP ENGLISH TEACHING


beautiful ideas..came across a set some flash cards which I have found interesting and wanted to share it!


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