New technologies have opened new opportunities in order to integrate multimedia visual aids in the language classroom. Visual aids are key ingredients in teaching English as a foreign language. When students verbalize their ideas, listen to one another, share authentic discussion, and create common products with the help of visual aids, they are much more actively engaged in the learning process. There are a multitude of ways that a teacher can arrange using visual items and the effective teacher may choose to implement different strategies for different outcomes. Visual materials can be defined in many ways such as pictures, diagram posters, realias, symbols, short videos and flashcards that help learners to understand the topic, or in a broader sense as anything teacher shows learners in a classroom. The use of multimedia visuals, such as slide-presentations or videobased activities was relegated to special occasions, or not even used every lesson. Most of the language teachers seem to agree that the use of visuals can intensify language teaching. As they help teachers to bring the real world into the classroom, they make learning more meaningful and more exciting
Visuals have been an important component of the language classes over the years. To be exact, the use of visuals aids for presenting, training, and teaching languages has been around since the 20th century, consisting mainly of film strips, pictures, slides and pass-around objects. They have been considered a useful tool for teachers in almost every trend of second language teaching.  Teachers can see a great result of using visual aids compared to their an ordinary lessons without aids. Because combination of these aids have an impact on students interaction abilities, listening and attending, understanding and responding, motivation, following instructions in a class, socializing. Besides that, visuals also considered as a time-consuming item when it is integrated with grammar, speaking or listening skills. PPT presentations are very effective tool for working on mistakes. Teachers put some learners written work in PPT presentation in order to do correction with the whole class. Essays, reports, letters can be used in this activity, and learners try to correct their groupmates’ mistakes looking at their writings. The same activity might be integrated with speaking skills, watching some conversations and writing their mistakes, then learners discuss it. When teachers show short videos related to their lesson’s topic, students have a chance to imagine and understand the topic better. Short videos can be integrated with quizzes or exercises on this topic. Producing a new generation of language learning or revising exercises is essential part of teaching as a self-development. Creating new exercises is renewing teaching style into modern technological lessons.
A bright example of visuals is diagram posters. Learners can easily understand even the complicated grammar rules, phrases or collocations when they have a picture of this topics. It helps them to remember exceptions in rules and while producing written or oral speech they visualize it. Another idea is using “Town or City maps”. Maps can be used with speaking skills to improve the interaction or social communication of students in their real lives. For example: Taking maps in front of their seats and give them some tasks. Tasks might be asking the directions to get to somewhere in the town or city. Learners use their fantasy and answer their partners using prepositions of places, directions and time. It is the best way to focus on making dialogues, small talks or conversations. The oral-situational approach, dominating in Britain in the middle of the last century, insisted on learning language situationally. Concrete objects, pictures, realia, charts and flashcards were widely used in the classroom to promote real life contexts. This method considered that audiovisual technology is a great contribution to help teaching. Students were taught through a combination of textbooks, filmstrips, tape-recordings, slides and classroom presentation.
In order to make them striking, pictures should have a universal interest and they must mean something for the language learners, at least they must be able to speak about it in their first language. It is important to have the learners’ preferences into account, and learners prefer colored visuals, pictures that contain a story or process, that can be related to previous lesson topics and that can be associated with places, objects, people, events or animals of which they are familiar.
Visual aids can be a helpful tool in the language classroom as they ‘help the teacher to clarify, establish, correlate and coordinate accurate concepts, interpretations and appreciations, and enable him to make learning more concrete, effective, interesting, inspirational, meaningful and vivid.
It is important to emphasize that visual tools are very useful for memory training. Some teachers who teach at primary classes use real things which are called realia in linguistics. Using real objects in teaching vocabulary is really making language memorable. Using toys, sweets and everyday life items provides learners with a good practice. They can touch, see and use realia because learners can learn the vocabulary in a practical, and make it an easy task to speak and use language in a practical way. Realia integrates vocabulary more easily identified, it brings it closer to students and makes communication more real. Also, it is more motivating to see English language in their everyday lives.
All types of visual aids are complementary ways to form the lessons more organized and implemented of cohesive teaching. Visual aids can be integrated with all language components in order to achieve a direct result of learners progress. The benefits of using visual aids in the language classroom have been researched and asserted by scholars over the years. The different approaches to language teaching have used visuals as an important tool in the language acquisition. The overview of studies carried out that visuals help to enhance the language teaching, as well as students’ comprehension of the new input. Visual aids also clarify the meaning of words and messages, help in memorizing new vocabulary, and in gaining students attention. Summarizing, visual aids are claimed to facilitate the learning process and to improve the outcomes in the language classroom.
- Ramírez García Marí,Usage of Multimedia Visual Aids in the English
- Гальскова Н. Д., Гез Н. И. Теория обучения иностранным языкам.