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Teaching Aids. Audio-Visual Aids.
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Audio-Visual Aids Audio-visual aids are defined as means of learning and communication. All such aids which help the learners learn though ears, eyes or both more easily and effectively are known as audio-visual aids. But this term is no more limited to learning through ears and eyes only; it includes all such media and devices which may help the learners learn thoroughly. The main purpose of using educational media is to make learning interesting and effective and to enhance the retention power of students.
Learners have their own styles of learning and they learn differently at different times. As they differ in physical and mental traits so do they in affective and learning potentials. If some have dominant ears, others have dominant eyes and still others have dominant muscles. The successful teacher is the one who resorts to different devices and materials to satisfy and exploit the learning potentials of all categories of students at one and the same time.
Another justification of using educational media is the individual differences among the teachers who differ a lot in teaching styles and capabilities. Some are more verbal and vocal than others. Many are more imaginative and resourceful than their colleagues. These differences can best be bridged by providing and using educational media in schools.
Advantages of Using Audio-Visual Aids • They help in clarifying difficult concepts and facilitate understanding by learners. • They bring variety to teaching process and enhance students’ interest. • They motivate the learners to learn enthusiastically and attentively.
They make teaching economical. The concepts which need hundreds of words to explain can be explained more effectively by drawing an illustration or showing a picture or a graph. • They provide relief to the teachers in the sense that they have to talk less in the class. • They stimulate self-activity on the part of the students and increase their active participation in lesson.
Types of Audio-Visual Aids The teachers of English may use different aids at different times keeping in view their situation and teaching contents. However, teaching the right aid at the right moment for the right boy will remain a challenge for teachers’ skillfulness.
1. Objects and Models The use of real objects has proved to be very effective in conducting oral work in the class and in introducing new vocabulary. The teacher can use the objects available in the classroom and can also bring lost of items from outside the school. Objects can be used in a variety of ways. They can be used for introducing nouns, adjectives, teaching comparatives, e.g., heavier, lighter; bigger, smaller; taller, shorter.
They can also be used for practising prepositions on, in, at, into, above, below, etc. Objects can also be used for teaching verbs and practising tenses., e.g. • I’m eating an apple. • He is polishing his shoes. • She is taking water. • He has a stick in his hand. • She is carrying a bag.
2. pupils In addition to the lifeless objects the teacher can use his pupils for demonstration and miming. They can be used for teaching nouns like names of the parts of a body, adjectives like tall ,short, heavy, light, curly and straight hair, fat, thin, and colours like blue eyes, green jacket, black shoes, white thobe, red ghutra. They can be used while teaching action verbs like sit, stand, bend, run, kick, swim, limp, laugh, smile, frown, yawn, cut, bite, wash, wear, jump, hop, rub, shut, open, sleep, see, score, win.
3. Blackboard It is the most important aid for teaching a language. It is hard to introduce new vocabulary and structures without writing them on the blackboard. Blackboard is a must for teaching spelling, punctuation and the art of writing. Grammar cannot be taught without writing examples on the board. Blackboard is inevitable for introducing written work and explaining pupils’ mistakes. Substitution drills, illustrations, graphs, contests, learning games, and many other activities need a good and large blackboard. Blackboard can also be used for hanging charts and displaying pictures.
How to use the blackboard Proper use of the blackboard means that the teacher should start with a clean board and leave it clean for the next teacher. He should write the date and the period, the unit and the lesson in the right hand corner of the board. He should write new words and phrases in one column and new patterns and sentences in the other. The third column should be left for drawing illustrations, writing examples and giving explanations. Some space should be earmarked for hanging posters and displaying pictures.
The teacher should write legibly in a bold hand so that the learners sitting at the back find no difficulty in reading from the distance. He should be careful about alignment, spellings and punctuation marks while writing and should immediately proof-read what he has written on the board. He should be careful about spellings and slips of chalk. He should address the boys while writing on the board and read out what he writes and should not stand long with his face to the board and back to the students. He should frequently turn around, talk to the boys and then write.
He should avoid over-writing or squeezing in the words or letters. He should better rub and write again. He should use a good quality dustless chalk or a marker and a duster as well. He should never rub the board with his fingers. Though most of writing on the board is done by the teacher himself, he can encourage his students to come forward to the board and write or draw on the aboard as and when necessary. Students possessing artistic skills can draw on behalf of their teachers.
4. Posters and Picture Charts Posters can carry illustrations and pictures. They can also have words and sentences written on them. Posters can be prepared by the teachers in addition to those provided by the Ministry of Education. Students’ help can be sought in making posters. Picture charts are considered helpful in introducing new vocabulary and revising the previous lessons. They play an important role in conducting good oral work and developing conversation skills. Charts can be profitably used for developing stories, writing paragraphs, drilling vocabulary and phrases, teaching grammar and making final recapitulation.
Posters should always be hung in the center of the board. They should be visible from all sides of the classroom. Pictures on the charts should be big enough and colourful. Material should be well presented and written in bold handwriting. The teacher should stand at a distance so as not to hide the poster by standing in front of it.
5. Flash Cards Flash cards are recommended in promoting reading skills and improving learners’ speed of perception. The word flash indicates that the card should be presented like a flash and then removed from the scene before asking the students if they were able to read the word given on the card. The card should then be shown back to the students to check if their response was correct or not.
But flash cards can also used for other activities like introducing new words, practising, revising and consolidating the vocabulary. Words should be written on one side of the card in bold handwriting. Cards should be prepared neatly on decent thick paper and the size of the card should be about 20 cm long and 12 cm wide. For lower classes cards can have words on one side and pictures on the other. Flash cards can be used for pair work, group work, learning games, team competition and quick revision.
6. Picture Cards The imaginative and resourceful teachers generally keep an eye on picture magazines, children’s journals, shopping catalogues, commercial advertisements appearing in newspapers and many other available resources from where they can easily find lovely colourful pictures relevant to their English language curriculum and useful for enriching learners’ language skills. Such pictures can be cut out of the magazines, newspapers and catalogues and mounted on cards or charts to be used in the classroom situations from time to time.
These picture cards can be used for various purposes like enriching vocabulary, revising structures and tenses, practising articles and prepositions, drilling pronunciation like hat – hut, ship – sheep, pen – pan, ball – bowl, head – heart, etc. Pictures of animals, fruit, dresses, vegetables, stationery items make interesting points for conversation.
7. Audio Cassettes and Tape Recorders Audio cassettes are essential for developing learners’ listening ability and improving their pronunciation and intonation. They provide fun as well as training in phonology. The learners can have the rare opportunity of listening to the spoken English in native speakers’ voice and accent.
Tapes can be used for developing oral reading skills and practising dialogues. Different varieties of spoken English, e.g., British, American and Arab can be brought into the classroom for comparison and recreation. English textbooks are accompanied by the relevant audio-cassettes which are provided to the teachers by the Ministry of education free of cost and the tape recorders are also available in schools. Cassettes can also be used for dictation purposes.
8. Video- Tapes and Television Videotapes are multi-dimensional and have greater impact on learners who can learn simultaneously by seeing and hearing. The current American textbook series are essentially accompanied by video-tapes which can be played by the teacher at appropriate time during each lesson. The learners can enjoy actions of the dialogues, copy the movements of speakers while practising pronunciation and learn the lesson in a much lively manner.
9. Computer Programs American textbook series are supplied in a package which carry computer discs in addition to the audio and videocassettes. The schools where the classroom are equipped with computers, the teacher can use the relevant discs while teaching a particular lesson from the book. The discs contain the whole text which can be flashed on the computer screen alongwith the characters participating in conversation and question answer session.
The learners have the facility to listen, to see, to repeat, to answer and to go back to any portion of the lesson they like. It provides a very interesting way of learning and the teacher’s role is to organize and guide.