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I’ve recently asked people to tell me if they do drawing with their English language learners, and if so, how they do this. My fora so far have been in comments on this blog, on Twitter and on Facebook. Some of these places are pretty ephemeral (you just try finding that tweet you read last week!), so I thought I would collect what has been said so far.

If you fancy adding to the discussion, you can leave a comment below, @ message or DM me on Twitter (@harrisonmike), or pop along to my Page on Facebook, Mike Harrison’s Blog.

Here’s what has been said so far on Facebook:

Do you use drawing in your classroom? If so, what do you use it for and what do you and/or your students draw? If you don’t draw, why not?

Tyson Seburn: I used to, but at one point or another, started to feel it a little juvenile for the contexts I was teaching in. I tend to draw one-offs here and there myself to help explain something, but also have felt that having students do so used up time I’d rather have them practising and producing the language. Having said this, I’ve read lately and can see the value of doing so from time to time if it’s facilitating understanding.

Vladka Michalkova: Hi Mike, I love drawing and try to make my students draw as often as possible. We usually draw flashcards-phrasal verbs, idioms, phrases and so on (we keep them and use for revision after some time). I also have my favourite drawing activity for the first lessons (i think i mentioned it sometime in September) and from time to time we draw something as a review of vocabulary-their notebooks usually.

Anyway, I was thinking do you have any nice ideas on GRAMMAR drawing? I am [not] talking about timelines, charts and stuff like that but “real” drawings. 😀

Me: I don’t have anything explicitly on that, but Jamie Keddie does: Passive drawings
A nice pecha kucha of his too:

Ian James: Sketchcast is a really nice tool which enables students to do a bit of online drawing accompanied by a recorded commentary. I blogged about one possible use here Please pardon shameful self-promotion! 🙂

Miguel Mendoza: I used to draw massively in the classroom! For example, I used to draw to introduce certain grammar aspects (e.g. Present Continuous/ Comparative-Superlative) and for easy-to-draw new words (e.g. dog / “however” how can you draw that)…I also used drawing for asking students to listen to the description of, say, an object and represent that on paper…In my good old times, teaching general english (I am currently teaching ESP), I even went further and design a whole book-like material for children and draw all the pictures myself…!!!!!:)

Dave Dodgson: I draw on the board to explain unknown words (where appropriate). My students also draw on the board if they are struggling to find the English word for something (I usually knowthe translation of the Turkish word they say but I push a bit them to draw and explain it ;))

While here’s what was said earlier today on Twitter:

Me: Has anyone had a really good/bad experience of using drawing in the language classroom? Would love to hear from you. Pls RT

@AnnaMusielak: RT @harrisonmike Has anyone had a really good/bad experience of using drawing in the language classroom? Would love to hear from you. PlsRT

@FaizaK: @harrisonmike Here are a few examples where students have used drawing to learn difficult English words

@SueAnnan: @harrisonmike I can’t draw so I do have my students in fits sometimes. have to be especially careful with thermometers 😉

@vladkaslniecko: @SueAnnan @harrisonmike I try to draw with them regularly, we have a box with their drawings.. and they remember phrasals/idioms better

@SueAnnan: @vladkaslniecko @harrisonmike I use cartoons a lot for idioms

@sabz17: @harrisonmike Pictionary when playing in two teams using the whiteboard worked well last week, except when I was asked to draw a sledge!

Thanks very much everyone for adding to the discussion. If anyone reading this has any other tips and ways of using drawing (or reasons for not drawing at all), I would be really interested to hear from you. =)