I have to admit that I am a flashcard fan. There is definitely a place for them within the classroom. We cannot take for granted that our students actually understand the vocabulary we are using, especially true of our ESL students. As basic as the words we are using may seem to us, there will be many students who have neither seen or heard these words before.
One of my problems with flashcards when using them with ESL students, is the fact that many of them are cartoon illustrations. This can make learning these words more difficult, as often the pictures are unclear. I am always on the look out for flashcards that use photographs. I do often take photos myself and I do enjoy creating my own, but honestly time is a factor. There are many options available online and there is no point reinventing the wheel.
There are also many uses for flashcards, not simply going through them each day out the front.
- Find them and print off 2 copies to create a memory game.
- Sort the flashcards into groups.
- Use them as story starters or silly sentences.
- Depending on the size, make some bingo boards.
- Give students each one flashcard and hide the rest around the classroom. Ask students to search for their matching pair.
- Ask students to find a real life object that matches their flashcard e.g. Colours flashcards, Find something blue. Go outside and find birds that match their flashcard etc.
- Duplicate the flashcards and play Snap.
Click here for flashcards of Australian Animals on www.kidsparkz.com. This is a fantastic site full of many resources, not just flashcards. Well worth a lookMake sure you check back soon for more.