Infographics can be used when you want to get across a big idea or make a point to learners. Concepts that are tricky for ENL learners might lend themselves well to an infographic. Or, if you have facts that are hard to learn, teachers might investigate how they might be turned into an infographic.
Educators, as well as students, need to be able to comprehend and evaluate graphical and visual information. According to Matrix and Hodson (2014), “even those students who are part of the Facebook generation, growing up participating in a highly visual online culture do not necessarily have the skills to engage critically and effectively with images and media in an academic environment.”
For ENL educators, using and creating infographics will not only develop ENL students’ visual literacy skills but also support ENL students by providing comprehensible input, make sense of and evaluate concepts through visual information.
Through the activity of designing a visual representation of complex ideas, candidates will engage with the content in a sustained manner, possibly deepening their understanding of it (Matrix & Hodson, 2014).
Paige Herman, a Long Island public school elementary educator, currently pursues her master’s degree in TESOL at Touro College, GSE. The Touro TESOL master’s degree will enable her to better serve diverse linguistic communities and offer an empowering, culturally sensitive education for all her students.
My infographic discusses verb tenses, which include past, present, and future. Using my infographic students will be able to identify what is meant by an action that happened in the past, present, or future. Students will also be able to figure out how to change the base verb to accurately match the tense the sentence requires. This infographic is meant for students in second grade or older. Based on the common core standards, second-grade students should be able to form and use verbs in the past, present, and future tense, including irregular past tense verbs. This standard is built upon in third and fourth grade and is to be used with complete accuracy by fifth grade, as per the ELA language standards. For ENL students the infographic would be beneficial for those at the early intermediate – intermediate level of proficiency. At this level, students should be able to respond and communicate with others in many social settings and an increasing amount of academic situations. Verb tense is an essential part of building their ability to communicate and understand others.
I would use this to aide all my students in learning and remembering the varying verb tenses. This would be a beneficial tool during any reading, writing, grammar, or language activity. It could be hung in the classroom as a reference or students could keep personal sized ones in their desks with other helpful writing handouts. Students would be able to refer back to them any time they needed to be reminded of which tense to use or how to change the verb. For my ENL students, this would be especially useful because the way to conjugate a verb differs among each language, but verbs are an essential aspect of communicating in English. That is why it is important to teach students about verb tenses. This infographic supports that learning and acts as a colorful guide for reinforcing when to use each verb tense and how to alter the verb to make a sentence grammatically correct.
This infographic represents the three types of verb tenses: past, present, and future. It is broken into three sections that will allow these tenses to be compared to one another. Each section highlights when the tense would be used, how to change the base verb to match the tense and some examples of what the changed verb would look like in a sentence. This provides students with ample information on how and when to use each verb tense. Each of the different tenses is broken into its own section and distinguished by its own color. As you can see the past is shown in the green section, the present is shown in the red section, and the future is shown in the yellow section. The colors are bright and inviting while still allowing students to be able to quickly locate the section they need guidance with. Within each section, the tense is printed largely and clearly at the top. On the left-hand side is when the student would use this verb tense and an arrow that acts as a picture clue for when in time the verb would be used. To the right of this the student can find how to change the verb based on the tense and below that are examples. The information is clearly portrayed in each section in white, large, Helvetica font that makes it easy to read for the students. I chose the font because I felt like it was clear and did not squeeze any of the words in. I chose white font color because I wanted it to greatly contrast the colorful backgrounds so the words were easier to read.
One of the most difficult aspects of creating this infographic was figuring out what information about the topic I wanted to include. There are more details that I could have presented within each of the verb tenses, but I wanted to make the information clear and comprehensible to students. Overloading the infographic with too many words and information would make it difficult for the students to understand and utilize it. Figuring out what information to include helped me to realize how much information each “little” topic in language and language development encompasses. Prior to this, I thought of verb tense as a straightforward concept. Taking the time to delve into it you see how many variables are really involved. This is important for us to understand as teachers of students who may not have English as their first language. Another challenge I faced with the infographic was simply creating it. Once I planned and figured out the topic and content I wanted to include I had to figure out how to create it. Using the Visme website was a brand new experience for me. Luckily the website came with a quick tutorial that showed me the basics of what I would need. Other than that the majority of my familiarity came from just trying all the different tools as well as changing and moving things until I liked how they look. This took a lot of attempts, time, and effort, but I think the end product is worth it. Now that the infographic is created it is exciting to think about how I can use this in my own classroom and share it with other teachers in my building.
Create Interactive Online Presentations, infographics, animations & banners in HTML5 – Visme by Easy WebContent. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.visme.co/
National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers. (2010). Common Core State Standards for English language arts and literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. Washington, DC: Authors.
Verb Tenses. (2019, July 19). Retrieved from https://www.grammarly.com/blog/verb-tenses/