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December 01, 2007

Tips and Tricks- Using color

Hello Readers,

A few weeks ago, we explored some of the different learning styles that have been identified. This week, let's take a look at one particular strategy that works especially well with visual learners, which is using color ...

... to aid memory.

In your initial teacher training, you may have learned to always carry different colored markers with you, so that you can, for example, write your vocabulary words on one side of the board with one color and mark the stress of each word with another. Another way us teachers often use color to help our students is to write sample sentences with one color and then mark the parts of speech with another.

But what can our students do to help themselves?

Some suggest that students take notes in class and then go through them afterwards to highlight them with different colors, for example, perhaps the main ideas in red and the key sub-points with blue.

Another suggestion is for students to make their own flashcards using color. They can use different colored paper for different parts of speech, for example car, cat, and cab could all be put on blue paper since they are all nouns while dream, drink, and dust could all be put on yellow paper since they are all verbs. Or, students can use white paper for all their flashcards, but underline/highlight/write the words with different colored markers depending on their word type.

Finally, all students could benefit from analyzing the difference between notes that are organized and written neatly and notes that are not. If the notes are difficult to read, chances are they won't be read again. So, in addition to writing neatly, they can also do things to make their notes look appealing by, for example, highlighting the edges of each page with a colored marker.

Do you have any other suggestions for using color to aid memory? Feel free to share your ideas here.

Hope that helps.

Carol Rueckert
Writer, ESL Lesson Plan
E-mail: crueckert@eslemployment.com
Blog: www.esl-lesson-plan.com

"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand." - Chinese Proverb

*For more ESL Tips & Tricks from ESL-Lesson-Plan, please click HERE!

About the author of this entry:
Carol, a native English-speaker hailing from the small town of St. Joseph in Minnesota, USA, worked in China for more than 7 years. During that time, she worked at universities, private language schools, grade schools, international schools, and did private tutoring as well. Besides teaching, she also worked as a Head teacher, an Education Manager, and a Material Development Manager. In addition to working on this newsletter, she also writes a monthly column for Time Out Beijing, authors ESL textbooks for publishing houses in China, and is an Editor for Garnet Publishing in Reading, England. Carol holds a BA in Communications from the College of St. Benedict/ St. John's University, and a CELTA, and has just finished her MA TESOL course at Oxford Brookes University. Look for her posts on the ESL-Jobs-Forum discussion boards!

Posted by crueckert at December 1, 2007 03:50 AM

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