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Using Visual Literacy as a Language Learning Tool


When I started to develop Curved House Kids one of the goals was to create books that could reach every corner of the globe. This meant making every book easily adaptable for foreign language editions and also for language learning, including ELT/EFL. Our ‘write-your-own’ books were created with this in mind – they have pictures but no story so a child can write their book in any language they choose. Now the books are out in the world and it is an absolute thrill to hear from teachers who are using them to support language learning.

A wonderful example arrived by email today. It is from Priscilla Posada who teaches English to children at the Elele Community Center in Berlin. Priscilla used a couple of our Curved House Kids picture books – My Summer Snowman and Grandma’s Jungle Party – to develop a lesson plan for her students and she wrote to tell us how it went:

“The kids as predicted went crazy over the books. With lots of charades and some pencils, I was able to create a lesson plan out of My Summer Snowman. The kids I work with, all native German speakers, vary in age and level of exposure to English so actually having to interact with the book kept them engaged… and laughing all the while. The best part was when (spoiler alert) the snowman gets a yellow scarf. We couldn’t quite act this word out so one of the kids went on the hunt for the color yellow to show the youngest what it was :)”

Elele Community Center Curved House Kids

What a wonderful email to receive! And what’s I love most of all is that the kids and Priscilla extended the use of these books into the realm of physical acting and play. Active learning or ‘learning through play’ is known to be an excellent reinforcer for children:

“Children learn best through first-hand experiences… the purpose of play-active learning is that it motivates, stimulates and supports children in their development of skills, concepts, language acquisitions/communication skills and concentration.” – from Play/Active Learning published by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Thanks Priscilla for sharing your ideas and the wonderful writing and illustrations from your students. We are inspired!