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Secondary English - New Vocabulary - Magic ink

Uploaded by Sanderin van Hazebrouck, Pädagogische Hochschule Heidelberg (Germany)


The overall aim of this lesson in a lower secondary classroom was to discover new vocabulary in the wild animals field. After repeating animal vocabulary they already knew and talking about habitats, the leaners now discover new animals with the help of the magic ink tool, revealing the image underneath a black layer of ink on the IWB screen.



Target language: English

Resource language: German

Native language of learners: German

Age range: 8+

Language level: A1 - beginner

Educational context: Secondary Education

IWB Features: Hide & Reveal, Image, Other

Teaching methods: Whole class questioning

Language area: Vocabulary

IWB board used: Promethean

Teacher comment

Teacher: The children were very excited; there was a kind of tension, and they didn't know what was happening right, what was going on. Okay, I know that maybe from TV in quiz shows that you think "What is that behind that black thing?", and "Oh, it's something I can see!" The kids were really quiet and really concentrated on one thing. And I think it is much better to work with an IWB than with, for example, an overhead projector, because it would be too much work, too many things you have to do, that you have to handle. And again, the children are used to computers and maybe even more than some of the teachers. So this is one of the advantages of the whiteboard in this sequence. And again, as I remember it, they were very concentrated and they liked this little game.

Interviewer: And what tools were you using or how did you do that in this extract?

Teacher: I used the pictures and the black layer and then with the rubber you can show only parts of the animal. And then the learners could guess. Most of them didn't know the English word, but this is a way of teaching them the new vocabulary. They know the German word and then, well, they want to know the English word. So this makes them kind of curious and they are happy to learn. So they are like: "Oh, I see it's an Igel but I don't know the English word so I want to know the English word."

Interviewer: So did you think the IWB encouraged this process of learning and if so in which way?

Teacher: Of course it did, because you can't do the quiz like that without the IWB. And again, this is something which is part of their daily life. They are used to quiz shows like that, they are used to computers, and they are used to games like that. So, I think this is one of the reasons why it encourages them, because of the effect the new media has on them.

Interviewer: So you would choose this part with the white-out effect or magic ink effect.

Teacher: Yes, the magic ink effect. And you can do things like that again, I love that, to make the smiley, to make something funny in between, so that they can laugh and do something. And this is also something you could not do with an overhead projector. And I think it is important to also have the part with the jumbled words, because I think you need to let them do something with the IWB afterwards. I would say that all sequences were fun for them.

Learner comments

Schüler 4: Ja, wenn man da auch die Bilder da sieht, dann ist das einfacher.

Learner 4: Yes when you also see the pictures it is always easier.

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iTILT is a European project on Interactive Technologies in Language Teaching which focuses on the use of interactive whiteboards in the communicative language classroom. If you have comments or questions about this project please contact us.