The iTILT criteria for the design of IWB based material for the foreign language classroom includes the following suggestion:
“Flipcharts should allow space for students' contributions and ideas in order to allow adequate room for learner experimentation and discovery. For instance, by including opportunities to redirect instruction and/or content based on learner feedback, and the inclusion of open-ended questions.”
Legutke and Thomas (1991: 8-9) believe that learners need to be stimulated into speaking, given room to speak for themselves and to use language in communicative encounters, to find solutions to relevant problems.
Let's look at some classroom clips that demonstrate instances where a teacher has used the IWB to help build in this element of personalisation into the lesson plan or has allowed for learners to connect in ways described above.
This clip of B1 Spanish learners of English shows the development of the topic of morality as a discussion topic, with the teacher encouraging learners to use the grammatical function of modals to describe what they would do in certain certain situations.Images were used by the teacher to stimulate the discussion and learners later documented their discussions by annotating over the flipchart to highlight key vocabulary used with weaker learners annoting before the stronger learners to encourage greater participation and challenge in this multi-level class.
Morality - Using images to facilitate speaking practice
The teacher had this to say about the activity: “What I particularly like about this clip is that is shows how the IWB can be used in a way that is un-teacher-centred so the learners can interact with their partners while using the images on the IWB as a source of inspiration for their conversations.” and she continues that “What's unique about the IWB is that the teacher can control the learners' attention towards the pictures, whereas in a class where you have the pictures on paper, you're relying on the learners to look at a different picture when you tell them to or turn over the page. With the IWB you're controlling their attention focus while at the same time allowing them to be autonomous.”
This clip of EFL learners in France shows the IWB being used for sharing group work. Here they are analysing a scene from the film Into the Wild, after having viewed the video clip and studied the corresponding extract from the script. The IWB allows one learner to share the outcome of pair work conducted away from the board with the rest of the class; the teacher then fills in information suggested by different learners, using the "extend page" feature to gain extra writing space.
Using a table for vocabulary work to collaborate on the analysis of a movie scene
The next clip is an example of a teacher incorporating learner input into a lesson featuring the IWB . Th video shows a group of 15-year-old French EFL learners who listen to a recording on the IWB made by another learner, reading his own text written in English. The teacher divides them into 3 groups and asks each group to focus on one aspect of the audio recording as they listen: key words, linking words, and pronunciation mistakes. Learners then hear it a second time, with the teacher intermittently stopping to ask for each team's answers for their point in a 3-column table.
To prepare for this, the learners e-mailed their audio files to the teacher who embedded some in his IWB file.
Pollution, playback of Learner-Voice recording, Listening Comprehension, Audio Playback
The next example of EFL learners in the Netherlands making presentations has the teacher showing an example for a sales pitch from the show ‘Dragons Den’. In this show, aspiring entrepreneurs pitch to five multi-millionaires, with the expertise and the money to turn their ideas into a business. After watching the video, the class brainstorms on what worked and what didn’t work in the pitch. The teacher writes the answers on the IWB and adds a page because the current page is full. After the lesson the teacher saves the notes and uploads the IWB-file and a pdf-version on the online platform of the university. This allows learners to participate in the discussion rather than focusing on taking notes.
Using the IWB means that a teacher can respond more easily to what comes up in a lesson. She can make changes in the presentation and incorporate changes or other content suggested by the learners.
Brainstorming about a sales pitch - adding and saving a page
This clip from Turkey takes place during the second part of the lesson where the teacher keeps trying to encourage her learners to talk. The teacher shows all the pictures used with the spotlight tool in the previous part of the course and tries to make learners understand the broader aspect of the pictures and the story related to them. The clip goes on with a text in which learners are expected to find collocations and circle them with the pen tool. The text is based on a story which is related to the pictures shown previously. The use of images on the IWB and focussing on parts of them with the spotlight tool can encourage learner input and discussion in ways that would otherwise be difficult.
Pictures - Speaking – Spotlight
The students in the final clip are studying vocational school Spanish and they were given a homework assignment to describe the way from one attraction to the other in Mexico City. Using maps in this way represents a very authentic opportunity for students
Descripción del camino - Wegbeschreibung und Nachzeichnung als Sprechanlass
Hopefully these six examples demonstrate how learners can be allowed space for their own input when a teacher uses the IWB in class. These are just a few of the many clips on the iTILT website. We hope 'll encourage
Legutke, M & Thomas, H (1991) Process and Experience in the Language Classroom, Harlow: Longman