Sunday, 7 March 2010

Which came first - the picture or the caption?

Let me start where I finished last time:

How many ways are there to tell a story in the digital world?

I am not going to talk about the tools here. There are lots of great posts on that topic. Or you can go through the Images4Education wiki. You can even download this wonderful ebook free of charge.

I am going to concentrate on a single question:

Which came first

And if my new habit of speaking in pictures is starting to get on your nerves, do stop reading, because there is more coming.

To answer my own question (I know, I am a bad teacher), when you are telling your story, sometimes you will write the story first and find or create the pictures afterwards. I often do that in my blog by searching for Flickr photos that could illustrate what I am trying to say. Or you could start from the pictures and use them as an inspiration for your story, the way Janet did here.

Why are images important in TEFL in the first place? To answer that, I will have to use more images, I am afraid. So here is a slideshow I created during the third week of Images4Education:

I am an extreme right-brainer and I really do think in pictures all the time. Even if we take different learning styles into consideration (not everyone is a right-brainer), images are always useful in a TEFL class. They help us explain new vocabulary, they can serve as speaking or writing prompts, they can make grammar less boring... I am not going to talk about what you already know.

Even if the image has no immediate practical purpose, it is still good to have one. Let's say you are writing a blog post and you don't know how to end it. The words just won't come. You can place a nice image where your conclusion should have been and make your readers wonder what you were trying to say with it.

Frost on Red.egg by lunas994 on AviaryFrost on Red.egg by lunas994 on Aviary


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Janet Bianchini said...

A wonderful post, Natasa! You capture your feelings so well. I love your choice of pictures and the captions. Very powerful thoughts can be conveyed so beautifully with the right photos.

Thank you so much for kindly linking to my picture story, which indeed was inspired by the pictures first.

Natasa said...

Ha! I guessed right. I was going to ask you whether I was right before I boldly claimed that I knew how you had written your story, so I guess I just got lucky there.
What I tried to do in this post was sum up my feelings and my thoughts about that wonderful course we took, Images4Education. The words wouldn't come (they usually refuse to come if you are very excited and enthusiastic about something), so I ended up using more and more images. And, yes, they can help when words fail you.
It was a pleasure to link to your picture story. I am very fond of Princess Arabella.

Unknown said...

hi mam i have started blogging a few weeks ago but i dont know how to blog ......i mean what should be my way of blogging
pls! check out my blog n tell me what is right n wht i need to do to improve further?

Janet Bianchini said...

Hi Natasa

You are so right about images sometimes being able to take over words in importance. I love your very visual slideshare in this post. It contains the essence of our fantastic course.

Princess Arabella seems to be taking a break at the moment. Her moment will come again, I am sure!


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