The Power of Image – a presentation for ELT teachers

A good visual image can of course add great power to a presentation or teaching activity, and we’d like to share some favourites from our own presentations:

The classroom cliche “I’m not a walking dictionary” raises a smile especially when John says – “actually I am a walking dictionary” with this image….

The characters we use for storytelling are brought to life when you see them on the screen, such as Fatih the Grocer..

….and his missing shopping trolleys

And good visuals are also a prompt for discussion, such as our Safety at Work Awards. Which of these situations is the most dangerous?

And sometimes the pictures are just for decoration. In the build-up to our performance of John Foster’s poem Football Story the audience always enjoy the football nostalgia of these photographs.

and swoon at this image of Paul Henry as a young boy.

One colleague that has given a lot of thought to how to access, create and manipulate images for teaching is Cambridge University Press author Ben Goldstein. Having written a handbook for language teachers on on Working with Images, Ben came out to Turkey recently to talk on the topic. Ben’s argument is that modern learners are more “visually literate” than previous generations. Because of the artwork and photography they encounter through the technology they use in their day-to-day lives students expect, and respond to, high quality imagery in the classroom. He then goes on to discuss and give examples of how this can be achieved. A shortened version of the talk can be found on Ben’s website here and an interview on the subject here.

Finally, maybe it’s only a coincidence that Ben Goldstein lives and works in Barcelona, and is therefore surrounded by some powerful imagery indeed, crowned by the artwork of Gaudi, Picasso, Salvador Dali and Miró. The crazy surrealism of these four naturally appeals to the Henry Brothers, who also both lived in Catalonia before coming to Turkey. To see the architecture of Gaudi you’ll have to go to Barcelona but it’s been a pleasure to see exhibitions of the three painters here in Istanbul in recent years and anyone in London over the summer can visit the Tate Modern exhibition Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape , where you will be able to exercise your imagination looking at paintings like this…


About The Henry Brothers

We are English teachers involved in ELT publishing in Turkey, and also touring the country giving workshops and presentations to English teachers, mainly on the use of poetry, storytelling and other lively activities in the classroom. We can be contacted by e-mail to or
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