Using art in the english classroom or using english in the art classroom

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  1. 1. Enric Calvet, 14 Art in the English classroom or English in the Art classroom? I really believe ART has got an important place in language learning. Children are naturally creative and respond to visual images and have most active imaginations. Art can assist a teacher with many aspects of teaching English, for instance when teaching the names of colours. And not only the Primary and Secondary colours.... What about the different tones like sky blue, teal, magenta, lilac, scarlet, azure, chartreuse, burgundy, crimson, apple green, lemon or canary yellow, burnt orange, dusty pink, forest green, battleship gray, chocolate brown, mahogany, tan, ivory, off-white ... !!!! Or, when teaching shapes or simple tools artists use (including tools students use every day such as pencils, pens, erasers, rulers, etc.) Books of paintings and artists are great vocabulary builders. Every painting can be a topic for discussion. Even just reading the various descriptions in the book can be a worthwhile language activity. Have a visit to the Greatest Museums of the World through Internet. Enter different rooms, zoom in on specific paintings and read the pop-up descriptions. There is a whole world of digital art in the net. Drawing programs such as Paint, Gimp, Inkscape, Corel, Google Sketchup, ZBrush, TuxPaint, ArtRage and Twisted Brush can be also very useful to produce some nice artworks. Bring a piece of art to the 'show and tell' area in your class. This is a wonderful speaking opportunity. Lets exploit all the possibilities our town offers: local artists, museums or art galleries, Exhibitions, Art schools ... a talk with an expert can be a good opportunity for further speaking in the class. Finally, let students use their talents to illustrate their writing essays, short stories, descriptions, family, vacation, and other such typical ESL topics. ART can add another dimension to teaching English in an integrate way, CONTENT and LANGUAGE. Here you are some ideas: Introduce and practice communicative functions: Asking and expressing opinions: what do you think...? Whats your opinion...? I think... In my opinion... I agree... I disagree... Learn new vocabulary: adjectives, art materials, techniques,.. Express feelings, moods, likes and dislikes... Make a card with a message to send to someone. Create a display in the school corridor with childrens opinions. Decorate a T-shirt with a short message or connected words. Make a booklet with images made by all the children in the class. Upload productions in the school blog


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