Using Infographics in the ELT classroom

Infographic. Such a recent word that it can barely be found in dictionaries!

Photo by Victoria Boobyer provided courtesy of ELTPics

Infographic. Such a recent word that it can barely be found in dictionaries!
It refers to a visual representation of information to make it easier to understand. There is such a variety of topics to choose from and mostly they can give you valuable information at a glance.

The idea

Once when I was preparing my classes, it occurred to me that an infographic could somehow add up to it.
While preparing my classes I always look for meaningful ways of having students use their mobile devices as a way of exchanging and registering info. This is because I know from experience that it is indeed very useful to have info at hand.

Then there was the topic of friendship for that specific class and, while trying to find other resources to collaborate with the lesson delivery, making use of an infographic came to mind.

Class design

This is the one I selected to share with my pre-Intermediate group of evening adult learners:Infographic_Friendship
The conversational idea to include the infographic as a relevant part of the class, revolved around the question:
Why is making friends good for you?
The link to the infographic was embedded in a QR code so students could simply scan it right away and go look for the possible answers. As they spot the content, vocabulary doubts surfaced and so did the meaningful chance for learning! In order to help them out I left self-explanatory sentences on the board and students guessed which one referred to the items mentioned in the infographic.

I also dictated two extra questions for conversation: Who are your close friends? Why are they important for you?

The infographic gave them a concrete reference to start and expand during the conversational moments.

Heads up on preparation

  • a wireless internet connection is required, so make sure this is available in your teaching place.
  • in case internet is not available for you, you can still access the link offline in your own device and show students what it looks like.

From this attempt I learned that by using the infographic, students are able to:

  • have access to contextualized information in a more appealing way
  • productively use their own handheld devices
  • share their devices with a colleague who hasn’t got one
  • expand their lexical repertoire with an actual source of information
  • share the material used in class with the absentees
  • have the support of a conversation starter
  • replace hand-outs
  • easily access it later on

Another possible usage: teaser for the following class.
For instance, the next class topic will be Talking about jobs and future plans at work.
This infographic will be used then: Anatomy-of-a-job-interview
If you have students leave the class with the infographic link for their next class, that can work as scenes from the next chapter, I mean: next class teaser!

By Raquel Ribeiro             Instagram_Informed Teachers blog

Average: 5 (2 votes)

Submitted by Rachel Boyce on Fri, 03/07/2014 - 15:43


Hi Raquel, I absolutely love inforgrams, I can't get enough of them. I use them regularly in my conversational English lessons as discussion points and students like them because they can access them anytime to refer back to. Great post.

Submitted by Raquel Ribeiro on Mon, 03/24/2014 - 00:27

In reply to by Rachel Boyce


Hi Rachel! Thanks for your comment. Indeed, once we find out the conversational potential of infographics and the fact that students use them as a reference ... there's no looking back :)

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