Audio–Visual aids in teaching of English By TeachingOnline.Net

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 Audio–Visual aids in teaching of English

Posted By TeachingOnline.Net

Every language is the outcome of ways, customs, social environments and history of the people speaking that language. Moreover, every language has certain thoughts which are hidden­ behind certain words with the help of audio-visual aids, the teacher can enable the student to understand quickly and surely the hidden meaning of certain words. The use of such Audio-visual Aids is very important in the teaching of a foreign language like English. The learning of English must not look an uninteresting job to the students. The class room work in English must not be a dull affair. It should be as interesting as possible. A great source of giving reality and meaning to English as a foreign language lies in the use of various Audio-visual aids.

Some view points

  1. Good’s Dictionary of Education: Audio visual aids imply “anything by means of which learning process may be encouraged or carried on through the sense of learning or the sense of sight.”
  2. View of Mcknown and Roberts: “These a id s are supplementary devices by which the teacher, through the utilization of more than one sensory channels, tries to clarify, establish and correlate concepts, interpretations and appreciations.
  3. Burton’s view:“Audio-visual materials are those sensory objects or images which initiate, stimulate and reinforce learning.
  4. S.P. Ahluwalia’s view: “Audio-visual materials reinforce the spoken or the written words with concrete images and provide rich perceptual experiences which are basis of learning. These materials make learning less non-verbalistic and reduce the boredom of more verbalism.”

Classification of audio-visual aids

(i) Traditional Classification

       Teaching aids (audio-visual aids) can be classified into following types :

(1) Auditory aids

(i) Radio

(ii) Gramphone

(iii) Tape recorder

(2) Visual aids

(i) Black-board

(ii) Charts

(iii) Models

(iv) Maps

(v) Pictures

(vi) Sketches and diagrams

(vii) Slides and film strips

(viii) Epidiascope

(ix) Bulletin board

(x) Cartoons


(xii) Museum

(xiii) Real Objects

(xiv) Musical instruments

(3) Auditory-cum-visual aids

(i) Sound-motion pictures (films)

(ii) Television

(iii) Drama

(4) Activity Aids

(i) Field Trips and Excursions

(ii) Booklets

(iii) Newspapers

(iv) Magazines

Need, importance or uses of audio-visual aids

       While emphasizing the need and importance of audio visual aids Kothari Commission observes, “The supply of teaching aids to every school is essential for the improvement of the quality of teaching. It should indeed bring about an educational revolution in the country. Even National Policy on Education (1986) recommended the use of teaching aids, especially improvised aids to make teaching – learning more effective, durable and realistic.” The following points highlight the need, importance and advantages of audio-visual aids.

  1. ClarityAudio visual aids are helpful in clarifying various points and concepts.
  2. Attention and interest-Audio visual aids are useful attracting attention and creating interest of the pupil in learning the subject. The subject no longer remains as boring, dull and unreal.
  3. Best motivators-Audio-Visual aids are the best motivators of our senses. They stimulate interest in learning.
  4. Use of maximum senses-Senses are said to be the gateway of knowledge. Audio visual aids help in the maximum utilization of sense organs and thereby facilitate the gaining of knowledge by the students.
  5. Based on maxims of teaching-The use of audio visual aids foliates the teacher to follow the important maxims of teaching like ‘simple to complex’, ‘concrete to abstract’, ‘known to unknown’ and learning by doing etc.
  6. Saving of time and ef fort-Audio-visual aids help to economies time and effort. Much of the time and energy of both teachers and the taught may be saved due to the use of audio-visual aids as most of the difficult concepts may be easily understood through their use.
  7. Fixing up and regaling the knowledge-Audio-visual aids help the pupils in making association and recalling ideas. Association of ideas helps in fixing up the knowledge and learning is influenced by association and recall.
  8. Meeting the individual differences-There are. Will individual differences among pupils. Some learn better by listening, some can be helped through visual demonstration while others learn better through doing. The use of various types of audio-visual aids helps in meeting the requirements of different types of pupils.
  9. Encouraging activity-Teaching learning process becomes quite stimulating and active through audio-visual aids. Mere passive learning does not help in achieving the objectives of teaching and education. Use of audio visual aids helps in the passive environment of the class-room  into a living one. When  such aids are used, the students become fearless and open up more quickly to respond.
  10. Introducing variety-Audio-visual aids introduce variety to class-room techniques. The students experience something new, when taught with the help of audio-visual aids. Variety creates interest, motivates and stimulates teaching and learning.
  11. Development of scientific attitude-Use of audio visual aids helps in developing scientific attitude among students instead of agreeing to the listened facts; they resort to, observe and use them practically with the help of audio-visual aids. They develop the habit of generalization through actual observations and experiments.
  12. Direct and representative experience-Audio-visual aids provide direct and representative experiences. When the students see, hear, touch, smell and handle various objects, they get direct experiences which make the learning permanent.
  13. Promotion of international understanding-Audio-visual aids help in promoting international understanding. With the help of films, slides, radio, television, pictures and other sensory aids, life, culture and civilization of other countries can be made to live in the class-room as it were one’s own. This promotes understanding and appreciation of the cultural values and ways of living of different nations of the world.

       To conclude, we can quote Mcknown and Robert, “Audio­ visual aids wisely selected and intelligently used, arouse and develop intense and beneficial interest and so motivate the pupils’ learning. And properly motivated learning means improved attitudes, permanency of impression and rich experience and ultimately more wholesome living.”

      View points of Dale, Finn and Hobban : They are of the view that audio-visual aids, when properly used, serve the following functions-

       (1) Basis for conceptual  thinking-Audio-visual  aids supply a concrete basis for conceptual thinking and hence reduce, meaningless word responses of students.    ·

      (2) Interesting-Audio-visual aids have a high degree of interest for students.

     (3) Permanency-They make learning more permanent.

     (4) Reality of experience-They offer a reality of  experience which stimulates self-activity on the part of the pupils.

     (5) Continuity of thought-They develop continuity of thought.

     (6) Development  of vocabulary-They contribute to growth of  meaning and, hence to vocabulary development.

       (7) Efficient learning-They provide experiences not easily obtained through other materials and contribute to the efficiency, depth and variety of learning.

Use various audio-visual aids in teaching English

       (1) The use of visual aids:

       (i) Black-Board-This is the cheapest and the best aid for teaching a language. It can be used for oral work, for reading lessons, writing lessons, practice lesson, for testing work and for all types of language work.

       The following points should be kept in mind while using black-board.

(i) Every written word or figures drawn on it should be neat, clean and clearly visible.

(ii) Do not make too much or too little use of black-board.

(iii) Draw sketches, pictures and diagrams which help in the work of language teaching. ·

(iv) Use colored chalk where desirable.

(v) Invite and encourage the students to use black-board as often as possible.

(vi) Use only the duster to rub off. Never rub off with hand.

       (2) Flannel Board-It is a rectangular, wooden ply board on which a piece of flannel is pasted. It can be used for teaching spellings, words, structures and giving pronunciation practice. it can be used for teaching composition and storytelling also.

       (3) Flash Cards-Flash cards are a useful device for teaching the beginners. Flash cards are strips of this card board which are held before the class for a short interval of time. They may be used for reading practice, oral teaching, teaching spellings, sounds etc.

       (4) Charts-Charts are frequently used by a language teacher. The English class-room should always have four or five charts displayed prominently on the walls. They should largely be colored charts. Charts can be used for teaching structures words, elements of grammar, guided composition, free composition and many other forms of language teaching.

       (5) Pictures-Pictures play a very important part in teaching English. They supply essential background of the language. Pictures help in forming correct association of ideas in the minds of the students. We can give examples of the picture of winter in which everything looks desolate and joyless . The dictionary meaning of winter cannot show what actually happens in winter time. How horrible is winter time in England can only be known with the help of a picture, not with the help of a dictionary. Moreover, modem methods of teaching a foreign language recommend the extensive teaching of words and the background of the life of people under special historical and geographical conditions.

       Pictures are also used for aesthetic training and .for direct instructions and direct experiences.

       (6) Dramatisation- Dramatization is also very important and useful device in the teaching of languages. The lessons in languages are put into life and action. With the help of dramatization, for instance, if the story of ‘Two friends and a Bear’ is dramatized, it will infuse life and action in the lesson and the students will show great interest in the lesson. Thus, audio-visual aids make things more realistic for students to grasp the lesson and understand it fully.

Audio Aids in Use

      (1) Radio-Radio is a very useful aid in the teaching of languages. It brings the idea of realism and removes the dullness of the lesson. It arouses the interest for the lesson in the minds of students. But it should be borne in mind that the radio talk should be within the comprehension level of the students. Students at the secondary stages, can desire great benefit from radio talks. After listening to the radio, the whole talk should be discussed in the class under the guidance of the teachers.

      (2) Linguaphone- Linguaphone is just like a Gramophone. It is used to teach the children the correct way of pronunciation. A linguaphone can be fitted with a recording device. In that case, a record of correct pronunciation can be reproduced at any time for the benefit of students. It can also teach the students correct grammatical structure Records are used for teach of poetry, correct usage of words and phrases. First of all, the teacher should listen to its recitation himself and then explain its points to the students. It is more useful than a radio. It can be used whenever desired and can be repeated if required. The government should provide linguaphone records to all schools.

       (3) Tape Recorder-Tape recorder can be used as a means of self correction. A talk can be first recorded on the tape recorder and then reproduced in the class-room for discussion. Thus it can prove to be a model for correct pronunciation. It can be used to record a story, a talk or a play from the radio.

Use of teaching aids

       The teaching aids are in fact, tools in the hand of a teacher. The teacher can use them whenever he thinks it fit to do so. But he should not depend too much on them. He should consider them only as tools, and not ends in them.

Importance and used unless of pictures

      Pictures play an important role in teaching English at various stages·. They supply much of the background of a language. They create correct association of ideas in the minds of the learners of language.

       Pictures present to the students background of the words to be learn. They give a social and historical background of the people, who speak those words. Hence, pictures play a dominant role in the teaching of a language, for instance, it is through pictures that we can know the real meaning of th severity of winter in England and summer in India.

       Pictures have a fascinating charm for children. Colored pictures have a special attraction for children of all age-groups.

Broadly speaking, pictures can be divided in two headings­

(a) Pictures suitable for aesthetic training.  

(b) Pictures suitable for direct instruction.

       (a) Pictures suitable for aesthetic training-Some good pictures can create aesthetic sense in the students. They teach them how to love beauty and admire it. They awaken in children the sense of color shape and form. Students become more imaginative by looking at pictures. They derive great pleasure by selling attractive -pictures. Thus, all good pictures are of immense value for imparting aesthetic training.

       (b) Picture for direct instruction-Good pictures can create suitable atmosphere for teaching English. They arouse interest for the study of English in the minds of students. Pictures portray certain aspects of life quite faithfully. At early stages of teaching English, pictures portraying scenes from Indian life and common scenes, such as village well, village pond can be made use of. Indian juggler, Indian bazaar etc. can be very useful as a source of general information for the students.

      Moreover pictures provide sufficient material for vocabulary work. They create an everlasting impression on the minds of students regarding certain words associated with the picture.

Methods of using pictures

       Following are some of the methods of using pictures for language  teaching-

(1) Direct teaching of the text-book.

(a) The pupil teacher can base his introductory talk of the lesson on the picture of a text-book. This picture will invite the immediate attention of the students to the subject matter.

(b) Expansion of the taxi can be based upon the picture. After reading from book. The subject can be easily developed on the bliss; of the picture, for example, after a lesson on the sunset tht· picture on sun-set can serve as a suitable material for the expansion of the lesson.

(c) The lesson can be allotted through pictures, which give a vivid idea of everything. Some aspects which cannot be expressed by words, pictures present these aspects very vividly. The thing wretch cannot be brought in the class­ room, can be easily illustrated through pictures, such as mountains,  valleys,  waterfalls,  oceans  etc.

(d) Pictures can also be very useful for the purpose of recapitulation or revision of the lesson.

(e) Some actions, which cannot be performed in the class-room can be portrayed through pictures, such as swimming, skating.

(f) Pictures are also a useful method for showing the contrast between Indian and English life. An English shopping centre is quite different from an Indian market. This contrast can be easily shown through pictures of Indian and English life styles.

        (2) Training in imagination-Training in imagination can be given to the students through pictures, illustrating some stories or actions. By representing a story, students can be asked to give the details of the situation. The charm of the picture lies in the fact that it can produce many images at the same time in the minds of the students. The same picture is read differently by different people. Story building is a highly imaginative art. Children are good at constructing stories if they are given some training beforehand. Stories about ‘a house on fire’ or ‘a boat washed ashore’ can be easily built up af ter seeing a picture on these incidents. Besides stories, dialogues between two persons shown in a picture can be easily understood by the students.

       (3) Essay writing-Pictures can help the students in writing an essay on any given topic. Descriptive and narrative essays can be written on the things shown in the picture. Mr. Faucett has said very correctly about it, “certain pictures effort excellent material for an essay.” A view of an aero plane, motor vehicles for the agricultural farm, good roads, and bad roads contrasted, machinery for scientific farming, a model ship, an exhibition of handicrafts etc. may assist the students in writing essay on any one of these topics.

       (4) Letter-writing-Pictures can also provide suitable subjects for letter writing, for instance, pictures showing natural sceneries, a picture on ‘The Taj Mahal, Agra ‘ can help the children in writing an application to the Headmaster to arrange a school trip to the Taj.

Qualities of a good teaching aid

A good teaching aid school possesses the qualities given below­

       (1) It shows the purpose clearly-A good teaching aid shows clearly for what purpose the teacher wants to show it. It also shows for which stage of the lesson it has been used i.e. for presentation stage or practice stage.

       (2) Easy to use-A good aid is always easy to use in the classroom.

      (3) Variety of uses-A good aid can be used in many lessons. It can also be used at various class-levels.

       (4) Invites attention to major points-It is so prepared that it automatically invites attention to major points in the lesson.

       (5) Related to age and ability levels-A good aid is always related to the age level of the students for whom it is used. It also suits their mental ability level.

       (6) Suitable-A good aid is suitable to the situation for which it is used.

       (7) Colorful-A good aid is usually colorful in order to attract the students.

       In short, T.V. is a good aid helps the teacher by making his lesson effective and helps the students by making the lesson interesting.

Teaching language by television 

T.V. is a modem teaching aid. It is most suited for teaching language. The language teacher is limited by the four walls of the classroom and can bring in the outside world only in a limited way by means of make-believe. Television can help in widening the language experience of the pupils to a considerable extent. The greatest merit of television as a language aid is that it can create a far greater variety of situations than the teacher. Children can be exposed to language situations at a railway station, at a bus stop, at a market place, at a hotel and at home. Television provides an opportunity to a large number of pupils to learn from a single experienced source. A good television programmed can provide a model of correct speech not only to the pupils but also to the less gifted classroom teacher. A television programmed for the students also helps to train the classroom teacher in modern methods of teaching. Moreover, special television programmers for teachers can help them greatly.

Limitations of television

      Television, of course, is not without its limitations.  Is a unidirectional medium i.e. a one way communication? Thus it cart never replace the class-room teacher who has the advantage of having communication with his class. Television can only perform some duties better than the teacher.

      Broadly speaking, language teaching consists of presentation, practice and production. Television can handle the first stage i.e. presentation very well, quite often better than a class-room teacher. But it cannot handle the second stage i.e. practice or drill due to lack of feedback from the pupils.

However, there should be some practice drill framed from the

T.V. programmer as they involve the pupils directly. Besides ensuring pupils participation, practice drill also serves as a model for the class­ room teacher in the art of giving maximum benefit to the students. The third stage i.e. production is the least suitable on television because their medium is uni-directional. But the remedy for it lies in the fact that after a T.V. programmer, the teacher may ask the students to reproduce the material seen in the T.V. in their own words. He can also ask the students to produce a new material on the basis of the material seen in the T.V. Programmed. This is called follow-up programmer.

      Thus, television gives extended practice in listening to language used in realistic situations. It can stimulate some amount of speaking by the pupils, themselves. And after the television lesson, the follow-up programme conducted by the teacher can lead to practice stage as well as the productive stage of the language. Thus, television can prove to be a very useful aid for class teaching.

Types of programmes on television

       Television lessons can be syllabus based or enrichment programmes. Purely enrichment programmes would be a luxury which we cannot indulge into with our limited resources. Nor would they be desirable at the early stages of language learning, because the cultural background of the language or programmes in literature would be irrelevant to the pupils at an early stage. Our teachers, bound as they are by rules, syllabus and examination system, would not accept purely enrichment programmes. As essential pre-requisite to enrichment programmes is a very broad-based system of education. Thus, our T.V. programmes have to be based mainly on the syllabus with an element of enrichment.

Attitude to T.V programmes

       The attitude of the class-room teacher towards television is very important. The teacher has to be convinced that the television is not a threat to their existence. The television is not going to replace him but to assist him. What is even worse is the attitude of the teacher that the

T.V. period is a bonus free period for him. Right attitude of the teacher can be developed through teacher seminars, where the teacher is thoroughly trained in the use of the medium by demonstrating the work in a T.V. period. Inane T.V. period, the classroom teacher plays a very important role. He tries to make T.V. programme a supplementary instruction item to his own teaching work He can bring out complete coord ination betw en T.V. programme and his own teaching programme.

Team work by the teacher and T.V

       The television uses additional and varied resources related to the course of language teaching. It makes use of aids to learning which is not normally within the reach of class-room teacher. It also provides expert teaching to a vast number of pupils at a time. But it cannot do without the class-room teacher serving as a link with the pupils. The class-room teacher does this by preparing the pupils for T.V. lesson helping the pupils, during T.V. from lesson and doing the follow-up work where the television leaves. Thus a T.V. period consists of:

(1) Pre telecast activity (by class-room teacher)

(2) T.V. lesson (by television with classroom teacher helping)

(3) follow up programme (by classroom teaching)

      The classroom and the television must communicate with each other in the following items –

(i) Teacher’s notes in which the television informs the classroom teacher what to do for the telecast and follow up work and how to help the T.V. lesson e.g. when to make children repeat the T.V. lesson and how to enabled the material learnt through T.V. in the minds of children.

(ii) Evolution check sheet, which the classroom teacher must fill in after every lesson to report to the T.V. authorities the impact of the T.V. lesson in the classroom. He can give his suggestions also for improvement in further lessons to be conducted through T.V.

(iii) School visits -The television authorities must also visit schools regularly in order to exchange views with the classroom teachers directly, help them if necessary and review the lesson with the pupils or their representatives.

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