Making use of images to teach language

Emma Symanski had no interest in teaching English when she enrolled at Hampshire College in 2017. She had no idea that a recommendation to finish the TESOL certificate program at SIT Graduate Institute would revolutionize her undergraduate studies and result in the publishing of her book, Teaching English Through a Photographic Lens.

The SIT TESOL credential is provided globally through World Learning. The International Language Institute of Massachusetts (ILI) is one example; it offers language instruction at Hampshire College and in the neighborhood.

A self-designed course on utilizing photography as a tool for English learning, Symanski's Division-III project—the equivalent of a senior thesis at Hampshire College—was inspired by her TESOL experience.

When Symanski thinks back on how she came to enjoy teaching language learners so much after believing that photography was her only true passion, she recognizes that she was searching for a common thread—a means of expressing stories and connecting. They both function like language; in fact, photography is a different form of language.

Speaking in a foreign language was made simpler for the kids by letting them share something personal, like a family photo or a cherished location.

In particular, the concept of frameworks, which was a cornerstone of her TESOL certificate experience, was something she acquired throughout the TESOL certificate course, and it was vital for the design of her class and gave her the skills she needed to succeed. Frameworks offer a model for teaching a particular skill, such as listening, reading, writing, or speaking, and they place a strong emphasis on reflection.

In order to relate language to the individual and daily life, remove it from the abstract, and foster a sense of understanding and trust, the book employs photography as a tool.

Always your,

Daniel Kordan