Can visual notes be an aid to EAL Learners?

I cannot draw. My spaceship looks like a fish. This can be a hindrance if you work with the EAL (English as an Additional Language) learners. But, I am a big supporter of presenting information in a visual way, as it allows children to understand and process new information. It also allows them to express their knowledge without having to use words.  I have met many talented children with EAL, who quickly drew me some beautiful and very clear pictures whilst trying to explain the process of osmosis, that they have already learnt in their Polish school.
So I recently attended a workshop  on Visual Notes by Anne-Marie Miller of CarbonOrange at the CamCreative Meetup in the Eagle Labs Incubator, Barclays Bank, Cambridge.
She gave various examples how to capture ideas using text, images and graphic elements. And  Anne-Marie showed us how you can draw things using just 12 basic shapes.

It was an engaging evening, I have learnt a lot and people even recognized what I drew! Now my spaceship looks more like a spaceship than the fish!
I will have a look at the resources Anne-Marie recommended and further explore how “visual notes” can be used with EAL learners. If you have any ideas please email me or tweet me @lingosia
Resources to further explore visual notes:
Posted by Gosia Bates on