TEFL Guide: Flashcards, Drilling, and Games. | Nikolas John Cakebread | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

TEFL Guide: Flashcards, Drilling, and Games.

teacher avatar Nikolas John Cakebread, Experience is the teacher of all things

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Flashcards: Introduction.

    • 2. Different Visual Aids.

    • 3. Using Real Objects.

    • 4. Flashcard Basics.

    • 5. Flashcard Drills.

    • 6. Flashcard Games.

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Welcome to The Essential TEFL Gude: Flashcards.

Using Flashcards and drilling is the bread and butter of TEFL teaching. Most schools will have a flashcard system for teachers to use while teaching vocabulary as it is the most widely used teaching method in ESL.

In this lesson, we will go over the strategies and methods used by TEFL teachers to use flashcards effectively and purposely. We will look at different types of visual aids and how we can make use of them in your classes! We will also talk about the basics of flashcard usage and how to make them a fundamental part of your teaching tool bag. As well as this we will look at my techniques for drilling and my goto games using flashcards.

Throughout this course, there will be plenty of Tasks and parts where you as the learner can take time to develop and construct your own ideas and think about how you would implement them into your own classes!


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Nikolas John Cakebread

Experience is the teacher of all things


Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Flashcards: Introduction.: Hello there, Welcome to this lesson on flashcards. In this lesson, we will look at flashcards and other visual aids, and we will learn how to use them in our classrooms in different ways. As well as this, we will look at different games and drills methods and strategies that we can use when using flashcards and physical items. Moreover, in this lesson, we will look at the multiple types of visual aids and how you can use them in your lessons effectively and with purpose. Okay, let's get started. 2. Different Visual Aids.: The essential TEFL Survival Guide, Lesson 7, flashcards. Different types of visual aids. Have a think here, as well as flashcards. What types of vigilance have you used in your classroom and how have you used them? There are many different types of visual aids that we can make use of in the classroom. Here's some examples on here, some ways that we can use them. Number one, yourself, this is something that is easily forgotten by many teachers, but you yourself are the main visual aid of the classroom. You are the focal point of the classroom. Everybody's eyes are mostly on you. So you can make use of this. Use facial motions, TPR, role-playing, acting, gestures such as pointing, looking, touching, grabbing, and body language. All of these are very important when helping young learners understand the meaning of what you're trying to teach them. Number two, blackboards. Again, like the teacher, this is a focal point of the class. Most classrooms are going to be equipped with a whiteboard or a blackboard. And you need to know how to make the best possible use out of them. We have covered this in a previous lesson. So if you're still unsure, I do recommend you go back and have a look. But for now, I will just say you need to understand how to write on the board, how to display your writing, how to display drawings, how to look at vocabulary and sentence and put it on the board so it's clear and concise and easy to understand. Number three, real objects. This is something we're going to cover in this lesson in the next part. But for now we'll just say is very important for presenting information, for understanding contextually what an item is and how it's used physically, touching something, which is very important for the younger learners. And it can give a clear meaning of what you're trying to describe. Number for flashcards. Obviously this is the main topic of this particular lesson, but this is just one of many types of visual aids that you can make use of in your classroom. These are easy to draw and you can find them online and students can create them as well. They're useful for meaning and for games. As well as the fall I've mentioned here, there are many other types of visual aids available to teachers. So have a think of what ones that you could make use of in your class. 3. Using Real Objects.: Using real objects, we are going to take a look at some real objects. And I want you to think about what real objects are in your classrooms or objects could you make use of well teaching? Think about how you can set up and what games and strategies you could use to make it appealing to the students. Look at these items on the table every day. Regular items that you would find in any classroom. We're going to think there's some question forums that we can make use of while using these items on the table. I want you guys to think of some other question forms that you could use in your classroom. Number one, prepositions, the bag is on the table, the scissors are under the ball. This is a very easy activity. Once you get all the items on the table, you can have students stand up and describe where each item is. You can do it as a team, you can do as individuals and award points in stars for all correct answers. Also is not a bad idea behind it on the board, you give them the structure as well if they're just practicing it and getting used to for the first time, it will help them learn it and help them remember it. Number 2, present perfect tense. This is for older levels. I have played with that ball. I have used the ruler. And you can get them to stand up and say the sentence. It says Manage they can in a time limit maybe ten seconds, 20 seconds, get them in groups may be to write down as many as they can. Lots of different options here. Number three, yes, no questions. This is for basic answers with younger levels. Is there a pen on the table? Are there any scissors? Can you see a ruler? Yes, I can. No, I can't. Number for materials. If the topic happens to be bulk materials such as plastics, wood, glass, metal, you can ask them what things are made of. What is the table made of? It is made of wood. Is the pencil made of wood? Yes, it is. Number five, adjectives. Is the bag blue? Is it a big or small bag? Tell me about the ball. The ball is big, the ball is colorful. So there are five examples of question forums that you can use using these real objects. I know that there are many others. I'm sure you can think of some as well. The point here is that using real objects give students something tangible and meaningful to help them understand the meaning of the structure. Using familiar objects such as school items to show a complicated structure, such as prepositions, It's always going to be easier for the students to grasp than just drilling or reading. Think about how you would set this up. How would you make it interesting for the students? You can make it some sort of game, make a hunt, hunt for the objects within the classroom, or you could tie them, make them in groups, have two different tables. There are many different options available to you here. 4. Flashcard Basics.: Flashcard basics. Using flashcards is the bread and butter of ESL teaching. Most schools will have some sort of fast card system for teaching vocabulary, as it is the most widely used teaching method and ESL. So because of this, we're going to look at some games and drills later on. But first, let's look at the basics of flash card usage and what's consider well, using flashcards, how we can use them effectively in our classes. Let us think about what makes good flashcards and how we can be sure there's effective as possible. Number one, flashcards must be large enough for the class to see. In usual cases this will be about half the size of an A4 sheet. Number two, pictures on them need to be clear as well, not just visible but clear about their meaning. For example, if you have an apple, then it should be just one apple. But if you're talking about apples, then you can have more than one apple. Speaking about meaning and cards is a tricky one because sometimes you might want to have a car that expresses an action. Maybe it's running, so some verbs, but you've got a man running. So how do they know that the card means running and not a man? This is where the teacher must be clear with actions TPR and make the meaning of the card clear from the first drill. Number three, you can use different colors to help with attractiveness. This is just something that helps with the younger learners. If you have colors, obviously using different colored cards represent the colors is a good way to go about it. Or if you want to keep them more interested in your cars, you can use multiple different colors to make them more comical and attractive and visually entertaining. Number 4, laminate the cards because they last longer and then it can be re-used. Also, if you want to use them for games, you put them on the floor and they might get a little bit dirty. Lamination means you can wipe them down. Number 5, themed cards. These are easiest to remember for students because they keep them in a certain topic. For example, fruit or colors or animals. Or as you can see on the right-hand side here, six. Flashcards are extremely useful too, and they can be used and reused as needed for games and activities. Flashcards are versatile visual aids that can be easily made by the teacher, drawn, printed out, or even created by the students in class time to be used at a later date. 5. Flashcard Drills.: Drilling. Drilling is another fundamental part of the ESL classroom. Using flashcards to drill opens up a multitude of possibilities and different strategies to help keep the students engaged and retain the information. Drilling vocabulary while using flashcards is effective, but the teacher isn't careful. It can be quickly boring. There are many techniques that you can use to lighten up your presentations when you're drilling vocabulary. Volume drilling. This is especially effective for the younger learners as it creates a fun and energetic atmosphere. You raise the volume as you raise the card upwards, and it can be done in three steps, repeating the vocabulary from quiet to loud. You make the motions big and dramatic is visually stimulating as possible. And you can use it with your TPR actions. You can get the students to stand up and when you hit the peak, get them to jump. It can also be reversed. So you can go from high to low and end up being very quiet as well. 1, 2, 3 drilling. Now this is particularly good for reinforcing words that are difficult. Or LDL is a simple repetition drill. The teacher says the words once, the students repeated, once, the teacher says the word twice, the students repeated twice, three times, they say three times, and so on, as many times as you feel necessary. And that is fun. You make the motions big and dramatic like before, and you make it as visually stimulating as possible. And eventually this can lead to chanting or sing the words in a beat. Okay guys, are you ready? Cao, Cao. Cao. Cao, Cao. Very good. Here we go again. Cabbage, cabbage, cabbage, cabbage, cabbage cabbage cabinets kind of as chemists count. Backwards drilling. This is an especially good drill if you only have a short amount of time and you're trying to get the students to memorize as many cards as possible. The drill itself forces the students to recall the information, to be able to participate. You drill 123 cards at a time going forward as well as backwards. For example, 1, 2, 3 to 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on. The teacher can pause between the cars to let the students try and recall the information and help them by adding actions to reinforce the words. Okay guys, here we go. Listen, speak loudly. Chocolate, chocolate. Cookie. Dough. Rate. Braid. Ku, e. Kooky. Chocolate, chocolate. Cookie. To not. Do not. Read. Cookie rate. Do NOT, DO NOT. Nuts. Slow reveal drilling. This is good for a more competitive viable in the classroom. It creates a fun atmosphere where the students can compete against each other in teams or pairs or individuals. Remember to use positive reinforcement when a student gets something right, the teacher drills through the cards as normal, holding one card in your hand and one over the picture, you reveal a picture slowly. And the first student or group that shows how can guess star or a high-five. You convey this drill to have students do the action as well. Reward the students to come out and be the teacher to do the revealing. Okay, Are you ready? We're going to drill through the cards. Ready? Potato potato, cucumber, Cucumber, that latex, latex, onion. Onion. Okay, I'm going to cover the card. You have to guess. Here we go. Is it can you get any ice? Yes, potato. Very good. Everybody. Potato. Potato. Okay, One more. Where is it? Can you guess? Can come. Baby gets a cucumber. Cucumber. 6. Flashcard Games.: Flashcard games. Here are some examples of my flashcard games. These are my go-to games I'll use generally with newer classes and my regular classes. Remember, they are versatile. They can use with sentences and different structures. You just need to adapt it to your particular class. Line jump. This is a great game for review, and it can be used for phonics or alphabet. And numbers are just general flashcards. The teacher drills through the cards as normal and then places the cards on the floor in a line. Students can come out in pairs and they jumped to the card or the teacher says, you can vary this and have the students out as the teacher. Or you can have more than two students as you please. As the students gain confidence, that teacher can say the words quicker and it becomes more fun and more entertaining. Four corners. This is a great game for a brain break or just a warmer. And the beginning of the class is active and involves the whole class. The teacher puts four cars down after drilling them, the four corners of the room, the students stand up, the marks around the room. When the teacher shows, stop. The students want a corner and stay next to a car. There. The teacher who has his eyes close points to corner and the students at that corner are out and they have to drill through the words. Sit on me. This is a very fun game for a younger students. It can be used as a review or just as a brain break. You have to put the cards under chairs around the room. The students would call in pairs or in threes, and the teacher will say the name of the card and the students must sit on the chair that has the card underneath it. The first student sits down and the other students sit on that student. They will love it. Everybody drills and vocabulary afterwards. Pick up cards. This is a hugely underappreciated activity. It's great for review and it's a nice warm down after. Again. Normally after a game, the cards are usually scattered around the room, on the floor. Instead of the teacher picking them up, you can ask the students that come out and find the cards. The teacher gives them a 5 second time limit and they have to find the card and handed to the teacher. The student hands the car to the teacher and then repeats the word or sentence after that to make it more exciting, the teacher can chase them back to their seat, or they can pick the next unit. Okay, So let's break this down for a second. When used correctly, flashcards allow students to interact with the information in a way that makes it easier to retain. Flashcards are specifically designed to enhance, encourage active recall. The format requires the learners to identify a picture and recall the correct word. Practicing active recall, create stronger neural connections in the brain, also making it effective for improving memory. Repeating flashcards is necessary and effective as students are struggling to remember as it will help establish a better connection. This process is called confidence base repetition. Research has shown it to be really effective and proven my attention and memory. So keep trying and don't give up. The main problem with flashcards are they lose their appeal extremely quickly. Even the best drills and the most enthusiastic teachers will reach a point where students needed change or they will start to lose focus. That's where flashcard games come in. Fast cars are so versatile and have incredible potential as diverse and creative ESL, classroom games.