I’m a big fan of putting up posters in the classroom, at least I was until I started teaching privately and I’m not sure covering my living room in paper is the way forward!
But if I could, I would festoon my classroom in beautifully designed posters for one important reason – memory. Over the duration of your average English course, you’re going to cover a lot of language, and you can’t be surprised when your students fail to recall some of it in later lessons.
And that’s where posters come in. After completing a teaching point, I would sometimes create a poster which I could then refer to when the students were struggling. The purpose of the poster wasn’t to teach them the language, but to remind them of something that they had studied. A memory prompt, if you like.
One of my criticisms of most coursebook syllabuses is that they don’t offer enough opportunities for students to review what has supposedly been learned. Too often they steamroll onto the next grammar point without enough time for the students to get to grips with what they’ve been looking at.
So it’s then down to the teacher to engineer those opportunities, find little gaps and adaptations and add some review opportunities. And that’s where the posters are so handy, because they allow the teacher to quickly and non-invasively remind the learners of what they have been doing. There’s no need to spend time on board work or explanation, just a silent point or nod of the will do the job.
And I also find them useful in the online classroom. They can be used for the same purpose, but rather than decorate the classroom you can either hold them up in front of the camera or screenshare them.
So below you can find one of my own examples, a simple explanation of the conditional sentences which you can use to decorate your classroom, and I can use right next to my TV!