ESL Graphic Design Vocabulary

Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

When English as a second language (ESL) students are ready to learn some graphic design vocabulary, consider using images as a source for teaching them new words. This lesson includes some topical words, along with ideas for instruction.

Introducing Graphic Design

To begin your vocabulary lesson in a fun way, have students work in pairs to come up with a definition of graphic design, which involves the use of pictures and text to present a message. After a designated amount of time, ask each pair of students to present their definitions to the class, with you compiling their ideas on the blackboard as they go along.

As a follow up, get your students talking about some impressive works of graphic design. To elicit answers, you could show an image of an example and explain to students why you find the work impressive. An easy way for students to find some great examples is by searching the Internet for advertisements, magazine covers, posters, and signs. Now let's move on to some graphic design vocabulary words.

Teaching Graphic Design Vocabulary

Graphic Design Tools

Begin by asking your students what elements or tools graphic designers use. Your students might think of words like ''color'', ''images'', ''computer programs'', and ''photography.'' Make sure your students tell you how graphic designers use those tools. Then, introduce your own list through a PowerPoint presentation that includes images illustrating the words you want to teach.

Use a pronounce-spell-discuss method for each word in your presentation. For example, say you begin with the word ''airbrush.'' As you show the image of the airbrush, pronounce it and then ask your students to repeat the pronunciation. The next step is to write the actual word on the board, or have it appear in the PowerPoint.

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