Foreign Language Learning: The Use Of Images And The Visual Sense
The purpose of this paper is to examine reasons for the efficacy of different methods of foreign language learning related to the use of images. The efficacy of exercises based on images, whether visualizing techniques, mnemonics or illustrations, has been proven effective for learners of every age and ability. This paper seeks to determine why image-based techniques are so effective. Are they effective only with visual learners, or are they effective with any type of learner? I shall examine briefly the way that humanity has cultivated visual memory since the beginning of recorded history. In parallel, the cognitive evolution of the young learners, and children generally, seems to start with image-based memory and thoughtwhich eventually progress to the use of symbols. Is using images in learning a new language something natural, explained by evolutionary psychology? Perhaps we should apply the methods that children use to visually explore and understand the world to help all people, regardless of age, to learn new languages.
Keywords: ELT, visual learners, cognitive psychology, mnemonics, evolutionary psychology