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A flashcard or flash card is a card bearing information, as words or numbers, on either or both sides, used in classroom drills or in private study. One side can have a question and an answer on the other side. Flashcards can bear vocabulary, historical dates, formulas or any subject matter that can be learned via a question-and-answer format. Flashcards are widely used as a learning drill to aid memorization. Flashcards can be used when a learner is unable to grasp the meaning of a word. They can be an excellent learning and teaching tool, especially when introducing new vocabulary or drilling familiar words. Besides being used by the teacher, they can also be used in a variety of activities and even posted around the classroom for the reference of the students. Flashcards can be used at any point of time through a lesson, and all stages of ESA. This method of ingraining memory is one of the most adaptable approaches to both beginners and adults. They are best used for studying, learning/reviewing vocabulary, drilling, engaging, activity, etc. Flashcards work well because they help you not only memorize facts quickly but to process and store the information over the long-term. Your brain can more easily retain the information because when you use flashcards, your brain is triggered to use the learning skills. Both paper and digital cards are accessible, and you can also make your cards related to a subject or tailored to the lesson being thought. One effective attractive aid in teaching is the use of flashcards. Students, Adults and Young learners who remember things, by seeing visual aids are more motivated to learn when the teacher incorporates tools in the classroom. One of the most famous approaches to learning English vocabulary is to utilize flashcards. They are a great resource since they help learners memorize vocabulary words both rapidly and effectively. They are also adaptable to various age groups. This being said, flashcards benefit all age groups. Where to get flash cards? Flashcards are not to be created at the last minute. Whatever method you choose, always have the cards ready prior to the day of the lesson; best a day before so one can review the sequence of its use. Using flashcards brings out the best results when reviewing a lesson, teaching vocabulary, etc. It can be effective in drilling exercises and can also be used for games in groups or pairs. Buy them. Some course books provide a supplementary pack of flash cards or they can be bought in sets. Make them yourself. If you don't have access to professionally produced flash cards, don't worry, it's really easy to make your own even if you're not very artistic. You can use pictures from magazines, draw simple pictures or copy from the internet or clip art. The most important thing is to make sure they are all of the same size, on card (different colors for different sets) so you can't see through them. If possible you can laminate the sets as you make them and they will last for years. The advantage of making your own, apart from the fact that they're cheap and yours to keep, is that you can make sets for your specific needs. You may like to make a set to use in conjunction with a story book or graded reader, or even to accompany project work. Students make them. I have recently begun to incorporate the production of flash cards into the classroom. After introducing a new lexical set, using the course book, ask students to produce the flash cards for you. Give each one an item to draw. They can be mounted on card to make the set. Activities for using flash cards I have divided the activities into the following categories: Memory, drilling, identification activities. Memory activities Memory Tester Place a selection of flash cards on the floor in a circle. Students have one minute to memorize the cards. In groups, they have two minutes to write as many of the names as they can remember. Drilling activities Invisible Flash cards Stick nine flash cards on the board and draw a grid around them. Use a pen or a pointer to drill the nine words. Always point to the flash card you are drilling. Gradually remove the flash cards but continue to drill and point to the grid where the flash card was. When the first card is removed and you point to the blank space, nod your head to encourage children to say the word of the removed flash card. Students should remember and continue as if the flash cards were still there. They seem to be amazed that they can remember the pictures. Depending on the age group I then put the flash cards back in the right place on the grid, asking the children where they go, or I ask students to come up and write the word in the correct place on the grid. This activity highlights the impact of visual aids. It really proves that the images 'stick' in students' minds. Identification activities Reveal the word Cover the flash card or word card with a piece of card and slowly reveal it. Students guess which one it is. Once the card is shown, chorally drill the word with the group using different intonation and silly voices to keep it fun. Vary the volume too, whisper and shout the words. Children will automatically copy your voice. Alternatively, flip the card over very quickly so the children just get a quick glimpse. Repeat until they have guessed the word. TPR activities Point or race to the flash cards Stick flash cards around the class. Say one of them and students point or race to it. Students can then give the instructions to classmates. You can extend this by saying 'hop to the cat' or even 'if you have blonde hair, swim to the fish' etc. You can also incorporate flash cards into a game of Simon Says. 'Simon says, jump to the T-shirt' Just a few quick tips for managing flashcards: Make flashcards large enough so students at the back of the class can see what they are. Laminate the flashcards so that they can be reused in future lessons. It will save you time in the long run. If you don’t have a lamina-tor, you can Sellotape the pictures/words onto card or use a plastic envelope to protect them. Make your own library of flashcards and keep them in either a folder or within envelopes so that they are easily accessible. Create a magazine drop-off box in the staff room so that teachers have ready access to a range of magazines for pictures, text, etc for flashcard making. These are just a few simple and tried methods that will encourage your learners to practice without feeling they’re being treated like children. In saying this, after they feel more comfortable in their new learning surroundings more fun activities can be gradually be introduced for review. Be sure to modify all learning materials to suit the needs of the class and always bear in mind you’re working with adults not kids.