Teaching in the Student’s Language

About a couple of months back, I was teaching one of my GCSE students about the applications of electromagnetic radiations. However, the student was confused with the different types of electromagnetic radiations and their applications. He complained that the names were “too techy” for him to handle. That evening, I was chatting at my gaming alma mater and suddenly realized that I was talking about electromagnetic radiations without realizing it! In my subsequent class for that student, I opened the topic with a discussion of his favorite action game. He was excited and described his favorite game to me in great detail with all the cool gadgets that the hero had. I asked him to make a list of those on the board, following which I related them to electromagnetic radiations. Here is a part of that list:

  • Night vision goggles = Infra red radiations = Can see in the dark
  • Heat seeking missiles = Infra red radiations again = the heating effect results in heat signatures.
  • Biorifiles with green goo that kills the enemies = Radioactive gamma radiation (The green goes gamma!)
  • X-ray glasses = X-Rays = Has penetration power used for detecting broken bones
  • HQ communicator = Microwaves = For mobile phone communication
  • Radar = Radio waves = For radio wave communication

I even managed to get some gaming videos from YouTube and used them as a supporting material to explain how the electromagnetic radiations work.

He got an A in his subsequent test.

I’ve realized that teachers, apart from being creative in their approach, must also keep themselves updated with the current trends that interest the students. Their language changes almost every day and teachers must look to update themselves with the same. I’ve tried a lot of other methods too, including movies, songs, TV shows, etc. In the last two months, I was able to observe that this method not only helps them remember things, but also helps in developing a great rapport between the teachers and students.

Published in: on September 26, 2010 at 10:22  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. You made it relevant. 🙂

    • and fun for the learners. 🙂

  2. This is great work. Engaging students by finding out what they know (and what they often aren’t aware they know) is to be working with their strengths. It can’t help but build confidence. It’s much harder maybe with students from diverse cultural backgrounds, who I teach, but I’m trying to find ways to know them better by building in opportunities for all students to show what they know.


    • Yes. This helps to a great extent in if the students are from diverse cultural background. I feel that if the teachers know their students better, in terms of their interests, hobbies, etc. the subject matter can be conveyed to them effectively. Such an approach, I feel, can definitely improve the confidence of the students and thereby promote interactive sessions, where learning is effective.
      Thanks for sharing your views!

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