Developing cognitive and language skills through visual arts.

Renáta Marosi


Pedagogy works with a number of methods in order to develop students’ mental and emotional skills. For example, using audio-visual materials (e.g. songs, videos, flashcards) is considered highly beneficial and motivating for students. Taking into account the popularity and effectivity of audio-visual aids, it is worth considering the use of paintings, as representatives of visual arts, in education and more particularly in teaching and learning EFL. This pedagogical approach does not only expand students’ general knowledge on arts but also at the same time actives skills such as skills of making logical connections, reasoning and problem-solving, which are highly required in language acquisition (L2). Consequently, the purpose of the present paper is twofold. On the one hand, it aims at describing the positive influences of visual arts, i.e. paintings, in developing students’ cognitive skills that are likewise essential in (second) language learning: critical thinking, reasoning, problem-solving skill and the ability of expressing their own opinions, etc. On the other hand, the study provides the reader with an example of using paintings in pedagogy: it offers a 45-minute lesson plan on a particular work of art with a special attention to improving students’ aforementioned cognitive skills and practicing particular tenses (present simple and present continuous).

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