Use of visual aids in foreign language classrooms to be discussed in BHSU Geek Speak lecture

Author: BHSU Communications/Monday, October 16, 2017/Categories: 2017

Dr. Du-Lu Hsiao, assistant professor of Spanish at BHSU, discusses the use of visual aids in foreign language classrooms in his upcoming Geek Speak lecture: "Use of Images for Visualization and Visual Literacy in Language Class" on Thursday, Oct. 19 at 4 p.m. in Jonas 110. All BHSU Geek Speak lectures are free and open to the public.

Dr. Du-Lu Hsiao, assistant professor of Spanish at Black Hills State University, says using visual aids in a foreign language classroom could bridge the gap between struggling to learn a language and becoming fluent. The lecture will be presented Thursday, Oct. 19 as part of the Geek Speak lecture series held weekly at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall, room 110. All Geek Speak lectures are free and open to the public.

In the upcoming BHSU Geek Speak lecture, "Use of Images for Visualization and Visual Literacy in Language Class," Hsiao will share how imagery can reduce ambiguity and increase language comprehension versus using text alone.

Imagine staring at a page of text in a foreign language. Without imagery, the words make little to no sense. Now, imagine staring at a page filled with images with a few words. Suddenly, the words have meaning.

According to Hsiao, when students feel a connection with an image from the real world they experience a more direct route to obtaining language skills, cultural awareness, and critical thinking.

"When you are teaching a foreign language, you are teaching more than the vocabulary," said Hsiao. "You are promoting global competence." He stresses that images should be the focus for language learning, not used as a complementary support to written text.

Hsiao said using visual aids in the classroom helps to create a safe environment for students to enhance their foreign language discussion skills.

"Seeing an image that is familiar can stimulate discussion organically," said Hsiao. "Students don&rsquot feel as nervous talking about an image that they feel connected to."

"When you use an image you create a direct route to engaging vocabulary," said Hsiao. "You limit the variety of interpretations." This, according to Hsiao, is how to successfully educate with a well-rounded outcome.

This and future Geek Speak lectures are held Thursdays at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall, room 110.  Scheduled presentations for this semester are:
  •  Oct. 26: "Something Wicked This Way Comes: The History, Myths, and Rituals of Halloween" by Dr. Courtney Huse-Wika, director of the Honors Program and associate professor of English
  • Nov. 2: "Veterans Legacies in the Black Hills" by Kelly Kirk, instructor of history
  • Nov. 16: "Searching for Riemann: A brief history and some recent insights into one of the most intriguing unsolved million-dollar problem in mathematics" by Dr. Parthasarathi Nag, professor of mathematics
  • Nov. 30: University Honors Capstone Defenses
  • Dec. 7: University Honors Capstone Defenses
To read short descriptions of each lecture topic, visit www.BHSU.edu/Honors

For more information, contact Dr. Courtney Huse-Wika, director of the University Honors Program and assistant professor of English, at 605-642-6918 or email Courtney.HuseWika@BHSU.edu.
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