2013-14‎ > ‎2. February 2014‎ > ‎

Interactivity at the IWB


French primary EFL (A1) presenting classroom object vocabulary using hide/reveal & drag/drop.  

Initial presentation of new vocabulary: classroom objects (pen, ruler, eraser) which learners have in schoolbags.  Whole-class instructional context with individual learners coming to the board one by one to drag hidden objects from schoolbag.  The teacher names each object and elicits choral repetition.

Interactivity = 1
Interaction with the board and language use are both very circumscribed.  The teacher controls access to the board and learners only drag an object out of the bag, without using language.  While the schoolbag picture provides context for the vocabulary presented, there is no attempt to create a context for using language.  The teaching activity involves no communication, since there is no exchange of information: all participants recognise the objects and simply repeat their names in the new language.

Other evidence for the mechanical, drill-like nature of this activity include
  • the teacher says "repeat" and reminds the class to speak "in English"
  • the teacher pauses in the drag-and-drop activity several times for choral repetition of words already presented
  • the words are always repeated in the same order (even when the final item is placed between two earlier items, the teacher elicits repetition in the order in which objects were revealed)


German vocational French (A2) presenting hotel room vocabulary using drag/drop of text labels to image of room plan.  

Review of vocabulary: labels for hotel furniture (table, chair, bed) and room plan image.  Whole-class instructional context with individual learners coming to the board one by one to position labels on image.  The learners volunteer to name objects and drag the labels.

Interactivity = 2
This activity is not a task because it does not simulate any real-world activity or provide context beyond the room plan image.  The learners do, however, produce language in addition to interacting with the board, and the teacher uses the objects on the board to support further oral input, particularly from the teacher (C'est quelle sorte de lit?  Un grand lit.  Pour combien de personnes?  What kind of bed is it?  A double bed.  For how many people?).  The learners also produce more than the minimum language required: "la télé devant le lit" (the TV in front of the bed) and "il y a un table et un chaise" (there is a table and a chair).


Example 1: 

French primary EFL (A1) listening comprehension to practice classroom object vocabulary using drag/drop.  

Small group context where the learners listen to an audio recording made by the teacher impersonating a schoolboy or schoolgirl asking the learners to give them certain objects.  The learners come to the board one by one to drag the correct objects into the schoolbag

Interactivity = 3
This activity is task-like because there is contextualisation of the activity which simulates a request by a classmate to pass classroom objects, which commonly occurs in primary school classes (in L1).  The language used in the recording is task-appropriate: "Give me a board, please."

However, the context is not fully established: the teacher has to tell a learner how to "give" the object: "You put it in this schoolbag."  The teacher also makes contributions which are not task-appropriate, asking the learners "what's this?" as they drag each object and eliciting repetition.

Example 2:

German secondary EFL (B1) matching parts of sentences to make meaningful news items using drag and drop.

Whole class context where learners volunteers correct sentences orally, then go to the IWB to demonstrate their responses.  

Interactivity = 3
This activity is task-like only because the teacher introduced it by saying she had collected news stories over the weekend but that they had "unfortunately" become mixed up, and the learners needed to help put them back together.  The language is task-appropriate and the teacher focuses on the meaning of the sentences by asking follow-up questions during the activity related to the content rather than form of the sentences (Which team were Mannheim playing?  Did you go to the market?)


German secondary EFL learners (A2) giving a presentation using the IWB to hide information they later reveal.

A group of learners give a class presentation supported by an IWB file page with a photo of a statue of the subject of the presentation and accompanying text.  The learners have hidden the engraving on the statue (using ink which can later be erased).  The learners have rehearsed the presentation and have notes, but immediately engage with the rest of the class by asking questions, treating the teacher as a member of the class.

Interactivity = 4
This activity constitutes a task in the sense that the learners give a class presentation as they would in other classes in L1.  They take on the role of the teacher by calling upon other participants to answer their questions and responding as a teacher might ("speak louder").  They use the eraser tool to gradually reveal text supporting the oral information they convey.