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The Imaginative Use of Projected Visuals


  • Thomas P. Carter

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      Thomas P. Carter (Ph.D., Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island) is Assistant Professor of French and Education, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.


ABSTRACT  Visual materials for the overhead projector are often misused or used uneconomically. The frequent recourse to visual aids merely because they are visual is pedagogically and psychologically questionable. This article offers suggestions for (1) types of material that most effectively can be given an immediate visual reference and (2) methods by which the teacher can best present such materials, with reference to oral activity in the classroom. In the discussion of types of materials, it is proposed that materials designed for projection should follow structural rather than purely contextual criteria; the selection of linguistic patterns to be used precedes the choice of specific content. It also seems preferable to design materials according to their degree of visual appropriateness or necessity. Various techniques for presenting materials are discussed, for both teacher-controlled and free expression. Standard oral exercises and visually oriented exercises share two important principles: economy and imagination. By economy is understood the generation of many possible sentences from a limited number of images or cues; imagination, especially in its etymological sense, is essential for devising such materials and exploiting them through a variety of techniques. The ultimate proposal is for a reexamination of the philosophy and implementation of projected visual aids.

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