Transform your Teaching: Module 2: Lesson 1: What is Graphic Facilitation?

Graphic Faciltation is the use of graphics, icons and diagrams to support groups or individuals towards their goals. Generally, these visuals are hand-drawn, which adds simplicity and, in my opinion, a hint of magic. It can help learners to focus their thinking, plan, analyse information and brainstorm ideas. 

It is extremely adaptable and can turn any language class into a supportive, inspiring and memorable learning experience. 

The drawings and visuals are based on international iconography. They are NOT art, but communication.  

Some people believe that they can’t draw, but graphic facilitation is an accessible method of communication. It sees drawing as a visual vocabulary which, like any language, can be developed through time and practice. 

Graphic Facilitation has its roots in design industries such as architecture and engineering. It is invaluable as a tool for planning projects or visualising new technologies. 

In language teaching, you can use it with classes, in teacher training sessions and to make strategic plans for your school. It’s an engaging and innovative way to support ideas generation, team building and language acquisition.   

Graphic Facilitation. Drawing of a teacher at a whitebooard. Students are engaged and amazed by a simple drawing of a person walking through a park.

Over the years I’ve come to realise that it has a multitude of benefits for English language teachers. 

– It’s versatile

– It’s multisensory

– It aids critical thinking

– It supports memory

– It makes information more accessible

– It reduces processing load

– It aids understanding

– It takes minimal or zero preparation

– It doesn’t require technology

– It’s quick

– It’s copyright free

– It’s different

– It’s engaging

– It’s fun

Emily Bryson ELT Benefits of Drawing. Hand drawn images. Aid memory. Fun. Supportive. Stimulating. Use brain/ Check understanding

As you work through this module, I’ll share more examples of graphic facilitation techniques, specially tailored to the English Language Teaching context. 

These are real examples of ways I’ve successfully used them in the classroom to support my learners and trainees. 

As you go through these lessons, it’s a good idea to share your thoughts, ideas and doodles. You can do this in the Graphic Facilitation for ELT Facebook Group. This group is exclusive to Emily Bryson ELT course participants and alumni. It is a safe space to inspire and be inspired.  

If you haven’t yet joined the group. click the Facebook Logo to get started.