Today’s learners are continually fed linguistically presented information, such as lectures, videos, directions, math chants, and reading assignments. Most opportunities for students to interact with peers happen primarily with words.
It’s all too easy, while employing various aspects of instructional design and delivery, to overlook ways that students might also engage in learning through nonlinguistics.
When used intentionally and consistently, nonlinguistic representations are powerful instructional tools that can have a positive effect on student achievement. They provide varied ways for students to process new information without solely relying on language.
McREL’s analysis of research for the second edition of Classroom Instruction that Works (CITW) provides these research-based classroom recommendations for use of nonlinguistic representations:
Use graphic organizers.
Use physical models or manipulatives.
Generate mental pictures.
Use pictures, illustrations, and pictographs.
Engage in kinesthetic activities.