Arab World English Journal (AWEJ).Vol.6 No.1.2015                                                               Pp.415-519

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words Approach to Teaching English: Integrating Mind Maps in ELT 

Manar Dahbi
English Department
Staff Development & Research in Higher Education Unit.
Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Fes, Morocco




With the growing emphasis recently on developing organizational and thinking skills alongside language ones, visual tools such as mind maps are being increasingly employed in English language teaching. Many studies have demonstrated that when students use mind maps they tend to be motivated and thus better assimilate information and complete complex tasks. The aim of this paper is to discuss the different types and uses of such learning devices.  It also demonstrates based on evidence from the literature how mind maps as effective tools that teachers can use to enhance learning, attend to various learning styles, make instruction student-directed rather than teacher-led, and ultimately generate excitement and promote students’ engagement. The paper concludes with some literature-based guidelines that EFL teachers need to follow in order to effectively implement mind maps in their classrooms. These are mainly instructions on teacher instruction stages, and the precise point of implementation and how it influences the degree of effectiveness.
Keywords: concept maps, English language teaching, graphic organisers, mind maps.

Cite as: Dahbi,  M. (2015). A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words Approach to Teaching English: Integrating Mind Maps in ELT.
Arab World English Journal, 8 (1).


Dr. Manar Dahbi holds a Ph.D in Applied Linguistics. She teaches English for business,
English for computer engineering, and translation at the National School of Applied Sciences.
She has also an extensive teaching experience as an EFL secondary school teacher. Her main
fields of interest include: action research, teacher training, and ESL assessment.