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Visualization Update


Regular readers know that I’m a big believer in helping students use visualization techniques in the classroom (see My Best Posts On Helping Students “Visualize Success”).

I’ve continued to do it this year, and a good portion of my students seem to be taking it seriously (during the one minute time we do it each day students have the option of doing it or just being quiet). Though I haven’t taken the time to compare English assessment results this year as I have in the past (those who do it have typically had bigger increases), it’s clear that just taking the one minute of calmness helps the classroom atmosphere in general. It’s pretty obvious that on the days we forget to do it, things can often be a bit crazier.

About half of my mainstream ninth-grade students visualize; about two-thirds of my advanced English ninth-grade class do it; and about three-fourths of my Intermediate English students do so. As part of their regular Friday reflections, I periodically ask students if they are visualizing and, if they are, ask them to write what they see. Students know there is no negative consequence if they are not.

One change I’ve done the year based on the suggestion of our great assistant principal Jim Peterson is to have students take a few seconds before they visualize to look at their “goal sheets” that they have completed and decide which one they want to focus on that day. Also, at his recommendation I encourage students to not only see themselves working towards their goals, but also notice how they’re feeling when they are seeing themselves be successful.

Here are recent comments students have written as part of the Friday reflection in response to my question about what they are visualizing:

I see I’m reading really well and speaking English really well.

I see myself can speak a lot of English.

I visualize that I reading the book.

When I’m doing my visualizing I see myself doing a conversation in English with my friend.

I do not visualize — I just stay calm and breath.

Yes, I visualize. When I visualize I see me succeeding in the things I want to accomplish such as winning the breakdance tournament.

Yes, when I visualize I see myself doing work and talking.

When I visualize, I see myself reading, doing all my classwork and cleaning my binder.

I see myself reading a lot of books.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Pingback: » ELT news feed » Visualisation and goal-setting

  2. Hi,

    My name is Molly Dekin. I am a student at the University of South Alabama in a class called EDM-310. One of our assignments is to read different blogs and comment on them. I really liked this post. What a great idea. I actually do this quite a bit in almost everything I do. It helps me from getting overwhelmed and also to keep my eye on the big picture. I found that if I break up my goals into smaller pieces, it is much easier to manage. Then when I do accomplish that goal, it is such a great feeling.

    Molly Dekin

  3. It is absolutely thrilling to read this. I wonder if you still continue this practice and if you have results that further confirm your belief.

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