Monday 25 August 2008

Make Your EFL ESL Yearbook

As ever I'm a fool for technology which can make images entertaining and personalise them, so when I saw this I couldn't resist it.

Nik Peachey or Austin Powers?

This site is called Yearbook Yourself and is based around the concept of the end of year school books that are so popular in some countries. The site enables you to upload an image of yourself and then import it into the style of a yearbook from any year between 1950 and the 2000s. You can then download the images as jpg files.

The site also gives you a little bit of information about what was popular in those years and plays a small music clip from that year.

So how can we use for teaching ESL EFL students?
In order to use it with your students, you or they will need to have a digital image of themselves. Ideally it should be a head and shoulders portrait with the student face on to the camera.
Here are some ideas for activities:
  • Create a yearbook for your class. You could do this by getting the students to select the year when they were born and then convert their portrait to a person from that year. You could follow this up by asking students to research some important events from that year. This is easy to do, just by going to and doing a search on the year. Here's one I did on 1954 The page lists lots of interesting events. You could follow this up by getting students to find out about what their parents were doing the year they were born. They could ask their parents if they remember any of the key events from that year. The students could then report back either orally or in writing to the rest of the class next lesson.
  • Students could decide which year they like best. Give the students a list off 3 - 5 years and then they should create an image of themselves in each of those years (get them to do this at home). They could then email in the images or bring them to class to show and tell the other students which year suits them best and why they would like to have been around in that year.

    The 70s didn't really suit me!
  • You could create two images of yourself and then put students in pairs. Without showing the images to each other the students would have to describe the images and decide if they are the same image or different images. Here's an example of two of myself.

  • Comparing students' lives with those of their parents may also be interesting. Ask the students to find out what year their parents were 16. Then ask them to create an image of themselves from the same year. Ask the students to write a text about or discuss how their lives at 16 are different from the lives of their parents at 16.

    I don't look much like my dad!
  • Ask students to create an image of themselves from one of the years and then imagine what that person would be doing now x years later. This is a good way to get them thinking about their own future.
Why I think this is a good site for EFL ESL
  • It's free to use and quite quick and easy
  • I really like the novelty of seeing your image transformed
  • I like the year book concept and the brief information and sound clips from the different years.
  • Personalisation of tasks is always more motivating for students
What could be better
  • It would be nice to be able to try your image in different years before you decide which one you want.
  • There are some links to advertising and products in different shops. Easy to avoid though.

Anyway, I hope you and your students enjoy creating some stimulating EFL ESL materials with this site.

Related postings:

Nik Peachey


testecarla said...

Just loved it, Nik! I'm here laughing with your photos. Thanks for sharing.

Nik Peachey said...

Thanks Carla,

I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures. I had some fun making them too.

I just checked out your blogger profile. You manage a LOT of blogs! How do you find the time!



testecarla said...

LOL, Nik! Most of them are not active in Blogger! I've used them for specific projects. There's one all set that I haven't had time to start and would love to...A Portuguese one! Funny that I don't blog in my mother tongue. The one that I really write nowadays is Explorations and The Cultural Capsule.

By the way, I added my Yearbookyourself there! Thanks for the pointer.

Nik Peachey said...

Interesting blogs Carla. I particularly like the Explorations one.



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