ESOL practitioners are familiar with the use of images and realia in the classroom. It’s often so much easier to get key concepts and situations across to students by drawing or supplying pictures to establish meaning than to rely on verbal similes and definition. Personally I find it much simpler, faster and more entertaining to draw a wee castle on a flipchart than to intone ‘a large building often very old, to help defend people, made of stone…’ when I want to make sure students understand the word ‘castle’. (or fort.)

As a Local Authority ESOL practitioner engaged in community ESOL, I am also aware of how useful drawing skills are when we have to engage and consult our learners on how well our provision suits them and how they would like to see our classes and provision develop. Careful listening and fast drawn images ensure that everybody is kept on board with difficult concepts like ‘employablility’ or ‘creche’…

Often we also need to make decisions regarding provision at strategic level and try to work with colleagues and other agencies to agree approaches to provision. Graphic Facilittaion is a powerful tool to ensure different individuals and agencies can visualise and agree key issues, priorities and ways forward. You’ve probably seen it at a seminar or workshop before.

As a consequence I have been developing my own business as a Graphic Facilitator, making my skills available to other professionals across a variety of disciplines including ESOL.

I use large scale imagery depicting metaphor and imagination – visually documenting everybody’s contribution – leading groups and individuals towards a goal with the use of flipcharts (Storyboarding) and rolls of paper (Storylining) by sitting in on group discussions such as meetings seminars workshops conferences.

I am also available for illustration commissions for reports or learning materials.

Previous clients include Angus Council, Scottish Rural Parliament, Falkland Factory Group…

You can find out more about my business and graphic facilitation here:

or find out more about Graphic Facilitation and its uses here:

Graphic Facilitation

Or just get in touch.

Neil Paterson



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