There are many writers editors, and researchers among the Visual Arts Group Circle who have a number of methodology books, graded readers, picture books, coursebooks and chapters in books related to the visual arts in language education to their name.

Challenging and Controversial Picturebooks, edited by Janet Evans, Routledge (2015)


Challenging and Controversial Picturebooks is a book which examines unconventional, non-conformist picturebooks and considers what they are, their audience and their purpose. In her chapter “What’s Real And What’s Not: Playing With The Mind In Wordless Picturebooks” Sandie Mourao presents the findings of a project she planned in a Portuguese primary school which challenged the reasoning of three small groups of children and produced some thought-provoking discussions.

Creativity in the English Language Classroom, edited by Alan Maley and Nik Peachey, British Council (2015)


Creativity in the English Language Classroom is a free, downloadable  British Council publication. In her chapter ‘Making thinking visible in the English classroom: nurturing a creative mind-set’ Chrysa Papalazarou looks at how we can encourage creative thinking in the English classroom by using artful visual stimuli and the Visible Thinking approach.

Creativity in English Language Teaching, edited by Daniel Xerri and Odette Vassallo, ELT Council, Malta (2016)


Creativity in English language Teaching is a free, downloadable ELT Council publication. In her chapter “English through art: an ELT enrichment” Jean Sciberras explores how paintings can be used as ‘launch pads’ to practise and develop various language skills and sub-skills. The chapter demonstrates that creativity in the language classroom is not limited to the gifted and talented but is something that any teacher can try to apply. The aim of this practical chapter is to provide art-based activities that stimulate language learning, although, of course, alerting students to art appreciation is a desirable by-product.

Eyes Open


Eyes Open is a highly visual coursebook for teenage ELT students co-authored by Ben Goldstein and Ceri Jones which recognises that youth culture today is visually oriented, that video is becoming the primary means of information presentation in digital global media, and that teenagers relate well to material that is visually attractive. The images and videos, which were produced by Anna Whitcher, in Eyes Open have been chosen to appeal to young students and teachers.

Fat Cat’s Busy Day, Maria Cleary, Helbling (2011)


Fat Cat’s Busy Day is a young reader written by Maria Cleary and illustrated by Lorenzo Sabbatini.

Film in Action, Kieran Donaghy, Delta Publishing (2015)


Film in Action places the moving image at the centre of the 21st century language learning agenda. This ground-breaking book shows how teachers can benefit enormously from the emergence of video distribution sites and the proliferation of mobile devices. The book invites teachers to experiment with film, and provides insights into how learners can engage with film, over 100 activities for teachers to bring film into the language class and steps for teachers and learners to create their own moving images.

Films in Health Sciences Education, Kieran Donaghy, University of Barcelona Publishing (2012)


Films in Health Sciences Education is addressed mainly to teachers of English for healthcare, but also caters for health professionals and can be used as a course book for health-science students. The objective of this book is to help health professionals and students improve their medical English, and enjoy, analyse, understand and learn about health sciences through film. Subjects related to health care of interest to doctors, nurses, pharmacists and psychologists among others, are presented alongside an analysis of film language. There is a glossary of the most important medical English vocabulary used in the film.

Henry Harris Hates Haitches, Maria Cleary, Helbling (2010)


Henry Harris Hates Haitches is an engaging young reader about a boy who can’t say the letter ‘H’ written by Maria Cleary and beautifully illustrated by Lorenzo Sabbatini.

How to Write Film and Video Activities,Kieran Donaghy and Anna Whitcher, ELT Teacher 2 Writer (2015)


How to Write Film and Video Activities provides essential guidance on how to choose exploitable video for the purposes of writing video activities for the ELT classroom. The authors share their knowledge of the best sources of high-quality video and discuss criteria for selection, such as syllabus fit, language level, length, relevance and task potential. This ebooks forms part of the ELT Teacher 2 Writer training course. The training modules are designed to help teachers write better ELT materials, either for publication, or simply to improve the quality of your self-produced classroom materials.

Imagine That!, Mental Imagery in the EFL Classroom,Jane Arnold, Herbert Puchta , Mario Rinvolucri, Helbling (2007)


Imagine That! explores new ways to enliven your classroom by opening “the mind’s eye, ear and heart” with motivating activities that help your students learn more effectively. Using more of their inner resources, students will find greater personal meaning in the classroom experience. It presents a clear introduction to mental imagery, stressing its importance for our cognitive processes in general and for better language learning. A brief review of relevant research provides a background for the many practical ideas about using imagery in secondary and adult ELT classrooms described in this book. All the language skills are addressed. The accompanying CD-ROM comes with worksheets, artwork, music and recordings of parts of the activities.

Learning Language with Digital Video,Ben Goldstein and Paul Driver, CUP (2014)


Language Learning with Digital Video is for teachers who are interested in using a range of video in the language classroom, from documentaries to You Tube clips and learner-generated material. The book contains a wide variety of generic, easy-to-use practical activities as well as a number of ready-made worksheets for specific video clips. Activities require minimal preparation and use is made of digital tools where appropriate. Activities are suitable for a range of ages and levels and for both the experienced and less experienced teacher. There is also a useful list of sources, from which teachers can access a wide range of video clips, as well as a bank of technical tips and advice.



Life is a six-level general English coursebook series which draws on National Geographic  images, articles and videos that engage learners, co-authored by John Hughes.

The Big Picture


The Big Picture is a highly visual general English course for adults authored by Ben Goldstein and Ceri Jones. The thought-provoking images are eye-catching and meaningful and each one plays an important role in the learning process. The Big Picture was written for teachers and learners of English and recognises that learning should be fun. The strong images appeal to all nationalities and learners will appreciate the variety of different text types and technologies.

The Museal Turn

6097-9 Coelsch

The Museal Turn explores the dynamics of contemporary museum culture with regard to its ethics and aesthetics as well as its institutional, social and political frameworks. In her chapter “Museum Going and Art Writing in A.S. Byatt’s Fiction” Sylvia Karastathi explores how museums are represented in the novels of the English novelist A.S. Byatt.

(Re)viewing Creative, Critical and Commercial Practices in Contemporary Spanish Cinema, Edited by Duncan Wheeler and Fernando Canet, Intellect (2014)


(Re)viewing Creative, Critical and Commercial Practices in Contemporary Spanish is a reassessment of contemporary Spanish cinema from 1992 to 2012. In her chapter “Hybrid Models: Auteurism and Genre in Contemporary Spanish Crime Thrillers” Carmen Herrero explores the development of the genre of Spanish crime thrillers.

Skater Boy, Maria Cleary, Helbling (2013)


Skater Boy written by Maria Cleary illustrated by Lorenzo Sabbatini, is a young reader which won the Language Learner Literature Award by the Extensive Reading Foundation.

Tell it Again! The Storytelling Handbook for Primary English Language Teachers, edited by Gail Ellis and Jean Brewster, British Council (2014)


Tell it Again! is a free, downloadable ELT Council publication which provides a comprehensive methodology section on using picture storybooks and the technique of storytelling, and story notes on 12 stories from around the world. For each story there are a series of lesson plans with photocopiable activity sheets.The stories include ten of the most popular Puffin storybooks as well as two stories that can be copied. 

Using Film to Teach Languages,Carmen Herrero and Deborah Chan, Cornerhouse (2011)


Using Film to Teach Languages is a free teachers’ toolkit for educators wanting to teach languages using film in the classroom. It helps teachers understand the value of film education and the positive impact it has on learning languages, particularly community and lesser taught languages, and acquire the necessary tools, resources and knowledge to interpret a film. It gives teachers new ideas on how to create practical language exercises, using feature films, documentaries and short films.

Working with Images, Ben Goldstein, CUP (2009)


Working with Images contains over 75 practical teaching ideas for the language classroom. Activities involve the use of both low-tech and high-tech images and are suitable for a very wide variety of teaching contexts: young learners and adults; specialised and general English; richly- or minimally-equipped classrooms. Activities can be used in any order, at any point in a course. In addition, the design of the activities allows teachers to adapt and apply the ideas to other topics. The accompanying CD-ROM contains a bank of images, ready for immediate classroom use.