how to (help)

Pointers for Picture Discussion

1)  Introduction
(i) Give a general overview of what the picture is about (WHERE + WHAT)
(ii) “This picture was probably taken at _________. It shows ________.”


2)  Description & Interpretation

(i) Be organised and systematic.

Focus on the most important part of the picture first and move around the picture.
(a)  “The central focus of this picture is….”
(b)  “In the foreground / middleground / background…”
(c)  “On the left / right of the picture…”
(d)  “In the top left corner / bottom right corner of the picture, a man…”


 (ii)  Use a wide and suitable range of vocabulary.
infant, toddler, pre-school boy/girl, young boy/girl, teenage boy/girl, young man/woman, yuppie-looking man/lady, middle-aged man/woman, elderly man/woman

Facial expressions
Sad: insipid, sombre, glum, sullen, downcast
Lifeliness: animated, beaming, wide-eyed
Happy smiles: bel air, graceful, gleeful, smiling like a Cheshire cat
Shy smiles
: coy, demure, pinched
Laughter: hearty, bubbly, hilarious, convulsing with glee

Briefly describe the clothes and hairstyle of the characters


(iii)  Interpretation of People

What do the facial expression and body language of a character tell you about:

a.      how he is feeling or thinking?
b.      what he intends to do?
c.      his relationship with the others in the picture?


(iv)  Interpretation of Place and Objects

What kind of place is this? Why are the people there?

What do the objects tell you about

a.      what had happened earlier?
b.      what is happening now?
c.      what will happen later?
d.      the weather and the time of the day?

(v)      Interpretation – Some useful structures

 “From her facial expression, I can assume that…”
“From the wrappers on the floor, I can tell that…”
“I believe…”
“Perhaps this man is about to…”

Now you!