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Visual CVs in the English Classes: Writing for the 21 Century!!


noresumeIt's no question that the notion of literacy has transcended beyond the written word to include the combination of visuals and words. Writing skills has also evolved into the art of combining the written word with visuals such as images and videos. Our students themselves are disengaged from the writing and are more tuned in to the “Visual Word”.
For the past two years, I have turned the common CV assignments, part of the writing sessions with my grade 11 students, into Visual CV assignments. The results were remarkable, and I am writing this post to share it with you.
I was first fascinated by the visual CVs when I came across some. Professionals using PowerPoint + images + words to produce stunning visual CVs and resumes that stand out. I first did my own visual resume and decided that my students should also do it, besides their traditional paper CVs.

Students first wrote their traditional paper CVs which would serve as the basis for their Visual CVs. As high school students, they didn’t have enough experience or skills to make their CVs. So, I encouraged them to pretend they are now working in the profession they envision themselves doing and write down the experiences, education and skills that they would have gained along the way.
After they were done with the first part of their assignment, the paper CVs, I modeled some great visual Resumes. This gave the class enough material to discuss. They had to deconstruct those visual resumes, and we discussed what made them so communicative. By the end of the discussion, students came to realize that images mean more than words and that’s what they did.
Guided by their paper CVs each student chose keywords and turned them into images on their CVs. Each students started a Google presentation and shared it with me. This enabled me to give each one of them timely comments and suggestions. After they were done, each presented before the class and each shared his Visual CV on the internet. Below are some example of visual CV’s produced by my students.















Students were completely engaged. Their attitude towards writing has shifted to pleasure writing. Their motivation was heightened. But what was really remarkable is how low-achievers have improved in their writings. This is due to strengthening their willingness to communicate through not only text but also images using PowerPoint as a tool and the Google platform as a medium for communication and collaboration.

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