Ron Morrain: Using mind maps in the EFL classroom

Presentation focus

It is important for teachers to apply as many different methods and approaches in the L2 learning experience as they can. Mind maps and mind mapping are only a few of the many alternatives available to teachers for today’s modern classroom. They can be an alternative to course books, which do not appeal to certain learners. Using course books do not serve some learners well, especially those who have problems dealing with heavy text-based materials. Teachers can stimulate the L2 learning process by creating a collaborative and positive learning experience. Using mind maps in language learning helps to create that meaningful and positive L2 learning experience.

Mind maps stimulate the L2 learning experience because learners begin to make cognitive associations with any given topic. However, learners must also have a connection to the topic if they are to be successful in the learning process. With mind maps, learners become introspective and are able to recall experiences, and start to attach words to the existing pictures in their minds. Most importantly, they begin to write, so mind maps directly encourage the skill of writing. Senseless linear notetaking slowly goes out the window, and habits and attitudes towards L2 learning begin to change.

While mind maps can support the fundamentals of any positive learning/teaching experience, they are an alternative to traditional methods, and offer students and teachers the opportunity to grow and develop together in the L2 learning process.

What do you need to make this workshop successful?

•Bring your favorite course books along

•Bring a new A4 spiral college notebook

•Bring a teamwork attitude and spirit


Ron Morrain is an American and is currently living and working in Germany. He is co-founder and Managing Director of The Language Learning Center - Germany. He has been active in HRD as a manager and consultant for over 30 years. He has worked with Fortune 500 and DAX companies on projects in New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Mexico City, Hong Kong, London, Geneva, and major cities throughout Germany. He speaks three languages fluently (English, German, and Spanish), with some French and Hebrew. He has a B.Ed. in ESL from St. Edwards University (Austin, Texas), an MBA with a concentration in HRM / HRD from San Francisco State University, and a PhD in Organizational Psychology from University College London.

He has held management and lecturing positions at the International School of Management (Dortmund, Germany), Euro-Business-College and University (Düsseldorf, Germany), Cologne Business School (Cologne, Germany), and the University Südwestfalen (Hagen, Germany).

He is currently very active in the Human Resource Development department of the University Duisburg-Essen, where he is responsible for staff development programs i.e. planning, implementation, and assessment of language training and EMI Coaching. (English as a Medium of Instruction) His active schedule also includes corporate training, executive coaching, and teacher training throughout Europe.