Using Visual Aids & Manipulatives in ESL

taken from:

Hello guys, in this post I am going to talk about visual aids and manipulatives; what they are, and the way we can use them to help our teaching and students’ learning. Fortunately, English teachers are surrounded with all type of visuals which they can take advantage from, the key is to make a correct selection.


Visual materials are all the objects which are seen by students in order to learn. There is a great variety of visual materials.

Types of visual materials:





-real objects.

charts, etc.

Visual aids have different use, for example they can help teachers to present a topic, as a part of language practice and when reviewing language that was presented earlier.



Manipulatives are objects that can be touched or moved by students to reinforce a concept. And it is a way that students can physically interact with their learning. Manipulatives help reach students whose learning styles are often ignored, for example: kinesthetic, tactile. Manipulatives empower students to process and organize information at their own pace. Also they add novelty to the classroom and get students’ attention. And they can be used in a variey of ways such as these:










2 responses »

  1. To be honest, I have never heard about manipulatives, I touhgt about a kind of visual materials, but what found interesting is that manipulatives are in reality objects that our students can touch, and it reminds to me when I was designing my own material for reading, because the main point I took into account was the students´attention by touching my teaching material. thank you for this post it is really interesting

  2. I saw the tittle of your post and thought: what are manipulatives??? After reading it, I guess then that “manipulatives” are somehow like “realia”. Personaly, in my class, I enjoy a lot using manipulatives since they really make a difference so that students learn better. I have this tendency of using visual material as well as manipulatives, probably because I am visual/kinesthetic myself…Thank you!!!

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