Getting Your Hands on Learning: Manipulative Tools in Content ESL/EFL Instruction

Kathleen Corrales


Manipulatives are only for math classes and kindergartners, right? Wrong! Since Rita Dunn’s ground-breaking research on learning styles and Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, educators of all subjects have tried to develop teaching techniques that allow all types of students to learn. Because of their highly visual and kinesthetic/tactile character, manipulatives are an especially powerful tool for ESL-content instruction. However, they are relatively unknown in the ESL field because many teachers believe that manipulatives can only be used with the very young or in math classes. In this article, I will explain how using manipulatives in class can turn learning into a fun and meaningful experience. I will provide 7 different teacher-made manipulatives that have been used in ESL language arts, science and social studies classes.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

This journal and its papers are published with the Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). You are free to share copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format if you: give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made; don’t use our material for commercial purposes; don’t remix, transform, or build upon the material.

Indexed in: DOAJLinguistics Abstracts Online,Google ScholarsMLA Bibliography - Language, Linguistics and LiteratureOpen J-Gate,Directory of Research Journals Indexing, EBSCOProQueste-Revist@sPublindexERICEmerging Sources Citation IndexORE (Open-Access Research in English Language Teaching)Cabell's International (The White List)Red Iberoamericana de Innovación y Conocimiento Científico (Redib)