Visual aids in ESL

Below are some easy ESL activities to use in your classroom

1) Use a timeline to talk about the different past tenses in English

Use an adapted timeline in order to better demonstrate the past progressive with two subjects:


Past                       Present                                Future

—-xxxx—————————————–  He was studying

—-xxxx—————————————–  While I was playing basketball

The format of this time-line shows how both are were ongoing at the same time.


2) Learn more about past progressive

In order to draw stick figures showing someone who used to  exercise regularly but doesn’t anymore,  draw a person with large bicep muscles on the left and on the left someone with droopy biceps.


3) In order to help students ask for and give directions in English, bring in the following realia:

Maps: city maps, bus maps, train maps.  Students can learn to ask and give directions to get places on food, bus, or train

Flight Schedule:  a sample plane ticket can get students using words like terminal and gate

Tour Guides:to help people become comfortable asking for directions to tourist sites


4) Use Visual Cues to teach ESL vocabulary:

There are several ways to teach the vocabulary ‘majority’ and ‘minority’

One way is to draw a series of circles on the board.  Circle most of them, label this category a majority.  Then circle the rest, label this category minority. Ask students to fill in the circles with words.