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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Teaching Grammar    

Teaching Grammar


Teaching Grammar
I �m doing a project on different ways to teach/introduce grammar points, so i �d like you to share your personal experience on it. What i �m interested in is this:

-do you give a lecture on the grammar point (like, �Today we �re going to learn about the Past simple tense. It is formed this way. You use it in these occasions. Let �s do some exercises where you �ll apply the rules i told you about.) or do you do sth else?

-how do you check the exercise sentences that your students did (do you just call out their names and they read the answers, or you do sth else?)

-how effective is your method, do you think?

Ahhh, i don �t know exactly what Qs to ask you. I just need your own ways - the HOW.


16 Feb 2009      


I do not know as I am a beginner,if I am doing okay or wrong.I did this way : Start telling the topic a very short introduction like you said---we are going to learn today about the present tense...and from this moment I start writing the title and everything on the blackboard. Is it okay ---Smile ???? You the more experienced ones I am waiting for your suggestions. I give examples an the blackboard and everything is on the blackboard for 7 th graders. And then I ask somebody to write the exercises again on the blackboard.Any other suggestions are welcomed ! Thank you all of you !Stern SmileHeart

16 Feb 2009     


 I don �t know if this is the best way but I do it like this:

1  I introduce the subject we �re about to do
2  I explain the theory using the blackboard as I rarely include theory in my worksheet, except basic
3  we do the exercises I have given them. I have small groups, so all the students take part
    alternatively and I can check if they have understood the subject properly.
4  I give them extra exercises as homework and we correct them the following day

16 Feb 2009     


So you are doing these exercises in small groups every student with the worksheet in front of him/her --15 minutes and then how are you checking them ?They read out for you ? So not on the blackboard..okay...Thumbs Up yes we did this way when I was studying English in highschool. It is a good way. I observed that while 1 student was at the blackboard the others were not too attentive and make a little noise and started to focus on other activities. So it was not a good idea --or should I try out other methods too ?! LOLClown

16 Feb 2009     


How can I teach the Present Continous tense for a third grader ? I tutor a boy. In their student books there is the present tense continous in examples --but not explained .Should I explain to a third grader how it is formed ? Or just practising with him so that he would be able to make these sentences correctly without explaining the grammar.What do you think ????

16 Feb 2009     


Spanish students have a very clear idea of the present continuos for actions happening now.
They see this tense structure in affirmative/negative/questions and then I ask them to mention things they can see going on at the moment. Then one of them alternatively mimic whatever they want and the others guess what he/she is doing. We do most of grammar practice orally.

16 Feb 2009     


Hi Ivona!
I usually use pictures or a drawing I have done, I draw really badly and the students love to laugh at me...I have been teaching adults for many years and I have my favorites for each topic..
For example for present perfect with a present result I have 2 pictures of me that I have drawn, one is me looking rather poorly and the other is me looking quite spiffy with alot of shopping bags full of things they can see like food, new shoes, plane tickets, etc. I give them one or two sentences. I say it and I write on the board `I have been to the hairdresser` Where else have I been? I elicit and write everything down on the board. You have bought a plane ticket. You have put on make-up. etc Then I ask questions to elicit the form and the usage. What verbs did I use? `have and V3` Then I elicit the `when` last year? Yesterday? we aren`t sure? YES!!! We don`t know! or before now but when doesn`t matter! That`s present perfect!
Then I have other drawings and pictures, I have a power point presentation full of these before and after and achievement pictures, relevent to Turkish students culture, Then we do a follow up practice activities.
I find pictures or stories give context which supports the students to think about how they can use tenses. I don`t use alot of gap fills as I don`t think that they provide the context students need.

16 Feb 2009     


I my school I work with smartschool (students make their exercises in a word-document and then upload. I correct the exercises and send them my remarks.


16 Feb 2009     


Hi dear Ivona! I think this is an extremely interesting topic since we have thousands of ESLprintables on GRAMMAR. However, the approach used is only visible on a few of them. So, I �ve often wondered how teachers introduce the grammar topic they �re going to teach, I mean, all the work they do with the students before handing out the worksheets we download in this site.

The approach we choose reflects our beliefs in why  people learn languages (what for?) and how they learn, as well as the didactic and pedagogical theories we follow.
Personally,  I see grammar as a tool to communicate.  That �s why I  introduce a grammar topic from one language skill: reading, writing, listening or speaking (I try to diversify as much as possible. If in this Task I used listening, in the next one I �ll use speaking, and then reading, and so forth....). Students get exposed to the language even though they aren �t aware of it yet. For example, if I use a reading activity to introduce the grammar topic  (always contextualized with the cultural topic of the Task we �re teaching at the moment), the text I choose  will have the structures they are going to learn and the reading tasks chosen will make the students use those same structures.
After this period of exposure (it can vary from 15 to 40 minutes), it �s time for students to become aware of the structures they �ve seen and they �ve been using. Sometimes I use the correction of the reading (or any other skill) tasks on the board. I ask questions about the sentences, about what is common in them, etc,  to lead them to infer the rules of the use and form. After they inferred the rules with the whole class, it �s time to systematize it all in a very clear way. If I give a worksheet, they �ll systematyze it in pairs or individually. If not, I �ll do it with them on the board and they copy into their notebooks.
And then it �s time to practise/drill. And that �s when most of the worksheets I download (or my own) are handed out to the students. I always choose at least 3 different types of exercises, not very long ones, with increasing degree of difficulty. I usually ask the students to do the first exercise in pairs, so that they become more confident, and then individually.
Last but not least, now that the students have the knowledge, it �s time to put that knowledge in use, i.e., time to develop students communicative competence, because that is what grammar is for. A real situation is created, and students have to use the grammar they learned through one of the language skiils (writing, speaking........). They can create a dialogue and roleplay it to the class, they can write an interview, they can organize a debate, depending on what best suits the grammar topic studied as well as the cultural topic.
That �s the way I do it. I think it meets the needs of the students and it �s according to the aims of the  Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
I hope I could help ivona!
A nice day to you all!

16 Feb 2009     


Hello Ivona,

A good teacher never lectures , but elicits. I always start by eliciting, so that my sts. discover the grammar rule themselves. Now eliciting can be by pictures, background knowledge, daily life experiences, qusetions, games etc........ It all comes through communication .

I never teach grammar in isolation. It �s always integrated with reading, writing , or even listening. It �s a matter of usage and practice rather than a rule we have to teach.

As for using grammar, it �s not limited to the traditional exercises. I usually create situations where sts. are able to use wha they learned. For example, use the simple past to write a personal narrative rather than solving sentence exercises. Maybe, they would make dialogues or speak about an event using the simple past. It �s all integrated.
I tried both and I find the integration way and learning grammar by communication is better than learning it in isolation. It �s more effective.
Good luck,

16 Feb 2009     

Russian Federation

I do it differently depending on the grade.
With 5th grade I usually introduce the topic by doing a listening and reading which includes it.(as mena22) Then I can explain it with examples and also funny stupid drawings on the blackboard and funny examples about the students or me. But that shouldn �t take more than 5 minutes or they become distracted. Sometimes we write down a small table in the copybooks. Then I give them some funny exercise-game on it and after that we may do some harder worksheet.
With 7th-8th grades we also do some reading or listening first. I may ask them to read silently the rules or even to read them at home, then ask them to explain in their words(as a rule there is at least one student who understood everything and wants to share) and then I explain the rule once again using blackboard, body language, poems etc. Then we give examples one by one, sometimes in a caterpillar way. After that there can be some game on the rule and worksheets.
But don �t take me as a sample, it �s just my first year of teaching and I �m sure there �re better ways.Wacko

16 Feb 2009     

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