How To Teach Grammar
How To Teach Grammar
Teaching grammar can be a daunting challenge, with many rules and structures to consider. This video gives you some useful tips on how to teach grammar.
Hi. I'm Deborah, and I'm from Greater London Tutors, and I teach foreign languages and English as a second language. And today I'm going to give you some tips on how to teach.
When learning a new language, grammar is very important. Grammar is really the foundation of the language. It gives you the rules and regulations.
Without good grammar, you could still make yourself understood - obviously you have the vocabulary - but as soon as you start saying more complicated things that involve different times, tenses, that's when grammar becomes very useful. Without grammar, you don't know how many people you're talking about, who you're talking about, and that's why it's important. Now, I find that when I'm teaching grammar it's always very good to elicit the grammar out of the students.
So, for example, if I'm teaching the conditional tense, I might show my students a clip from 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire', and I might show a clip where someone has lost out on some money, or they've won some money. And then I'll say to my students "We'll pretend that you are that person", and so, from my students I elicit "If I were him, I would spend the money on a new car". They don't always get it right, but I've elicited the conditional tense from them; that's come from them, without me having to teach them.
And then I find that, with grammar, before you start teaching the exact rules, it's also quite good to put it into context. So, for example, if you're teaching simple past, it's always good to start talking to students about what they did at the weekend, or what they did last summer. That way, it becomes much more relevant to them.
And then, once they've got the basic idea of when to use the tense and how to use it, that's when you can start bringing in the finer details, such as changes in the structure, whether you add an 's' at the end, whether it stays the same for different subjects. So, for example, in English the classic one is 'I go', 'you go', 'he goes', so the 's' at the end. So, once you've put the grammar into context, and you've got the students to think of the different rules, I find it's also a good idea to think of any other tenses that are similar.
A good example is the present perfect. Now, a lot of my English language students get the past simple and the present perfect confused. So it's good to put them in context, perhaps in the same paragraph, so students can see how they are different.
And lastly, it's very important to reinforce the grammar that they've learned. Get them to practice with each other. I find it very useful to do online quizzes.
There are some great grammar quizzes on the BBC language website, for example, but there are lots of others. Get them to do some written work, speaking work, listening work, and I find that repetition is very good because it's very easy to think you understand a rule of grammar, and then forget it. So these are just some basic ways of teaching grammar, and I find that it depends on the level that you're teaching, how difficult the grammar is.
Obviously, teaching the present simple is quite straightforward, and most of my students already know the basic rules. But I find that, with more complicated grammar, such as the conditional tense, the past perfect, the future, that's when you really need to reinforce it and think of more inventive ways of teaching it. .