How to Teach English Grammar Communicatively
In today's emphasis on quality education and the development of communicative competence in English, "English grammar "seems to be a big taboo when talking about English teaching. Most English teachers feel comfortable teaching a conversation lesson or a lesson that integrates other skills such as listening, reading, or writing. They show creativity in those lessons and include various ideas to help students improve their language skills. how ever this, however, more difficult when teaching a grammar topic.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Zhang Z. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
The goal of grammar lessons is to present the grammar to comprehend the main points and then to move into practice, which starts with more controlled practice and then moves to more free practice. The goal really is for them to develop fluency with the grammar structure.
We need to combine speaking, listening, reading, and writing in a grammar lesson and show students that learning grammar does not need to be boring. As well as show students that grammar is in every sentence they want to say or write. let's see some basic points.
- present a grammar point in a meaningful context
- check for student understanding
- provide guided practice
- provide communicative practice
The teacher should show students how the grammatical pattern is used in everyday conversation. It is important to remember that the function cannot be understood out of context. therefore what grammar points mean and how it is used to go hand in hand.
It's important to set up the grammar, As an example, which is a clue that this grammar point we are talking about has meaning.
Firstly: I use this grammar point to talk about my life, and I talk about my family.
- I was an engineer before I am a teacher now
- before now
I want to establish the fact that this grammar point is very useful in communication, very useful to talk about things like what we did before, what we're doing now, so it also piques students' interest in the grammar point.
Then: I identify two students who had jobs present and past and let other students try to make sentences about these students and themselves. Next step: I can let the students focus on a specific learning material such as the sheet below. Questions Answers: Were you a student? Yes, I was. No, I wasn't, I was a teacher. Was he a student? Yes, he was. No, He wasn't, he was a teacher. Was she a student? Yes, she was. No, she wasn't, she was a teacher. Were the students? Yes, they were. No, they weren't, they were teachers.
Then: I go over the model pronunciation. This is already rooted in meaning because of what teachers did before using the learning materials.
Secondly: Students move from the grammar chart to the first exercise which is a" check students' understanding" sheet. It enables teachers to see if students are really understanding that grammar chart. I can circulate to watch them as they write responses and then later to listen to them as they practice grammar points. It's very important to check for students understanding, because if students aren't grasping the main grammar points, if they're not making these distinctions between was and were, if they're not picking up cues for he, she, they and so on, they can't really be successful.
Thirdly: After the first grammar activity which is a check students' understanding activity, I move to what we call guided practice. It is the other activities that follow. Double-check Teachers can use some pictures with different Professional characters. The goal of guided practice is fluency. I want students to be able to use these grammar points fairly automatically and to be able to use them easily and comfortably. Now let students use the pictures to make some sentences and questions with their partner for those pictures.
Before students begin to practice with a partner the teacher has to make sure the students understand the main focus of the practice activity.
If teachers don't model what they expect students to be doing they can't expect success. Before teachers let students continue onto practice activate. They should make sure that students have very clear models for what they are expected to do.
So the guided practice is a student-centered practice where students are working with each other, with partners, The goal here is for the teacher to get out the way and let students practice, develop fluency and also enable the teacher again to circulate and monitor students and to observe their fluency.
Also Read: The Linguistic Division of English
The last activity in the grammar lesson is a communicative activity, this is really the culmination of the lesson.
Let students work with a chart where they have to find the name, previous and current personal job information. Let them write sentences about their partner's job information.
It's a very interesting activity for students because they enjoy talking to each other they're finding information that they don't know. There's no right or wrong answer.
To summarize, the whole point of the grammar lesson is to move from understanding to controlled practice to fluency and finally to real unguided communication, we need the grammar to talk about everyday real things, I want students to be able to use grammar to talk about real things in their lives and have meaningful communication. Grammar teaching is not only about teaching grammar rules, but about allowing students to understand and how those rules are used in a meaningful and helpful way.
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