Entertaining Approach to Teaching Grammar
Grammatical structures are the essential building blocks to any language, English is no exception. Without a frame, a painting will fall off the wall or lose its form. The meaning behind the words is very much the same as a painting in a frame. The ideas which are meant to be conveyed are like the characters of a painting, the grammatical tools are like the colors, the structure and order of the words are like the brushstrokes which add depth and tone to a work of art. English is art. Subjects, objects, and verbs are the colors, shapes, and tones of basic English.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Daniel T. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Why to teach grammar?
When teaching English, after a new student has built up a solid vocabulary, grammatical structures are essential in building a solid foundation to an effective level of communication. It is of prime importance that the student is made aware of its importance and the varying forms found in the English language.
Whether the student is aware of this effort or emphasis by the teacher is irrelevant so long as the student can effectively learn.
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Entertaining approach to teaching grammar
One way in which a teacher may begin the introduction of grammatical structures is by showing a "vlog" to the student. A vlog has simple and complex sentence structures which are filled with new and varying examples of subjects, objects, and verbs.
By watching a vlog, the student has two of their five senses engaged, their sight and hearing. Many vlogs are structured to appear as though the vlogger is talking directly at the viewer, offering an authentic level of interaction.
Elicitation and study
Once the student has completed watching the vlog, the teacher may try to elicit terms and examples of subjects, objects, and verbs which were used in the vlog. This dialogue creates a pathway for the student to exercise newly absorbed materials, vocabulary, and structures.
While oral language is important, the written practice of English is not to be overlooked. Once the open conversation of the viewed vlog is winding down, worksheets with some of the subjects, objects, and verbs from the vlog can be offered to the student. One great worksheet is fill in the blank exercise. This trains the mind of the student to recognize auditory examples of grammatical structures while at the same time being able to visually match the tone and pace to order and punctuation.
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Now that the student has studied these new language structures, it is important to cement these ideas in their minds. Activating the student's ability to remember and use these newly learned tools is the entire point of teaching.
One exercise could be to have the student make a vlog, emphasizing the practice of newly learned materials. Encourage the student to write some ideas for a transcript. Using a variety of subjects, objects, and verbs will flex those new English muscles and give the student confidence to stand in front of a camera. On paper the student can see what they know, when they speak into the camera they will hear what they know, further solidifying the confidence in their mastery of this new language.
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After seeing someone's vlog, learning from the structures used, and exercising some of the subjects, objects, and verbs, the student will be able to make their vlog. They will be able to contribute from their own experiences using the English language. Just as an artist shares his thoughts and ideas with oil, pastels, and canvas; this student will create linguistic art with their voice and pen as their medium.
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