Teaching Grammar Teaching grammar can be one of the most frustrating aspects of an English teachers? job description. Teaching Grammar can be divided into 2 categories, declarative knowledge and procedural knowledge. Declarative knowledge can be summed up as knowledge about a thing such as the rules of grammar whereas procedural knowledge is being able to apply the knowledge to communicate effectively.
Many older styles of teaching grammar rely heavily on the teacher giving the student
all the knowledge with the student
being the passive recipient of this knowledge. This has now given way to the learner or student
centered model in many schools. The advantage of a learner centered model is that it makes the classroom a more exciting environment for learning and teachers grammar through true communication practice. One of the disadvantages however can be that this produces more work for the teacher. More lesson preparation time and more creativity for the teacher.
Following are some of the guidelines for developing learner centered, communications based instruction. students
are provided with finely tuned and roughly tuned input material from their teacher. Finely tuned input material can be material at their current learning level and specific to an exact point set by the teacher or the course book author. This type of material is used in the study phase. The roughly tuned phase uses material just one level higher than the student
?s current level to increase the student
knowledge growth and provide a challenging experience. The teacher should introduce context, new vocabulary and grammar points before handing out the new authentic input material. Authentic material can come from current newspapers, magazines or the internet.
It is also important to make sure your lessons have a purpose. The idea is to simulate a real conversation that could occur outside the classroom. You can determine the student
?s interests or profession and role play problem solving tasks related to the student
?s field of study or interest which will increase the usefulness of the lesson as it relates to real life meaningful conversation.
Another difference in the learner based education model is the use of students
working together. students
are broken up into pairs or small groups to practice together conversations utilising the specific grammar point of study. Your activities must have a defined outcome. Each activity must also have a time limit. You must also show when applicable the difference between how the grammar point will be used in written form and how it may change in conversation of a fluent native speaker
In the feedback and correction phase it is important to allow the student
a sufficient chance to correct his or her mistakes. This will help the student
with the discovery of language grammar and be less dependent on the teacher for their growth on the English language.
It is very important when teaching grammar to make it interesting, pleasant or at least as painless as possible. Below are ideas to help you do just that:
1. Use Grammar Games
and teachers alike love to use games in the English TEFL classroom. So, make extensive use of games to teach and reinforce critical grammar points. If you are unsure of what games to use you can visit teacher websites, commercial publications or ask your colleagues. You can also create you?re on popular games you?re familiar with. Use card games, board games or TPR games to get maximum involvement from your students
2. Move and video clips
Watch a three to seven minute clip from a movie scene or video. Write down what grammar forms you hear. Then have the class do it. Does everyone agree? No? What are the different forms they come up with? What's correct? Go back, watch the clip again and check. Do it until you're satisfied.
3. Audio only- segments
An audio clip from a commercial, story, dialogue or news segment. From the radio, cassettes, TV, CDs / DVDs, etc. Note the grammar points used. Can you change any of them? How? Why? What does the change do to the meaning? Does it become formal or informal? Imperative? Humorous? Don't forget to have the learners practice and deliver these short dialogues aloud.