For teachers

Ways of presenting grammar to make it interesting

Teaching grammar by inventive activities

When trying to make classes more interesting and efficient,teachers should sometimes abandon the cut-and-dried model of a grammar lesson. If teachers desire to meet students’ idea of an interesting class, firstly they ought to concentrate on killing the routine. In order to attract students’ attention and mobilize them to put more effort in work, it is always beneficial to introduce some challenge. The idea of challenge will always be associated by students with entertainment and fun so they are likely to pay more attention to such kind of activity. The point is to reinforce the idea that good grammar is a powerful tool.

SWAT

One very popular game is called SWAT: You can use this to help students learn a lot of concepts. To play, you need to divide your students into two teams. According to the idea of challenge, those may be boys vs. girls groups. What is more, you will need a blackboard and a piece chalk. There are three types of verbs in English grammar – action verbs, linking verbs, and helping verbs. Write these three types of verbs on the board and pick a student from each team to take their turn. Read a sentence out loud, and ask them to SWAT which kind of verb is featured in the sentence. The first to "swat" the correct answer wins. You can play this game for different kinds of adjectives, nouns, articles, and other grammatical elements. Remember to target your games to the age group and interests of the students in your classroom.

Find Someone Who

This is a question and answer game based on reading and oral comprehension. The materials needed for this game are sheets of paper on which the students are asked to write sentences beginning with the "Find someone who" phrase. Example sentences could be "Find someone who can play a guitar," or "Find someone who plays football". Each piece of paper must have at least 10 "Find someone who" phrases. The students are given 10 to 15 minutes to find out which of their classmates perfectly fit particular statements. The student who ends up with the highest number of matches is declared the winner. This activity helps students improve their reading and comprehension skills. What is more, this is a perfect activity for a new class where students hardly know each other.

Finding a Partner

This is a phrase-matching game and needs two sets of paper slips.One set is given to half of the students in the class and the second set to the other half. The first team's paper slips should have phrasal verbs written on them, and the second team's slips should have a sentence and a non-phrasal verb. The task here for each student is to find the partner in the opposite team. A student with a phrasal verb would look for a student who has a sentence that proves a perfect match for the phrasal verb. Each student must find the match and read out the sentence and the phrasal verb at the end. For instance, a sentence such as "He returned the book" would be considered a perfect match for the phrasal verb "gave back".

Teaching grammar through brainstorming

Brainstorming process itself is a process based on engaging all the students into the conversation in order to acquire as many hypothesis of solution to a problem as possible.

Some teachers tend to teach grammar effectively by initiating a discussion. This method works best in classes where students are not afraid of speaking. The teacher says a sentence in the mother language and the students’ task is to give their own suggestions about how the sentence should be properly translated into the second language. The more tricky and disputable the sentence is, the better, because it usually increases the number of different suggestions, which affects the brainstorming process well. When the teacher collects all the answers given by their students, they should discuss possibly all the options received, not only the acceptable ones. In this case, the main idea of brainstorming method is concentrated on pointing out the mistakes which students had made and make them aware of what exactly was wrong in their translations. When one student gives an incorrect answer during a discussion it is a good idea to pick another student who claims to know the correct answer and ask them to point out what exactly was ungrammatical in their classmate’s sentence. It is important to teach students how to recognize grammatical problems and be able to discuss particular problems with their own words. When doing a brainstorming discussion it is also crucial not to be afraid of making mistakes. Students who are afraid of giving their own suggestions are likely to miss the point of the activity, which is simply based on making mistakes and getting rid of them in the future.

Gaining grammar knowledge as an subconscious process

Independent resources of grammar knowledge and risk bound up with using them

Apart from plenty of resources offered by qualified methodologists which are usually considered trite or even boring, one can hardly point out contraindications against using some independent resources that affect learners in everyday life. Furthermore, English as a global language is encountered by most of us on many grounds. Using it as an extra resource in learning is often an unconscious process.

Although independent resources of grammar learning may be quite beneficial for an English learner, it has its drawbacks as well. When the subconscious grammar competence development is partially based on independent resources, the risk bound up with it is the validity and rectitude of used resources. One should pay attention to the fact that some parts of the mass media and the rest of independent resources are sometimes hardly verified by qualified language experts. The point is to aware learners that this kind of learning should not always be taken for granted.

There are many other techniques that teachers may choose from while teaching grammar. Whatever the technique, each one has the aim to make students be communicative when using the language.