Teaching grammar to young students doesn’t have to be a tedious task. Before you begin your next grammar lesson, here are six things to keep in mind so your grammar lesson is a success.
Of course, with every teacher, you must be aware of your student’s learning styles. This will vary from each individual student and you should do your best to cater to their needs. The varied learning styles can help to make your lesson plan varied as well which will keep all of your students interested and prevent them from being bored, regardless of their learning style.
That being said, here are six things teachers should keep in mind when they are teaching grammar.
Don’t Talk Too Much
As a teacher, it is easy to get carried away with your lesson plan, and soon you will find you are actually lecturing your young pupils. Talking too much will be sure to lose your students' interest and even bore them on the subject of grammar.
Some of the best lessons in grammar are the ones where the students are doing the talking. Not only will it help to engage your students, but to vocally practice what they are learning. A great challenge with grammar is to see if your students can guess the next grammatical rule before you explain the concept. This will allow your students to brainstorm, and if they come up with the concept on their own, they will be more likely to remember it.
Allow Your Students to Practice
Of course, grammar books and worksheets will always include the ‘fill in the blanks’. This is a great stand by for learning grammar, but it should not be the only method used for practicing. Allow your students to have a chance to practice target structures in their spoken language, instead of just using fill in the blanks.
You could also assign them to write a couple of paragraphs or even a spoken conversation with their classmates so they can demonstrate the rules and concepts they have just learned. Providing your class with a variety of practice methods will further engrain the rules and concepts, as well as cater to the different learning styles.
Make Sure You Use Real World Examples
When and where will your students need to use the grammar they are learning? If you can bring in a real life application, such as a restaurant menu or a bus schedule, you are giving them the chance to see the grammar rules and concepts being used by the real world. When your students can realize that grammar is important for the outside world, not just the classroom, they will understand how important it is.
Next time you are preparing your grammar lesson, think of how your students will need to use it in real-world applications.
Pay Attention to What Your Students Already Know
As mentioned before, every student learns differently and because of this, the information they retain will also be different. Pay close attention to what your individual students and classroom as a whole already know. The ideal grammar lessons will be just a little bit more advanced that what your students already have learned.
This will give your students a challenge without it being too difficult. Finding this perfect balance will engage the pupils and make sure they are not left feeling bored or under challenged.
Communication between students is one of the best ways to practice grammar. Give your students a real life application that they will need to practice and allow them to work it out among themselves. Communication between students is great for their overall learning experience and should be used often.
Speaking with a classmate and brainstorming ideas over a concept will get them thinking easier than just another worksheet (although worksheets should be used, don’t over-do it). A perfect communication activity will use the target of the lesson plan and try to accomplish a real life goal.
Remember that you teach grammar to primary school students. You are not preparing them for a college entrance examinations or writing a thesis statement, so knowing the simple grammar structures and rules will be more than enough.
English grammar can be simple if laid out properly. Start from the beginning, give a few exercises and let students do the work on their own. You can also ask pupils to create a “grammar book” where they will write different tense structures, examples and rules, so they have a reference when needed.
You can also try to turn the learning process into a game. Playing games will engage students, as both adults and children adore games. You may even turn the game into a competition. This will make pupils motivated to get the right answers and thus learn faster. You can divide the class into several groups and everyone will be much more active trying to win the competition.
Teaching grammar can be a fun experience for you and your students. Make sure to give them the right amount of challenges and encourage communication and practice. Engaging your students each and every day will allow for overall success for both the teacher and the students. Remember these six helpful tips when you plan your next grammar lesson to help you teach in a better, more engaging way.