Unless linguistics and language is a passion, most people despise grammar and hate learning it.
Indeed, there are many different teaching methods which people today purport which do not focus on solely teaching grammar. It is important to realize, however, that students have different learning needs. Some will take a more logical approach, whereas others will be more inclined to simply use the language as they receive it. An effective teaching method is learning how to blend these two together. Some schools will focus entirely on language acquisition. They will forgo the use of teaching grammar techniques. However, when it comes to teaching in schools and other institutions this might be required. Sometimes the examinations which students are preparing will focus solely on grammar and therefore it is essential to know how to get these points across to the students. There are many different ways of making grammar a little more interesting. A variety of different games can be designed in order to help with this. The Internet is a brilliant resource when it comes to this, and is indeed a blessing to many teachers. Another important thing to remember is repetition. Repetition will often allow the words to sink into the students’ minds easier.
How to Make Your Grammar Lessons More Fun
Music is often a great way of getting students to learn. By singing phrases, this will become embedded into the mind a lot faster. This is particularly true if one is teaching children or even teenagers. In order to do this, find a song that uses several tenses or differing grammar points. Get the students to sing along, and then write up the lyrics on the board. Get them then to sing it together, getting the tune into their head. After this, one can then quiz them on what tenses or grammatical points are in the actual text. Make this short and quick, and once they get the hang of it have them sing the song again. After this, try and make a game out of it. Select individuals to say or sing a verse or phrase from the song, but change the tense. This way they will be able to practise with using the different tenses and verb forms, but in a much more light-hearted way. See our other articles “Classroom Songs: 16 Creative Ways” and “How to Teach Using Songs” for more ideas on using songs. And don’t forget that we have tons of esl song worksheets here: “ESL Songs for Teaching English”!
Make It Into a Game
There is no doubt that playing games will make learning a lot easier. Both adults and children love these. Perhaps even make it into a competition. This will often get the students motivated to get the answers right and therefore allow them to learn much faster. Amongst teenagers this can be particularly effective, whether the class is divided into two or more groups. By turning it into a competition, everyone will become a lot more active and a lot of fun can be had by everyone.
Tell a Story
Another way to make grammar a little easier to digest is to teach it in the form of storytelling. Perhaps get the students to form a “story stick” whereby everyone contributes a line to the overall story. If there are any grammar mistakes in this, then leave it until the end. When the entire story is finished and written out on the board, get a student to come up to it and make the appropriate corrections. With participation from the class, have the entire text corrected. Ask the students questions as to why certain tenses are the way they are. Having something to focus on like this will keep the students’ attention and therefore allow for the understanding of grammatical structures to sink in a lot easier.
If you are preparing students for a college entrance examination or any other kind of test, then simply knowing grammar structures may be the key to passing it. If the learners have been doing grammar all along but still don’t understand the mechanics, then it is important to make sure that they receive a crash course in it. English grammar can be relatively simple when it is all laid out. Start from the beginning, give them a few practice exercises and let them work their way up. It is also a good idea to create a “grammar book” whereby the students can write down the various sentence structures and tenses, class by class, so that they will always have a reference.
In fact, having a comprehensive reference for grammar is probably one of the best things to do. At the beginning of the course, it is a good idea to start simple and help the students to work their way up to the more complex forms. A reference will allow them to be more solidly grounded and can be good for doing exam revision with.
Do you know any other great ways to make grammar lessons more fun? Please share them with us in the comments!