Learning the language rules is often boring for many students. Grammar teachers around the world struggle to make grammar lessons exciting and energizing to their students. The good news is it’s possible.
With the following simple nine tips, you can banish boring grammar classes and ensure your students are just as excited about grammar as any other aspect of language learning.
1. Use Games
By using games including a little competition in the classroom, you can have fun and get your students to learn as well. There are countless games you can use in the EFL class to review vocabulary and grammar and encourage conversation.
2. Get Students to Move
Getting your EFL students up and moving around the classroom will serve multiple purposes. Not only will physical activity keep your students more awake and focus their attention on the lesson at hand, but it will also help them remember and retain the language they are learning. Using TPR (Total Physical Response) method, you can make physical associations with language concepts. Though having students move around the classroom and do actions during the class may seem chaotic at times, but the advantages far outweigh the drawbacks as it reinforces the learning items and keep them in the long-term memory.
3. Teach Grammar Communicatively
Communicative classes focus on communication and langue use by students rather than theory and repetitive practice. It would be perfect for learning to occur if you were used to encouraging your students to use the language that they know in meaningful communications. In grammar class, include speaking activities and give your students a chance to exploit the language they’ve learned in real-life situations whenever possible.
4. Use Group Activities
Using group activities, role-plays, discussions and other such activities will both keep your students interested in the grammar classes and keep them accountable to one another for class participation and task accomplishments. Some students are shy and may disappoint you. These shy and disappointing students are often reluctant to participate in individual activities. Take advantage of them by involving them in group tasks when possible. They will feel interested and desire to participate.
5. Use Conversation Sessions
Conversation sessions in grammar class can be useful for your students to practice the grammar they are learning, and they can use their conversation partners as a resource for any questions they might have about difficult grammar rules.
6. Avoid Lecturing
Even students with the best attention spans have a difficult time listening to a 20-minute lecture in the EFL class. Nowadays, students of all ages expect and desire quick changes from one activity to another. That means that you should avoid keeping to talk for more than ten minutes on any grammar lesson. Keep things interesting for you and your students by planning quick changes in topics and activities when possible throughout your grammar class.
7. Exploit Class Time in Interactive Activities
Grammar books often have many great exercises to help your students practice and master grammar rules, but the classroom may not be the best place for doing all these exercises. When possible, assign most of these exercises for homework after telling your students how to do them, and use classroom time for more interactive, communicative activities. You will get your students to practice with full energy in the classroom, and keep the less energetic assignments for homework.
8. Offer Variety
When you follow a certain syllabus in a textbook, you will find you offer the same activities for your students day after day, unit after unit. This makes your students feel bored, so you should create different types of activities with every grammatical rule you teach, and to engage your students, try to meet their learning styles in your teaching. When your students are using discussion, research, presentations and other means to learn and practice grammar, they will stay more interested in what you and their fellow students have to say.
9. Tailor the Class to Your Students
After teaching the same class semester after semester, it is easy to overly rely on prior lesson plans. Even when last year’s lesson plans are the starting point, the best teachers are always learning, trying new activities, and tailoring their class periods to the personalities and needs of their students. So even if you have successfully taught a particular grammar class before with certain students, be looking for new and interesting ways to teach and practice it next semester with the new students.
Some say that grammar, though the most important aspect of language learning is the most boring one. That does not have to be true in your grammar teaching if you make a point of being creative and flexible in your grammar classes. As a result, your students will be engaged and become more successful learners of the English language.
It’s a professional development course that I’ve created for grammar teachers to help them answer the above-mentioned questions and feel more comfortable and confident in teaching grammar.
At the end of this course, you will be able to:
- Create a typical grammar lesson plan.
- Recognize the features of two main approaches to teaching grammar.
- Apply different techniques for presenting grammar.
- Identify the factors that contribute to successful language practice.
- Recognize the features of the two main types of grammar practice.
- Apply some activities for grammar practice.
- Teach grammar using the PPP model.
- Follow some suggestions for teaching grammar successfully.
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