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How To Teach Grammar Communicatively Using The Three-Ps Lesson Planning

Mainly, there are two settings to teach grammar:

1. A Traditional Class:

In this setting, the teacher usually follows these three main steps:

  1. Explaining the rule: e.g. “Today, we’re going to learn the 2nd conditional; “If + Past ——— would + Base verb”
  2. Encouraging students to repeat the rule.
  3. Asking students to do some drills on the rule to make sure they’ve learned it.

2. A Communicative Class:

In this setting, students learn the rule by doing, speaking and writing.

The teacher usually follows these three main steps:

  1. Using and introducing an authentic context to present the rule: e.g. “Today, we’re going to talk about imaginary situations and wishes.
  2. Eliciting the meaning, use and form of the rule from students.
  3. Creating communicative real-world activities for students to use the rule.

The question to ask, here is: “What setting should you use to teach grammar?

The answer is Both! Students need both!

Our students need to know the rule form, and they need to use the rule to express themselves, carry on a conversation, and communicate as well.

After all, grammar is a tool, not a goal. It’s a means not an end.

To achieve the required balance using the traditional and communicative setting, we usually use the three-Ps method when planning grammar lessons.

The Three-Ps Lesson Planning Of Communicative Grammar Teaching:


In this teacher-centred stage, the teacher introduces the new grammar point in a communicative way by:

  • Using authentic context or real-life situation.
  • Extracting the examples including the grammar point and writing them on the board.
  • Encouraging the students to notice the patterns.
  • Eliciting the meaning and form of the grammar point from students.
  • Involving students by asking them to provide more examples.


This learner-centred stage includes guided practice with two main kinds of practice activities: mechanical and meaningful activities.

Mechanical Activates:

The main goal of this kind of activities is to ensure that the students understand the grammar point.

The teacher, here, seeks specific answers and encourages students to:

  • Repeat.
  • Do some drills.
  • Correct the right verb between brackets.
  • Underline the correct answer.

Meaningful Activities:

The main goal of this kind of activities is to encourage students to use the grammar point in context.

The answers, here, can be predicted among a set of possible answers but not fixed.

Here are some examples of meaningful activities:

  • Put words in a sentence.
  • Complete a dialogue.
  • Ask a question.
  • Respond to a stimulus.


This learner-centred stage includes independent practice with communicative activities.

Communicative Activities:

The main goal of this kind of activities is to encourage students to use the grammar point freely in real-world contexts.

Here are some examples of communicative activities:

  • Role-plays.
  • Interviews.
  • Reporting.
  • Drama.
  • Simulation.
  • Discussions.
  • Debates.
  • Projects.
  • Presentations.

Final Word

Some teachers may face these challenges when using the three-Ps lesson planning of communicative grammar teaching:

  • No time to do the communicative activities with the students.
  • All the activities in the coursebook are mechanical ones.
  • The students make a lot of mistakes during the mechanical activities.
  • During the PRODUCE stage, the students do not produce!

Teachers should take into account and anticipate all challenges that they may face when teaching grammar communicatively so that they can be ready with some solutions in their lesson plans to encounter them.

In this case, you may need to take a look at A Three-Ps Lesson Plan To Teach The 2nd Conditional Communicatively (You need to log in to view this premium content)

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