Is it a Must to Teach Grammar?
By Zarela Cruz
When it comes to grammar, students’ (and even teachers’) reactions can be quite diverse: from enthusiasm to boredom. It should not necessarily be like that. Students do need grammar to speak and write correctly. Without that knowledge, they may be fluent, but not accurate.
As teachers, we must keep in mind that grammar should be contextualized; otherwise, any grammar point we teach will end up as a set of rules that form a pile of information for the students to memorize. Needless to say, this is not a bright prospect for any learner, regardless of their level.
So, how could we teach modals, for example? By teaching functional language, that is making polite requests, giving advice, giving orders and so on. How can you teach and contrast the present perfect and the simple past? By preparing a list of “Find someone who…..” and adding information questions to clarify students’ answers. You want to teach regular and irregular verbs? Play bingo! Do you prefer action? Sit students in circles and throw a small ball to a student while asking the past tense of a given verb. It the student does not know the answer, they have to leave the circle. If they answer correctly, they will throw the ball to another pupil and mention another verb for the receiver to come up with the past tense, and so on. You are not allowed to make such a fuss within the classroom? Well, “noughts and crosses” is another option. Have you ever tried “Change your place if....?” You may use this activity not only to practice grammar, but also to reinforce new vocabulary.
Not your best choice? Then you may want to use pictures from famous people and ask students what they know about them using for example, simple past, or future with will to make predictions, or make hypothesis. You may also want to compare two by using comparatives, or mention more elements and look for superlatives. The list is endless. And remember:
Now your turn:
How do you make your students feel eager to learn grammar? or Have you already given up?
Let us know by leaving a comment! Your colleagues will benefit from your experience! Peer support is always a plus!
Zarela Cruz graduated from Ricardo Palma University as a translator. She also finished her master’s studies in Linguistics and took some specialization diplomas in English and Spanish. She has also completed a number of online certificates: Teaching the Working Adult, Online, Hybrid and Blended Education, among other self-study courses. She has taught different courses, programs and levels and has been a teacher trainer, a lecturer and online instructor. This article aims to reflect on the teaching of grammar