Making Grammar Lessons Fun with examples from Grammar Tour and Grammar Goals Magdalena Panova BETA Conference, May 2008, Sofia
Main Points • Identifying the problematic areas • Ideas on how to deal with specific aspects of teaching grammar • Making grammar lessons more interesting • Conclusions
Make Learning Load Lighter • Draw students’ attention to helpful patterns. • Help them discover those patterns for themselves. • The ability to recognise items which are similar will make it easier for the student to learn.
Rules • Rules should be descriptive and clear. • They should say how the language is used, not how it should be used. • Explanation, example, practice.
Oral Practice Develop the ability to understand and respond quickly. Written Practice Students have time to pause, think and consciously construct. Involve both oral and written practice First oral practice Then written practice Finally further oral free practice
Move from controlled to free practice • Controlled practice – the first step • Free practice – teacher has least control, students have the chance to make mistakes (show what they have not learned) • Free practice (situations, dialogue building, information gap-based pair work, discussion, writing/talking about student’s own interest) essential part of learning
Different Games • Beehive practice • Hangman • Who am I?
Illustrations • Create more friendly and relaxed atmosphere • Help learn better • Lots of fun
Conclusions • Grammar practice can be lively and amusing – it should be done frequently, briskly and with a touch of humour. • The teaching of structure can be made fun if students can be encouraged to explore and discover for themselves. • Emphasis should be on the student exploring rather than on the teacher explaining.