teaching grammar and vocabulary tyl spring 2013 n.
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Teaching Grammar and Vocabulary TYL Spring 2013. Agenda. Quiz When you finish, work on page with hearts! Cloze Activity: Big Ideas Practical Ideas for Grammar and Vocabulary. Agree or Disagree?. I’ll read a statement. You move either to the Agree side or the Disagree side. .

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  • Quiz
    • When you finish, work on page

with hearts!

  • Cloze Activity: Big Ideas
  • Practical Ideas for Grammar and Vocabulary
agree or disagree
Agree or Disagree?
  • I’ll read a statement.
  • You move either to the Agree side or the Disagree side.
statement 1
Statement 1:
  • Grammar is the most important part of learning a language.
statement 2
Statement 2:
  • Students shouldn’t speak English unless it’s error-free.
statement 3
Statement 3:
  • Teachers should always correct students’ grammar.
statement 4
Statement 4:
  • Learning chunks (e.g., How are you?) is learning grammar.
statement 5
Statement 5:
  • For kids, grammar and vocabulary should be taught together.
  • Work with a partner to compare answers.
      • You have 2 minutes!

2) Finally, ask more people if you need more help.

  • Acquiring , Learning
  • Explicit
  • Implicitly
  • Chunks
  • Fun, meaningful, themes, narratives
  • Meaning
  • Error correction, accuracy
now answer the questions independently
Now, answer the questions independently.

When you finish, share your answers with a partner.

  • The instruction of young learners should be natural. Like a first language learner, they should be acquiring—not learning—English.
  • The difference?
  • In general, with very young learners, explicit, or direct, grammar instruction doesn’t work.
  • Why not?
  • Grammar should mostly be taught implicitly.
  • Ways to do this?
    • Pattern Books (Brown Bear, etc.)
    • Songs (Mr. Monkey)
    • TPR
    • Classroom commands
    • Games
  • There should be a lexical, or vocabulary, focus. Grammar should be learned through chunks, which can later be broken apart and used in creative ways.
  • What does this mean?
  • Weinhart: Grammar is “the evolution from chunks to creativity”
grammar evolution of chunks to creativity
Grammar: “Evolution of Chunks to Creativity”
  • Example 1:
    • “Could you please pass me the salt?”
    • You could add many nouns there: ketchup, my phone, the menu, etc.
  • Example 2:
    • “If I were you, I would get a new car.”
    • You could add many verbs/predicates there: get a divorce, quit my job, etc.
  • These grammar rules are difficult, but a learner can MEMORIZE the chunks and get creative with them.
  • All instruction—in grammar, vocabulary, or any of the four skills—needs to be fun and meaningful. It should be based on themes and on narratives and should have a social focus.
older young learners 6
Older Young Learners #6
  • You can start to deliver some mini-lessons on grammar, but the focus should still be on meaning. These mini-lessons should be short, interactive, and highly visual.
  • Remember FonF?
  • Some grammar instruction can come through error correction. When judging whether to correct errors, consider the aim of the activity: Are you practicing fluency and the communication of meaning, or are you working on accuracy?
  • Also, ask yourself: Do I need to correct on the spot, or can I do it in a whole-group format after the activity?
fluency or accuracy
Fluency or accuracy?
  • Too much correction!
delayed feedback step 2
Delayed Feedback: Step 2
  • Mini-lesson
    • Look at your anecdotal notes
    • Write common sentences on board
    • Maybe: Change some nouns
    • Have students analyze in pairs
    • Show corrections on board
on the spot error correction
On-the-Spot Error Correction
  • Research: Mackey and Oliver (2002)
    • On-the-spot correction = not for kids under 7
  • Research is contradictory
    • However, one form of correction that has the lowest rate of uptake = recasting
    • Recasting = Correcting what the student said with no explanation
      • Child: “I eated dinner last night.”
      • Teacher: “You ate dinner last night.”
error correction strategies that work
Error Correction Strategies that Work
  • Clarification Request
    • Student: “He walk to the store yesterday.”
    • Teacher: “Sorry--I didn’t understand.”
    • Studies: Somewhat effective
  • Metalinguistic Feedback
    • Student: “He walk to the store every day.”
    • Teacher: “He is 3rd person singular and needs an –s at the end.”
    • Studies: Somewhat effective
error correction strategies that work1
Error Correction Strategies that Work
  • Repetition
    • Student: “He eated.”
    • Teacher: “He eated?” (with rising intonation)
    • Among the most successful strategies
  • Elicitation
    • Student: “Last night, he eated.”
    • Teacher: a. “Last night, he . . .” OR b. “How do we talk about the past in English?” OR “Please say that again correctly in English.”
  • Look at the top table.
  • Choose 1 box in each row. Draw a “battleship” in the box. (There should be 7.)
  • Find a friend to play with you, but don’t look at your friend’s paper!
    • Decide: Who’s Partner 1? Who’s Partner 2?
battleship cont
Battleship (cont.)
  • Fold you paper under the first box.
  • Partner 1 will look only at the top of the page.
  • Partner 2 will look only at the bottom.
  • Partner 2 will ask 2 questions for each row.
    • (Do you have __ on __?)

6) Partner 1 answers

  • “Yes, I do” = Partner 2 marks an X
  • “No, I don’t” = Partner 2 marks a dot
  • Switch roles when you finish the last row!
  • The winner is the person who “sunk” the most battleships!
Also . . .
  • Surveys, Questionnaires, Interviews
board games1
Board Games
  • Make your own, OR
  • Get CandyLand!

The girl/

not cook

step 1 fold your paper
Step 1: Fold your paper
  • Fold above the hearts!
step 3 choose which words you want to use
Step 3: Choose which words you want to use.
  • Write them in the top right box.
  • Just do numbers 1 – 5 (to get the idea)
step 4 copy your words
Step 4: Copy your words
  • Write the words from the top right box in the paragraph
  • ONLY 1-5!
step 5 read your story
Step 5: Read your story
  • Share your story with a partner!
for beginners
For beginners . . .
  • It’s all about filling the refrigerator.
  • Vocabulary instruction should be thematic.
  • It should be taught with

appropriate sentence frames, too.

for example
For example . . .
  • Family Vocabulary
    • Frame: I have a ____ / 1 have 2/3 ___s.
  • Weather Vocabulary
    • It is ______. / It is ____ in the _____.
    • When it is _____, I like to ______.
  • Re-use and recycle vocabulary hundreds of times!
  • Games, games, games!
  • Meaningful activities: Songs, books, projects, etc.
  • Practice writing: Groups write on them with whiteboard markers
  • “Teacher, Student”: Students quiz each other using the answers

on the back

  • Sticky Ball or Fly


  • Buy at a teacher supply store or toy store
  • Bring in real stuff!
guessing games
Guessing Games
  • Is it a/an _____? (vocab word)
  • Do you ____ with it? (verb)
  • Is it ______? (adjective)
  • Do you do it _____? (at the park? At school?)
  • Formats:
    • Magic Bag (whole class)
    • Hot Seat with cards (whole class or small groups)
    • Cards (pairs)
when the refrigerator is filling up
When the refrigerator is filling up . . .
  • Do more intensive word work!
  • What does it mean to “own” a word? You know . .
    • Definition
    • The part of speech
    • Some common collocations
    • Synonyms/Antonyms
    • Spelling
    • Pronunciation
    • Count/non-count?