Grammar tips

Fun and Unusual Ways of Teaching English Grammar in Elementary School

Guest post by Jack Milgram from Custom-Writing.org blog:

Teachers and professors all around the world often develop new methods of teaching grammar to ESL and EFL children.

Why? Let’s be honest—grammar is one of the most boring school things.

Dozens of rules, massive texts, pointless exercises… Even many adults can’t interest themselves in these usual topics and repetitive tasks.

To find an easy way to learn English grammar, you should bring creativity and innovations into a teaching process.

Custom-Writing.org collected some excellent tips and games that will help you to vary grammar activities:

  1. Use technologies

When we talk about innovative ways of teaching English grammar, the first thing we remember is technologies.

It isn’t only children who can’t live without their smartphones and iPads, these devices have become an integral part of our lives as well. That’s why you should get benefits from children’s love for technologies.

Grammar teaching will become more interesting if you let children do the things they like.

For example, send students on devices pictures of famous characters from cartoons and fairy tales. Then, ask them to describe whose pictures did they get or make up a story about these characters.

This exercise will definitely interest children. Moreover, they couldn’t be distracted by apps or the internet while preparing their stories.

More grammar tips

  1. Learn songs and audio books

Listening is one of the significant parts of learning a language. Make sure, your grammar English lessons include audiobooks, songs, or podcasts.

Moreover, this is an excellent opportunity to make learning interesting!

All children like an emotional approach to teaching. Why not listen to the story of Tom Sawyer?

This novel is a perfect choice to teach English grammar to children and make their pronunciation perfect by asking them to repeat after the readers.

Songs help hundreds of teachers around the world to make students focus on grammar lessons. Singing aloud is a lot of fun, and even adult students like to participate in such an activity.

This activity is useful because it’s easier for our memory to keep songs than texts. You’ll see—even at the end of the semester, your students will still be able to remember quotes from the songs they listened to.

  1. Watch videos and cartoons

Perfect conditions to learn basic English grammar is when you know what hobbies children have and use them for teaching purposes.

For example, you can know what cartoons are popular among the children and show them some fragments from them. Nowadays, there are a lot of short cartoons which are full of interesting vocabulary and easy to learn.

But usually, English grammar lessons in elementary school don’t last long. That’s why short YouTube videos can be perfect to use.

One of the best choices is Schoolhouse Rock! cartoons. Look at this short video about conjunctions in the English language. Children will be sure to like it!

  1. Use the Internet

How to learn English easily? The answer is—play a lot!

And the Internet can help you with this approach. There are lots of websites with ESL and EFL games which are absorbing and useful at the same time.

There is a great diversity of fun games to learn English—word search, crosswords, puzzles, and so on. These activities will not only help you with grammar but also improve your analytical and logical skills.

If your students don’t have access to computers—teach them what apps to download on their smartphones to develop language skills.

You can even make a competition between students. Make two or four teams and find out who can complete a grammar game in the shortest time.

  1. Play instead of studying

Grammar English games are important for learning, especially, when the learners are kids.

If you need to get children’s attention, use some activities in English teaching.

Custom-Writing.org prepared a list of games and activities which are easy to play in a classroom:

  • Hangman

Short and fun activity for grammar and spelling improvement. Everyone knows how to play this game—but how we can use it in the sake of learning? Ask children to guess difficult words to practice spelling of new vocabulary.

  • This weekend I…

Sometimes, it’s difficult to keep students’ attention. These times, you can start one interesting game which will help you to keep children focused and challenge their memory. Start the games with “This weekend I… rode a bicycle and…” The task of students to repeat the said sentence and continue it with a new action. The game lasts until one of the students forget a part of a long sentence.

  • Call my bluff

You can also play one of fun activities for ESL students–the game Call my bluff. Just ask students to write down three sentences—two of them must be true, and one must be a lie. Other students try to guess which one is false. This game is great to know each other and also helps to train syntax and conjugation.

  • No, I don’t

Another game from grammar practice activities is called No, I don’t. The task is to ask a teacher or other students questions. They get a point when the answer is “No, I don’t,” and no points when the answer is “Yes, I do.” The most interesting part in this game is when students imagine absurd questions like “Do you live on a tree?” or “Did you ever visit the Moon?”

Elementary grammar lessons shouldn’t be boring! It’s possible to turn any topic into a game—you just need to find the right approach.

To find more study tips visit the Custom-Writing.org blog—you’ll know how to study productively or how to choose a major.

Jack MilgramJack Milgram graduated from the University of Central Florida and can currently be found in his hometown of Jersey City, NJ. He has never found sitting in an office appealing, and that’s why freelancing was his career solution. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with others through blogging.

 

FREE Podcast! 16 Boring Words & What to Use Instead

Are you still using boring words like GOOD when you could be using SUPERB or AMAZING? This podcast is for you!

You can check out the full fabulous infographic here: http://purlandtraining.com/free-lessons/infographics/16-boring-words-what-to-use-instead/

Don’t forget to subscribe and please leave a comment on iTunes! Thank you!

Mega-List of Quantifiers in English

FREE Podcast! Episode 15 – Mega-List of Quantifiers in English

In this episode we look at quantifiers in English, and find out that there are… many – but not much!

You can download the free worksheets below:

Mega-List of Quantifiers in English

20 Countable Nouns and 20 Uncountable Nouns (Cut-Up Cards)

40 Quantifiers (Cut-Up Cards)

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Any Answers 1 - Image

FREE Podcast! Episode 14 – Any Answers 1 – Use of English Practice

Join in with this fun use of English practice activity that also tests listening skills, then check your answers below. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review on iTunes. Thanks! 😀

Here is the original worksheet from Big Grammar Book Intermediate Book 1:

Any Answers 1

Answers:

Any Answers 1 - Answers

FREE Podcast! Episode 13 – Words That I Don’t Like

An unusual meditation on English words that I simply don’t like and which make me cringe big-time!

In this free podcast I examine some of the English words that I really dislike, and try to work out why I don’t like them. Then I create a relaxation tape using these words in an attempt to get over my negative feelings!

You can see all the words here:

Episode 13 - Words That I Don't Like

Please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes – thank you!

Music: Ignite To Light by P C III. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

More details: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/P_C_III/SGONS_1207/P_C_III_Ignite_To_Light

Image: https://pixabay.com/en/clouds-foggy-landscape-1835885/

Singing - Discussion Words

FREE Podcast! Episode 12 – Discussion Questions about Singing

Talk about the topic of Singing with your friends with these great discussion questions. The discussion questions are below. Please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes! Thank you!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/purland-on-elt/id1204714487?mt=2

Discussion Questions

Singing

Ask and answer the questions with a partner or small group:

  1. What is singing? Can you sing? Do you sing? What do you sing? When do you sing? Do you sing in the shower or sing along to the radio while in the car or at work? How would you describe your voice? Why do you sing? In what situations? Can you sing part of a song now? If not, why not? Is it embarrassing to sing in public? Why? / Why not? Would you be happy to sing on a stage in public for money? For how much? Why do people prefer to sing when they are on their own? What would happen if you sang more often – either at work or at home?
  1. If you think you can’t sing, why is that? Do you sing out of tune? How can you judge that? Would you like to be able to sing? Have you ever had singing lessons? Do you believe that the ability to sing is genetic or can anybody learn to sing? Is there any advantage in being able to sing? Is it possible to improve your singing technique? Research has shown that only 2% do not possess the required skills[1]. Do you agree?
  1. Who is your favourite singer? Why? Do you prefer male or female voices? Do you prefer a solo singer or a group who sing in harmony together? Why? Who is the best singer of the past fifty years in your opinion? Who is the best current singer? How many different kinds of singer can you think of? What is the difference between singing and rapping? Do you like rap music? Why? / Why not?
  1. Why do people sing? What uses does singing have, for example: to celebrate, to worship, to mourn, to entertain, and so on. Is singing a necessary function of life? Do we all sing in private? Why do children make up their own songs and sing so often? Do you believe that only humans can sing? Do birds sing, or is the sound that they make produced mechanically rather than by choice?
  1. How do we sing? How are the following parts of the body used: a) diaphragm, b) larynx, c) vocal cords, d) tongue, e) teeth, f) chest, g) head? Have you ever watched a very good singer and noticed how they use their bodies to sing? How do professional singers warm up their voices and how do they take care of them?
  1. Do you think that it is a good job to be a professional singer? Why? / Why not? What would be the hardships and pleasures of this kind of job? How much money do you think they make? Is it worth being a busker – singing in the street all day? Imagine a day in the life of… a) an opera singer, b) a pop singer, c) a busker, d) a vocal coach, e) a singer in a West End musical, f) a children’s entertainer… and so on.
  1. Have you ever joined a choir? Tell me about it. If not, would you like to? Why do people sing in their spare time for free? Is community singing enjoyable? Why? / Why not? Have you ever sung in a foreign language? Do you sing in church, or as part of a service of worship? Does singing have a spiritual significance for you?
  1. What is your favourite song? Have you ever heard it sung by another person? What is the effect when different people record a version of the same song? Have you ever written a song? Would you like to be a famous singer-songwriter? Why? / Why not?

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2015/may/22/why-cant-we-all-sing-well-the-science-of-song-eurovision

Using Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran to Teach English Grammar

In this podcast we explore using the popular song Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran in an English class. We look at the use of tenses in the song – especially past simple, used to/would + infinitive, and present perfect.

You can watch the video for Castle on the Hill below and read the lyrics here:

The questions that I wrote on the board:

Board Questions

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