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Started by ddeubel in Websites / links / access to new resources / communities.. Last reply by Nadeem Nawaz Jul 16, 2019. 102 Replies

We are now in our 3rd edition of "Site of the Day"! Hundreds of the best sites for teaching/learning. See #1 and…Continue

Tags: collection, list, web 2.0, resources, websites

ABCs - Alphabet Resources or Ideas?

Started by NEWS NOW in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by Amelia Meirizka Jun 20, 2019. 73 Replies

I guess the alphabet is our bread and butter.Got any good ideas for teaching it or using it…Continue

Tags: children, abc, kids, phonics, reading

Learning Designs

Started by Elise in Teaching and Methodology Mar 27, 2019. 0 Replies

I was wondering what you all thought of learning designs pertaining to English language teaching? What are the ways in which you design your lessons to achieve better learning in your students?Continue

A NEW way to teach PHRASAL VERBS so that your students understand and remember them

Started by Andromeda Jones in Teaching and Methodology Dec 31, 2018. 0 Replies

Phrasal verbs are a verb + preposition, adverb or particle. Teaching…Continue

Tags: prepositions, teach, verbs, phrasal


Joining the Conversation: My First Post

The program I teach for is small program that is part of Humboldt State University in northern California. We get about thirty to forty students in our program and they are broken down by level and subject. For instance, we might have a Level 2/3 Speaking Class or a Level 3/4 Writing Class. This type of breakdown has some disadvantages though. Some students begin to expect that because you are teaching a "Grammar" class, for example, you shouldn't be integrating too much writing or speaking into the course, since the class is a grammar specific class. Obviously, trying to live up to such expectations can become restrictive in choosing lesson plans.

Yet despite the drawbacks of having the classes structured in such a way, there are some advantages to having courses that are so specific. For starters, it allows you to become very focused in your preparation of lesson plans and saves you from bouncing back and forth between different resources. I've found a number of survival English role-play exercises to be very stimulating for class conversation starters in my speaking class. So I've built the class around these role-play exercises since they are so effective. And I've really enjoyed watching the students take on the acting role of someone in American society. Of course, part of the high level of interaction might be due to me having mostly Saudi students in this class, and the fact that they come from a culture with a strong oral tradition adds to the level of interest they have in these speaking activities.

Given the success that I've seen in this class, I've struggled in bringing the other classes that I teach up to a more interactive level. I suppose I see the potential after teaching the speaking class and am left wondering how I can increase the level of class participation and interest of the other two classes I teach. Grammar is one I worry about continually since I'm relatively new to the field and I'm learning much of it right along with the students. What this has tended to result in is my being tied to a workbook and the examples and exercises that it uses. To me, this results in the mundane type of teaching that can really kill the mood of a class, which is why I'm searching for ways I can improve it.

So any thoughts and/or advice from those experienced teachers out there would be helpful. I'm wondering what others have found useful in teaching grammar?

I'm looking forward to hearing from others and am happy to be a part of this community.

Downloads: 39

Comment by Ellen Pham on March 18, 2009 at 7:27am
Hi Randy, nice to hear from you! Is the goal of your students to be able to write English papers at the college level? How close are they to that goal? Are they taking other college courses in English as they take EFL from you, or are you preparing them to be able to do course work in English?

It seems to me that writing and speaking are the most effective ways to learn grammar. Native speakers first learn grammatical rules by hearing them; then we pinpoint and fine tune them as we practice writing. Most native speakers don't learn very much from grammar exercises that are given out of context. I think a model elementary teachers use might be helpful. We present a mini lesson on some writing point, and then the students write. As we conference about our writing, in pairs or groups, the skill is stressed again, in context. I've got to research this a bit to see what's around and good (it's been awhile since I taught this way), but I bet some of the resources listed in Grammar Books would provide great topics for mini lessons. For myself, I've only had success in teaching the finer points of grammar through an intense writing and subsequent review approach. Acquiring grammar is a process, hard to rush past a certain point : )

I typed "grammar" into our search box, and came up with Grammar Chants. Worth checking out and thinking about how you might be able to use them (google 'jazz chants' for more references). I also ran across a discussion we had recently on teaching the past simple tense.

Onestopenglish has a short, informative article/example of task-based grammar teaching.

I'll keep mulling it over, but in this area I am more of a cheerleader than an expert. There are many members here with lots more experience in teaching EFL grammar!

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