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What grammar is? It’s a system of rules that determines how words connect with each other, creating sentences, in order to express thoughts. Grammatically correct sentences have a complete meaning and their structure is easy to understand. Grammar allows us to say exactly what we mean and interact with various groups of people. To teach others grammar, one has to understand students’ needs clearly, being able to provide necessary data and apply basic styles of teaching.
First of all, think of your audience and what it needs to know. You may choose one or another teaching approach depending on the type of your audience. Needs of elementary schoolers differ from those of college students who are non-native speakers, so you have to understand what information is most useful and what the most effective way of teaching is.
Get acquainted with common learning styles. Different people process information and so learn in different ways. The more learning styles you know, the more opportunities you have as a teacher. Here are some of the most common learning styles:
- Auditory learning students prefer to listen. You can teach them by interacting with them and give them new information in the form of conversations.
- Visual learning students prefer to perceive information by reading texts.
- Kinesthetic learning people have to move around to think about new information and learn it faster.
- Tactile learning students like touching objects, getting information about it through a direct contact.
Finally, before you start teaching others, take your time and refresh your knowledge of grammar. You have to keep in mind all necessary grammar rules, making sure that you won’t forget something important during a lesson. Choose a textbook that is targeted to your type of audience.
Choose Your Approach
If you want to explain something quickly, we suggest choosing the deductive approach. It implies teaching students some rules and supporting these rules with examples of how they work. This method allows you to teach grammar fast but it also has certain drawbacks. For example, following the deductive method, you minimize students’ involvement in the process of learning.
- Using this method, don’t forget to tell your students of exceptions to all rules that they learn. They have to understand what any rule allows and what are the limits of this rule.
- Try to explain all rules simply. Make sure your students clearly understand a rule before you show them exceptions.
As we said above, the deductive approach minimizes students’ involvement in the learning process. If your goal is to let your students explore language and its structure, we suggest choosing the inductive approach. This method allows them to build connections between things they have already learned. This method may be useful when working with students who learn English as their second language because they can draw certain analogies with grammar rules of their native language.
- This method motivates students to learn more and allows them to understand grammar rules better.
- This method won’t be useful in case you’re limited in time. It takes time for students to understand rules of grammar by exploring language and finding examples.
- Illustrate differences in rules by providing your students with similar sentences. Show them how the structure of words can change the meaning of a sentence, turning it in another direction and providing a look at another angle.
The least but not last approach is a functional method. It motivates your students to communicate by providing them with grammar tools necessary for their everyday tasks. For example, how they must begin a conversation with somebody, or what they need to know to go shopping.
Always illustrate grammar rules with examples from books, articles, various videos or songs. Your students can choose some sources they are particularly interested in, which will allow them to learn a language in a comfortable environment, getting more involved in the learning process.
Provide your students with enough number of examples so that they can get a grasp on the use of grammar rules. Make sure that your examples actually make sense for your audience so they can relate to them ― it will allow them to learn rules faster.
You also have to make sure that your students have enough time to try using their new knowledge in practice. Don’t forget that your main agenda is to teach them how to communicate.
Note the progress of each student, his or her interests and achievements. You must be able to provide every student with understandable instructions tailored to his or her personal abilities and needs.
Add some interesting activities to the learning process so that your students won’t get bored by studying dry rules. Get them involved in some fun games or plan their conversations according to interesting scenarios