Most English teachers feel comfortable teaching a conversation lesson or a lesson that integrates other skills such as listening, reading or writing. They show creativity in those lessons and include a variety of ideas to help their students improve their language skills; however,  using creative and varied techniques might be more difficult when teaching a grammar topic.

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What is Grammar?

Grammar is the structural ‘rules’ of a language. It covers:

  • Syntax: the order in which words and phrases are ordered to create meaningful expressions in a language
  • Morphology: word forms and the formation of words by the addition of prefixes and suffixes
  • Semantics: the meaning of a language

-Is Your CELTA Certification Course Missing Grammar?-

What do Teachers Need to Consider? – Teaching Grammar

When teachers are introducing a new grammar point, they need to be aware of the whole range of features that make up the grammar.  Teachers need to think about when and how a language structure is used.

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Most ESL teachers have heard about the 12 tenses in English, and of the challenges of teaching the Present Perfect tense. Some teachers may be surprised to learn that there are really only two tenses in English.

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Teaching Tenses by Rosemary Aitken is a great addition to the bookshelves of both new and experienced  teachers. It offers a thorough language analysis of the tenses and modal structures, with concept questions, suggested contexts and activities, and a selection of photocopiable activities. This book helps teachers be prepared for students’ questions, and is invaluable in helping explain nuances between structures.

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Concept questions teaching grammarConcept Questions are used to elicit function, the intention of the speaker, and form -the grammatical structure that the speaker uses to express meaning (i.e. what he/she is trying to communicate to the audience)-. Concept Questions are used in the Communicative Approach when teaching grammar topics or vocabulary, mainly in the Presentation Stage of the PPP format, or in the Study Phase of the ESA format.  Concept Questions are a good way of eliciting information from the students and checking their comprehension rather than explaining the topic with long and difficult definitions that may only confuse the students. They are also a way of getting meaning across in a more effective and student-centered way.

-Learn to teach grammar with an accredited online TESOL certification course- 

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