Learning English grammar

<b>Forum for teachers teaching adult education </b>

Moderators: Dimitris, maneki neko2, Lorikeet, Enrico Palazzo, superpeach, cecil2, Mr. Kalgukshi2

Post Reply
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:37 pm
Location: Canada

Learning English grammar

Post by Kennen » Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:39 pm

In my view learning English grammar in the following sequence ensures firm solid thorough knowledge of English grammar:
1. Read a short clear easily understandable explanation of a grammar rule.
2. Study several practical usage examples (sentences) illustrating that particular grammar rule. Check yourself whether you have mastered the examples.
3. Do several exercises for that rule with communicative content (with sentences that most likely can be used in real life situations).
Grammar exercises that contain dialogues, interrogative and statement (or narrative) sentences on everyday topics, thematic texts and narrative stories are especially effective for mastering grammatical structures.
Grammar practice should also include exercises in listening comprehension and speaking, not just in reading and writing.
Grammar exercises must help learners not only form correct sentences, but also use them correctly in context in real life situations. Contrastive and contextualized exercises give practice in form, meaning and use.
It is very important to learners for practicing English grammar on their own that there are answers provided to the exercises (the key) in the grammar practice book for self-check.

Sheila Collins
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:20 pm

Post by Sheila Collins » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:04 pm

In my view, it's absolutely impossible to have "firm solid thorough knowledge"[sic] of English grammar because English grammar is not firm, solid or thorough.

Read some stories, sing songs, talk, and talk, and then talk some more. Write some stories. Do some activities together, and don't forget to talk while you do them. Make sure the language learned is appropriate for the students.

We don't communicate through exercises. By doing exercises, the students only learn to fill in the blanks. They don't need to learn "sentences that most likely can be used in real life situations": they need to learn language that is used in real life.

Your classroom is "real life" for these students. If it wasn't, they wouldn't be there.

Language is lengthy and fluid; there's no one correct way to communicate.

If I find a student is making a consistent and persistent grammatical error, I might concentrate on the rule for a couple of weeks (daily chantings of "Don't put a comma before 'because'!") and perhaps do one exercise to focus their attention. However, generally my job involves fixing the errors learned from doing grammar exercises.

Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:37 pm
Location: Canada

Learning English grammar

Post by Kennen » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:46 am

A learner of English can't rely on real life communication alone to be proficient in using grammatically correct English. Learning English grammar from books, audio and video aids is equally indispensable to substantially accelerate mastering of English grammar.
Correct oral communication in English is based on knowledge of English phonetics, grammar, vocabulary, and on practice and experience in communicating with native English speakers in real life. I would argue that first a learner must master at least basic English grammar from books with exercises before being able to communicate grammatically correctly in real life with native speakers of English.

Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:44 pm
Location: Buffalo, NY

Post by JRanieri » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:09 am

I agree with you Sheila and you made some excellent points. I think though, a native speaker could benefit from studying those rules, especially when many times we never realized they existed! It is also a treat for those interested in linguistics.

Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:11 pm

Post by itsjustnouns » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:51 pm

Students is Asia and Kora learn a rule based system of English which of course hinders their development. Give them a little of this, but discussion is more important. Discussing after they finish their exercises and so they can compare their answers with each other. People in Korea want to speak English as much as possible, but they still need drills and explanations from the teacher.

Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:21 am
Location: Taiwan

Post by silencedobetter » Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:20 am

When it comes to grammar, new students always tend to make mistakes. Run-on sentences happen to be one of those mistakes, and it is our task as teachers to correct students. I would like to share some tips on how to teach your students to avoid these mistakes:

http://goldstarteachers.com/5-ways-corr ... -sentence/

Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:17 pm

Re: Learning English grammar

Post by tracy18 » Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:34 am

This is a topic which has no one correct answer. Language is first and foremost for communication. As the written language has progressed rules have been put in place to reduce ambiguity in language. One of the best ways to learn a language is via immersion. Canada, around Montreal, teaches kids via immersion in school. But this is not for everyone. There are others who like to learn a language by studying it. There are those people who learn dead languages and enjoy the study. To get back to the topic, a good teacher is the best person to guide for they will understand how a student has to be taught. For people who want to specialize in the language, they can go on to study the language in college. There are wonderful English textbooks available for students who want to do an undergrad or Master's in English. For those who cannot afford these, renting e-versions(on Amazon) can be explored. Like I said before what a student needs is good guidance from a teacher who cares.

Post Reply