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TSLB3083 Teaching

of Grammar in the
Primary ESL
Lecture 3
Songs and chants
The Very Basic Grammar Song
An ARTICLE introduces a noun.
A NOUN is a name of person, place
or thing.
An ADJECTIVE describes a noun.
An ADVERB describes a verb.
A VERB is a word that shows action.

If youre not sure about which kind of grammar-based games are
suitable for the ESL classroom, you can ask yourself the following

Does the grammar game practice any skills? If yes, which ones?
Whats the purpose of the game?
What kind of game is it? Is it a strategy game? A communicative
grammar game?
Does the grammar game mesh with the learners ages?
Is the game the right fit for your learners levels?
Are all learners involved in the grammar game? Does it require
maximum student involvement?
Do your students enjoy the game?
More on games
What specific grammar points do you plan to introduce or
practice through this ESL grammar game?
Is it possible to maintain absolute control over your class while
playing this particular game?
Do you need any special materials to play this grammar game?
If you do, can they be easily obtained?
How will you be able to maintain student progress and keep your
learners on track when playing this particular game?
How long do you need to play this game?
At which point of the lesson will you incorporate your grammar
Are the rules clear? How will you successfully explain the game
without too much TTT (teacher talking time)?
Everyone loves a story. Stories can be used for both eliciting and illustrating grammar points. The former employs
inductive reasoning, while the latter requires deductive thought, and it is useful to include both approaches in lesson
planning. In addition, a well-told story is the perfect context for a structure-discourse match, but the technique can
also be used effectively for a structure-social factor match. Storytelling is one of these extremely versatile
techniques, and once you get the hang of it, it can be a convenient and natural grammar teaching tool. You may
even find that it is the technique that holds students' attention best, as well as the one they enjoy most.

Grammar points can be contexualized in stories that are absorbing and just plain fun if they are selected with the
interest of the class in mind, are told with a high degree of energy, and involve the students. Students can help
create stories and impersonate characters in them.

Students will certainly appreciate and respond to your efforts to include them in the storytelling process, but they
will also enjoy learning about you through your stories.

Stories should last from one to five minutes, and the more exaggerated and bizarre they are, the more likely
students will remember the teaching points they illustrate.

Storytelling is traditional in almost all cultures. We can tap into that tradition for a very portable resource and a
convenient and flexible technique for teaching any phase of a grammar lesson. A story provides a realistic context
for presenting grammar points and holds and focuses students attention in a way that no other technique can.
Although some teachers are better at telling stories than others, almost any of us can tell stories with energy and
interest. Students naturally like to listen to stories, and most are remembered long after the lesson is over.
Activity 1: Story Strip Sequencing

The teacher narrates a story to the class.

The teacher cuts out the printed story either into
paragraphs, sentences, phrases or words depending on the
age and level of the students.
She divides the students into groups and asks each group
to arrange the strips in the correct order.
The teacher retells the story to the class and each group
has to rearrange the story strips if they have done it wrongly.
As a variation, teachers could make children do this
exercise before telling them the story and use it as a
prediction exercise and to generate interest and suspense.
Nursery rhymes and

Gap fills or close texts

Focus questions

True-false statements

Put these lines into the correct sequence


Add a final verse

Circle the antonyms/synonyms of the given words

Creating skitches with the raffling of characters,
places, and situations is an effective way to mix
creativity with language. Students are usually very
proud of their memorable creations and watching
their presentation is definitely a pleasure.

Teachers can use puppets , to practice grammar

rules in a more lighthearted way, to review content
with humor and to go back to challenging textbook
points that are explained by the puppet or to the
Role play
The role of the teacher
Some of the possible teacher roles are:

Facilitator - students may need new language to be 'fed'

in by the teacher. If rehearsal time is appropriate the
feeding in of new language should take place at this stage.

Spectator - The teacher watches the role-play and offers

comments and advice at the end.

Participant - It is sometimes appropriate to get involved

and take part in the role-play yourself.
Get inspired by using fun esl skits for kids. Short
easy role plays ideal for children learning
English. Have fun while you teach grammar
using skits for ESL!
Skit 1
Asking the time A skit for two students to
practise asking the time.
Skit 2
Ordering a cup of coffee. A skit for two students
to practise ordering in a cafe.

Skit 3
Paying for a cup of coffee. A skit for two
students to practise paying in a cafe.
More on role play
Bring situations to life
Realia and props can really bring a role-play to life. A group of my young learners
recently played the roles of pizza chef and customer. A simple cone of white card
with CHEF written on it took a minute to make and I believe it made the whole
process more fun and memorable for the class. As soon as it was placed on their
heads they 'became' the pizza chef and acted accordingly.

Rearranging the furniture can also help. If you are imagining you are at the tourist
information office or at the doctor's surgery try to make it as real as you can.
Students can even leave the room and make an entrance by knocking on the door.
Keep it real and relevant
Try to keep the roles you ask students to play as real to life as possible. It may be
hard for students who have little opportunity to travel to imagine they are in 'Ye
Olde Tea Shop' in the heart of the English countryside. However, it may be within
their schema to imagine they have been asked to help an English speaker who is
visiting their own country. This may involve using some L1 to explain about the
local culture or to translate local menus into English for the guest to their country.
Drama and Plays
Anyone who has worked with young children knows that they learn chiefly by exploring
their world using their imagination and engaging in pretend play. The link between
imaginative, or pretend play, and language is particularly strong. Communicational and
conversational skills develop as children develop scenarios ("this is our house, and this
is the baby, she is just born and she has to sleep now"); assign roles and direct the
action ("I'll be the mommy and I'm going shopping. You're the daddy; you have to go to
work!") and slip "in and out of multiple roles" ("now its my turn to be the teacher ").

This conversational use of language promotes fluency. While learning a play, children
are encouraged to listen to, potentially read and then repeat their lines over a period of
time. By repeating the words and phrases they become familiar with them and are able
to say them with increasing fluency. In addition, drama also teaches them to enunciate
their words properly and to project their voices when they speak, helping them to
become clear and confident speakers. Using drama to teach English also helps to
improve the understanding and retention of a word. By the time a child has read,
rehearsed and acted out a scene focusing on the word 'frustrated', for example, there is
little likelihood of ever forgetting it. The same would not hold true if the word had been
memorised by rote for a vocabulary test.