Printable English Grammar Lessons

Printable English Grammar Lessons how can they help your students?

But first, what exactly is grammar?

Scott Thornbury suggests, in "How to Teach Grammar:"

"Grammar is partly the study of what forms (or structures) are possible in a language. Traditionally, grammar has been concerned almost exclusively with analysis at the level of the sentence. Thus a grammar is a description of the rules that govern how a language`s sentences are formed." p. 1

I think the value in printed lessons that you either make yourself, find on the internet, or come from a workbook, is that they reinforce previously taught material.

You can use these lessons to pre-teach. However I often use handouts of grammar to reinforce a grammar point we have previously covered in class.

I`ll venture that sometimes allowing the students to discover the grammar themselves is a good idea.

"If we taught children to speak, they`d never learn."

--William Hull

(from How Children Fail, by John Holt)

But how do you allow students to discover grammar as opposed to teaching it to them?

By giving them chances to read graded readers that are appropriate for their level is one idea. As they read, they will come to learn the grammatical patterns. Then as mentioned you can reinforce this with printable English grammar lessons.

The other value of graded readers of course, is that the students just may find that they love to read, even in English. I think for some students reading the original story in English (even in easy English), is a thrill.

Scott Thornbury asserts that the grammar-translation method has gotten bad press because it was taught mostly in the student`s mother tongue. In Japan of course, that has traditionally been in Japanese. As a result, Japanese students tend not to be able to understand spoken English, nor be able to speak it.

As well, the grammar and writing of Japanese has not been very good in spite of Japanese opinions to the contrary. I feel if you don`t use all four skills, the students suffer in language ability as a result.

Thornbury argues that by using English during the grammar lessons the grammar-translation method should prove to be better and deserves a rehabilitated reputation.

"It is not the case that...that the whole lesson need be conducted in the students` mother tongue. Speaking (including work on pronunciation) and listening practice can easily be incorporated into the basic lesson framework, and the translation exercises could just as well involve authentic texts."

--Scott Thornbury ("How to Teach Grammar," p. 30)

Printable English Grammar Lessons - Japanese Explanations

I think for Japanese, having a handbook of English grammar with Japanese explanations, is of benefit. I feel it is very difficult to explain the grammar to Japanese students in English.

So in this case at least, it is advantageous for Japanese teachersto teach the grammar, or English speakers who are fluent in Japanese to explain it in Japanese. Not all in Japanese, but at times the students need their L1.

I don`t do a lot of explaining in front of the class. I allow the textbook to do that, and reinforce it with grammar exercises. I hope too that I am allowing them to discover what they need to learn, as opposed to me spoon feeding them.

I go around the room and monitor their progress, point out mistakes and I am ready to answer questions. I feel the students are better able to ask me a question when I am next to them, in contrast to standing imperiously in front of the class.

Lastly I try to make them feel comfortable enough to make mistakes, and that mistakes are okay.

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