Teaching Grammar There are many different methods to

There are many different methods to teach grammar, but this essay will present the three that might be the most effective in retaining student interest.

1.Situational Presentations

2.Text and Recordings

3.Test Teach Test

1.Teaching grammar via Situational Presentation

In order for grammar to have meaning, it needs to be placed within a context. For instance the preposition 'beside' has no meaning to a student unless it's placed within a context. Using a model sentence such as the 'The bread is beside the toaster' gives the word a basic context.

Situational presentation refines the context and thus the meaning by building a 'situation' around the model sentence. It can be presented in three stages with the following example of teaching prepositions based on an airplane ride.

Stage 1 '

Discuss positions of different items and why they are there. For instance, why do airplanes fly 'up' in the air' Build a story about someone who is flying 'on' an airplane, will he sit 'on' top of the plane, or 'inside'. Will he sit 'down' or stand 'up'. Is his luggage stored 'beneath' the floor, or 'above' his seat' Take the story to a final destination.

Stage 2 '

Pictures or illustrations of an airplane can be shown, or the classroom can be 'transformed' into an airplane. Discuss Concept Questions; (position of items; what should be there but isn't; where should it be and why')

Stage 3

' Students can now create different situations themselves, applying acquired prepositions into short stories.

2. Teaching grammar via Text or Recordings Text and Recordings involve a very short story. Material can be a text that can be read, or recordings that are listened to. These stories highlight particular grammar points, and provide meaning before the story in the form of discussion and vocabulary prep, and within the story itself.

Four stages are used to teach the Text/Recording Method:

1.In a story located within New York City, ask students if they have ever visited NYC. Have them tell others about it, or tell what they know about it. What do the students imagine it to be like' Pictures can be shown of specific sights.

2.Have students read/listen to the story located in NYC, and have them answer the How, Why, What, When, Where questions about the plot and characters.

3.Highlight the sentences that focus on the grammar theme, and develop other examples outside the story, including the concept, pronunciation, and form.

4.Students can now create their own story using the grammar focus, or complete other related activities.

3. Presenting grammar via Test Teach Test (TTT)

TTT involves teacher starting the lesson with a 'test', to see how much the student knows or doesn't know. This 'test' is really a discovery stage rather than what could be perceived as an intimidating test. It can be conducted in pairs or groups to help reduce the 'test' perspective.

Stage 1 Test

- Gap sentences can be used, or more communicative methods such as students expressing life experiences related to the grammar point. The teacher observes what is known and not known, making a list of problem areas for later clarification.

Stage 2 Teach

- The teacher reviews all the questions with the correct answers. The common mistakes are given focus, with additional example sentences given and elicited. This stage is basically a clarification of meaning, form, and pronunciation.

Stage 3 Test

- The final stage is the second test. The second test is a practice session based on what the teacher has explained and clarified. Test two practice activities can involve students writing and speaking the language points taught using material they create, or it could be material that contains the wrong grammar which needs to be corrected.

All three of these methods place grammar somewhat in disguise, making it somewhat more palatable for particular students. No single method should be used exclusively, but a combination of methods will help ensure a dynamic classroom environment.


Teaching English as a Second Language, David Riddle, 2001, pages 27- 54

Essentials of English, Vincent F. Hopper, 1990, pages. Pages 32-33

More Nitty Gritty Grammar, Edith H. Fine, 2001, Pages 143-146