Make the Best Use of Grammar Class

Make the Best Use of Grammar Class

Different instructors have their own favorite ways of teaching different parts of a grammar lesson, but a general framework has emerged for the most effective use of class time.
Focus on Grammar and the Azar-Hagen Grammar Series both facilitate this framework.

1. Introduce the Target Grammar

Whether you prefer a reading text or a simple warm-up activity, it is
important to introduce the target grammar in some kind of context. This helps students see how the grammar is used and sets the stage for each subsequent step.

2. Explain the Target Grammar

After the introduction, learners need explicit information about its
form, meaning, and use. All second language learners need an opportunity to analyze the new forms. This can be done with a simple chart or using more elaborate illustrations and notes.

3. Controlled Practice

Now that students have studied the new grammar, they need time to
practice using it. We start with very controlled activities that have
only one right answer. This allows learners to check whether they
understood the explanation and get used to manipulating the forms.

4. Less-Controlled Practice

After the accuracy-heavy controlled practice, we start giving students more open-ended activities. These ease the students from focusing on form to focusing on communication, which takes place in the last step.

5. Free Practice

The final stage of the lesson puts students into realistic contexts
that require the target grammar. Now that they’ve developed
confidence in using the forms from steps 3 and 4, they’re ready
for role-plays, discussions, extended writing/speaking, etc. in which
they use the target grammar, but in which the focus is on authentic

For more information about how this is implemented in Focus on Grammar or the Azar-Hagen Grammar Series, consult the introductions to the teacher’s manuals or ask your Pearson ELL Specialist.