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5 New Fun Ways to Teach Grammar to ESL Students


Legacy Member
Nov 4, 2014
"In my experience, grammar shouldn't be taught "by the book". At least not in teaching English as a second language. That's not what students are there for. They don't want to know all of these rules; they're not interested in them. They want to learn English. They want to speak, read, and write in English. So, how do we as ESL teachers teach them essential grammar and give them what we need, rather than boring them to death with "the rules". It's actually quite simple: by teaching grammar in context. And in fun ways".

A nice little article to help with your ESL classes. Here's a link to the article in Busy Teacher.
When we teach English as a second language the focus needs to be on the working aspects of the language. Conversation skills are what the student is looking for, practice is at the heart of the conversation, so we speak , repeat and learn new sentences. It is important for the teacher to introduce the language in an interesting and easy manner. I usually start with short everyday sentences. The normal conversation starters and gradually move on to a slightly technical aspects of work the student deals with on a day to day basis. It is important to work on vocabulary building with the focus being on day to day usage of language and work aspects of the language if the student is a professional. However it is important to know the reason for the student's interest in the language to be able to cater to his/her needs.
In teaching ESL to students first try to set a lighter mood and do not strictly stick to the rules. Start the conversation with the usual introductory greetings and encourage free talking so as to assess the level of your student's english skills. By that they will be able to enhance their conversation skills and you can also directly correct them if needed. Most importantly, we have to widen their vocabulary as well so we have to introduce and teach new words and expressions. By doing so, we have to explain to them the word in the simplest way possible, give synonyms and antonyms, and if necessary show pictures of the given word. You also have to give sample sentences using the new words or expressions and encourage them to make their own sentences as well to assess whether they truly understand it or not.
A good way for any person to learn a new language is simple: Just speak the language. They should have normal English conversations with a native speaker (assuming that the learner already knows basic english words). If the learner ever makes a mistake, the native speaker should correct the learner then carry on the conversation. This is how my friends who studied in Turkey learned Turkish. They just spoke among their Turkish friends in the country's language. There's also a TED talk where the speaker shares his tips on how to learn any language:

You should go to school, perhaps at your local adult school, and take an ESL class. I teach ESL and it is the best way to learn. Also, you should read English stories, and watch TV in English.
1. Movies with subtitles
2. Flashcards
3. Rewards for the top kids in the class.
4. Words of the day.
5. Conversations about current topics and correct them when they say something wrong.

I hope everyone who reads this finds it useful.
I've been an ESL Instructor for years and I taught more on how to used the language in the work area. Rather than teaching them regimentary tenses, one need to taught it in a conversational manner. It's the concept and the meaning of the word that it convey that matters most especially for beginners.