Grammar Chants

September 15, 2009 at 9:00 AM | Posted in Class, ESOL, Teaching | 2 Comments

While grammar isn’t our students’ favorite subject (or ours for that matter), it is still important to introduce our learners to it. I’ve struggled immensely with teaching basic grammar skills to our level 1 students. It’s difficult to find a balance between teaching “life skills” English while teaching them useful grammar structures.

What I found worked extremely well were “grammar chants.” Using simple present tense, I had my students begin class with grammar chants.

“I have, you have, we have, they have, he has, she has, it has.” Be sure to stress the differences between have and has. Demonstrate examples with things relevant to the class such as “she has a book” or “he has a pencil.”

The “popcorn” reading/repeating method works well.  Prompt students to say one phrase:
Student 1: I have
Student 2: You have
Student 3: We have
…etc.

Also, it’s helpful to use verbs that are used frequently in everyday life. Some examples: to work, to eat, to go, to have, to live, to be.

Asmait Tewelde, AmeriCorps instructor alumnus 2008-2009

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