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TOPIC 4

4.0 SYNOPSIS

TECHNIQUES FOR TEACHING GRAMMAR

Topic 4 provides you with some techniques for teaching grammar and discusses how the different teaching techniques can be used to encourage the teaching of grammar.

4.1 LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of this session, you will be able to: list features of activities that support grammar learning demonstrate an understanding of the techniques in the teaching of grammar create an activity based on one of the techniques. present and justify your choice.

4.2 FRAMEWORK OF TOPICS

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CONTENT SESSION FOUR (3 Hours) 4.3 INTRODUCTION For a good grammar teaching, teachers have to make the lesson meaningful and interesting in which pupils need to be surrounded by and participate in meaningful discourse in their ESL classroom. Teachers should take the language learning forwards and bring in grammatical features of stories, dialogues, songs, etc. to the attention of their pupils in order to attract the pupils attention. On the other hand, the teachers lack of ability to apply the appropriate techniques and plan suitable activities for the pupils can often destroy the pupils motivation in learning grammar. Thus, according to Chitravelu (2005), there are several features that a teacher has to consider when planning suitable techniques in his/her grammar classes. a) Be meaningful : relate to students own needs, interests, likes and dislikes. b) Be purposeful : provide challenge, get them involve and utilize the new language. c) Have a social function : provide opportunities for interaction. d) Provide plenty of practice : using similar language in different ways. e) Use a multimedia approach : use of all the five senses f) Provide variety : practise new structures using all four skills g) Encourage active participation Reflection Do you agree with the above features of activities that support grammar learning? Consider your own grammar lessons in justifying your reasons.

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4.4

TECHNIQUES FOR TEACHING GRAMMAR

In this section, we move to practicalities and consider six techniques how teachers may actually go about helping pupils develop their grammatical knowledge. 4.4.1 SONGS AND CHANTS (a) Songs Songs is a very good tool to motivate the pupils' learning process, it works also as a break for the routine. Songs could be an essential part of English teaching. It makes the pupils more sensitive to the sounds and the classes becomes more interesting and powerful. Be careful with your students level. You should choose a song according to their level and try to see if the song is suitable for them. There are lots of songs which are unsuitable for the language teaching, these songs have a bad pronunciation or better the words are pronounced wrongly. There are many reasons to use songs in the classroom : Songs are authentic texts Songs can be linked to societal issues which might be interesting to students Songs provide good context for grammar. Songs can trigger emotional and affective connections to the target language and culture. Learning through songs involve different skills. Songs are a good way to teach in an "Edutainment" way because they incorporate all the language skills: (1) Listening (to the song) - Following the song to determine words. (2) Reading (following the lyrics to determine the words) (3) Writing (filling in the blanks) (4) Speaking (singing the song) 31

Kind of songs: - Special songs - Children's songs - Action songs - Teaching structure songs - Telling stories songs - Pop Songs How to use songs? (i) Classic gap-fill: Pupils listen to a song and as they listen they have the lyrics with gaps in for them to fill in as they listen. This activity is not as simple as it sounds and before making one yourself think about why you are taking out certain words. It may be better to take out all the words in one group, such as prepositions or verbs, and tell the pupils what they should be listening out for. Another option is to take out rhyming words. Dont be tempted to take out too many words, eight or ten is normally enough. To make the task easier you could provide the missing words in a box at the side for the pupils to select, or you could number the gaps and provide clues for each number. (ii) Spot the mistakes: Change some of the words in the lyrics and as pupils listen, they have to spot and correct the mistakes. As with the gap-fill limit the mistakes to a maximum of eight or ten and if possible choose a word set. Another example of this for higher levels is to show the students the real lyrics and you correct the English and make it proper! E.g. gonna change to going to we was change to we were etc. This is a good way to focus on song language.

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(iii) Comic strip: Songs that tell stories are great for pupils to make comic strips out of. You have to choose your song carefully and spend time looking at the lyrics with the pupils and making sure they have understood the main ideas. Lower levels may need guidance as to how to divide up the song into suitable chucks that can be represented pictorially. (iv) Order the verses: With low levels this is a very simple activity. Chop up the lyrics of the song by verse and give a small group of pupils the jumbled verses. As they listen they put them in order. (v) Discussion: Certain songs lend themselves to discussions and you can use the song as a nice lead in to the topic and a way to pre-teach some of the vocabulary. For example: Where is the love? by the Black Eyed Peas to lead in to a discussion about war. (vi) Translation: Although some teachers oppose all use of the mother tongue in the language classroom, some pupils really enjoy translating lyrics into their own language. If you do ask your pupils to do this ensure the lyrics are worth translating! (b) Chants Grammar chants can be a lot of fun to use in classes. They are especially effective when used to help pupils learn problematic forms. Grammar chants use repetition to engage the right side of the brain's 'musical' intelligence. The use of multiple intelligences can go a long way to helping pupils speak English 'automatically'.

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Using a chant is pretty straight-forward. The teacher (or leader) stands up in front of the class and 'chants' the lines. It's important to be as rhythmical as possible because these rhythms help the brain during its learning process.

Remember that through the use of repetition and having fun together (be as crazy as you like) pupils will improve their 'automatic' use of the language.

Example of a chant on prepositions. Lets practice. Teacher/Leader: At, on Class/Group: At, on Teacher/Leader: at - with time Class/Group: at - with time Teacher/Leader: on - with days Class/Group: on - with days Teacher/Leader: We eat at eight. Class/Group: We eat at eight. Teacher/Leader: We meet on Mondays. Class/Group: We meet on Mondays. Teacher/Leader: She leaves at five. Class/Group: She leaves at five. Teacher/Leader: They play on Saturdays. Class/Group: They play on Saturdays. Teacher/Leader: At, on Class/Group: At, on Teacher/Leader: at - with time Class/Group: at - with time Teacher/Leader: on - with days Class/Group: on - with days (Source: www.chants.net.com )

Reflection

What do you think are the challenges of using songs and chants in classroom?

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4.4.2 STORIES Using ESL stories for teaching English is a very good way of helping students learn language more deeply and naturally. Just as salespeople and politicians attract people to their products and ideas using stories - if they are wise - so too, can English teachers attract students, particularly young learners, by using stories. Stories are motivating and fun; they create a deep interest and a desire to continue learning. Listening to stories is a shared social experience; it provokes a shared response of laughter, sadness, excitement and anticipation. Stories exercise the imagination; children can become personally involved in a story as they identify with the characters and try to interpret the narrative and illustrations. According to Chitravelu (2005), stories are excellent resources for grammar teaching for several reasons: 1. Children, adolescent and adults all love stories & this generate positive attitude 2. to the lesson for which the story acts as a framework. 2. Stories provide a context for several grammatical structures. 3. A story can provide contexts for real use of English (variety of emotions and issues). Below are some activities and approaches to using ESL stories in the classroom. (Source: http://www.tesolzone.com/esl-stories.html) (i) Circle Story A very simple technique which focuses on accuracy of language. The class create stories word by word. You can begin by saying: "One Monday morning I was" or whatever beginning you like. Then go round the class in a circle [not randomly]. The first pupil must repeat "One Monday morning I was" and then add a single word that makes sense and fits in grammatically. The second pupil repeats all the first pupil has said,

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adding one more word. The third pupil repeats all and adds a word, and so on, until a story develops around the class. This technique can be fun, requires no preparation and focuses on the accurate use of language. It can make a good warmer. With a small class it's possible to go round the class twice. The teacher can choose whether the story is to be told in present tense [if they are beginners] or used to practice the simple past tense, or with no restrictions on the language used.

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(ii) Question Story Write 4 or 5 questions on the board. For a very low level class these might be: "What's his/her name?" "Where is he/she?" "What's he/she doing?" "What does he/she say?" Run through a few possible answers orally with the class. Then give a piece of paper to every pupil. Tell them you want them to write an answer to the first question only. Encourage them to be creative. They then fold back their paper, so the answer they have written is folded away from the page and not visible when the paper is flat on the desk. All pupils then pass their paper to the pupil on the left. They all then write the answer to the second question, fold the paper again, then pass to the next pupil on the left, and so on, until all the questions have been answered. The pupils can then unfold the papers, correct where possible, and then read aloud the slightly crazy stories to the class. (iii) Retelling Stories Another way of using stories which requires minimal preparation, yet is a very powerful learning tool, is to have the pupils retell stories. The best stories to begin with are interesting anecdotes from your life, or interesting or unusual news stories. Once this activity is familiar, the pupils can then contribute with their own stories. This activity works well as a warmer and as practice or review of the simple past tense.

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Choose a short story that can be told in several sentences. Write a title on the board as an introduction. Then write the appropriate verb (in the present tense) for each sentence of the story. Do not write out the story. Adding pictures helps, as long as the pictures can be drawn in a few seconds. Then tell the story, sentence by sentence, pointing to the verbs and eliciting the correct past tense from the students. The pupils then retell the story. This can be done by asking individual pupils to retell separate parts. The pupils can also retell the story to each other in pairs. When the pupils are familiar with this method of using stories, have some of them prepare a short story for homework. They can retell it to the other pupils the following class.

4.4.3 NURSERY RHYMES AND POEMS Nursery Rhymes and poems like songs, contextualize a grammar lesson effectively. Since poetry is often spoken, repeated, dealt with, and considered, it acts as an effective tool for practicing a specific grammatical structure. Through repeating and considering the poem, the grammatical structures become more deeply internalized. Thus, poetry not only provides a rewarding resource for structured practice of grammar, but also a proper basis for review. In the selection of a poem, the teacher should first consider the grammatical structure to be presented, practiced, or reviewed, then the level and the age of the students, next the theme and the length of the poem and its appropriateness to the classroom objectives. Poems, which reflect cultural themes, universal features, humanistic values, or emotional aspects, will be more relevant to the foreign language learners. Finally, through taking the classroom objectives into consideration, a teacher should effectively benefit from poems as teaching aids. If a poem that exemplifies a particular structure is also a good poem, it engages the eye, the ear and the tongue simultaneously while also stimulating and moving us; this

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polymorphic effect makes poetry easier to memorize than other things for many students. Some of its potential is illustrated as the followings: Example 1: To practice adjectives The following poem is about hippos. Use the structure of this poem and write a poem of your own about anything, e.g. people, trees, shoes. Hippos Hippos swim. Hippos snort. Hippo legs are rather short. Hippos ears are pink and tiny. Hippo hide is very shiny. Hippo tails are stout and stubby. Hippo hips are kind of chubby. Hippos stay rather quiet. Hippos never like to diet. (Source: http://www.charlesghigna.com/poems.html) 39

Example 2: To teach the imperative Chivvy Grown-ups say things like: Speak up Don't talk with your mouth full Don't stare Don't point Don't pick your nose Sit up Say please Less noise Shut the door behind you Don't drag your feet Haven't you got a hankie? Take your hands out of your pockets Pull your socks up Stand up straight Say thank you Don't interrupt No one thinks you're funny Take your elbows off the table Can't you make up your own mind about anything? By Michael Rosen

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Example 3: To practice verbs

Take a grape and eat it slowly. Then read this poem. Then eat a mango and write a poem like this about it. How to eat a grape squash, squish crunch chew, chew trickle twang, bang spit swallow choose squash, squish crunch chew, chew trickle twang, bang spit swallow choke cough, cough Anonymous

4.4.4 GAMES Teaching Grammar through games is another way to help pupils not only gain knowledge but be able to apply and use that learning in an interesting way. According to Arif Saricoban and Esen Metin, authors of "Songs, Verse and Games for Teaching Grammar" , they say that

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1. Games and problem-solving activities...have a purpose beyond the production of correct speech, and are examples of the most preferable communicative activities. 2. Grammar games help children not only gain knowledge but be able to apply and use that learning. 3. Games allow the students to "practice and internalize vocabulary, grammar and structures extensively." How? i) They can do this through repeated exposure to the target grammar and because students are often more motivated to play games than they are to do deskwork. ii) Plus, during the game, the students are focused on the activity and end up absorbing the grammar subconsciously. Similarly, Aydan Ersoz, author of "Six Games for the ESL/EFL Classroom" also explained more reasons why games do work for teaching grammar. Learning a language requires constant effort and that can be tiring, but Ersoz outlines two good reasons why games should be included in the classroom: Games that are amusing and challenging are highly motivating. Games allow meaningful use of the language in context.

(Source:http://www.teachingenglishgames.com/Articles/Teaching_Grammar_with_Gam es_in_the_ESL_Classroom.htm) In short, we can conclude that there are many advantages of using games in the classroom (Lee, 1995): 1. Games are a welcome break from the usual routine of the language class. 2. They are motivating and challenging. 3. Learning a language requires a great deal of effort. Games help students to make and sustain the effort of learning. 4. Games provide language practice in the various skills- speaking, writing, listening and reading. 5. They encourage students to interact and communicate. 6. They create a meaningful context for language use.' 42

What kinds of games work best? When you are looking for games to use in your classroom, don't just pick something to be a "time filler" that does not have any linguistic purpose. Lin Hong, author of "Using Games in Teaching English to Young Learners", explains that not all games are going to work to teach the students language skills. You should consider these questions posed by Hong: Which skills do the games practice? What type of game is it and what is its purpose? Does the difficulty level of the game match with the students' ability level? Does the game require maximum involvement by the students? Do the students like it? Do you like it? What specific vocabulary or grammar are you introducing or practising with this game? Can you keep control of your class and play this game? What materials do you need for the game and can you obtain these easily? What controls, if any are needed, will you have in place to ensure the children are on track? When to Use Games? 'Games are often used as short warm-up activities or when there is some time left at the end of a lesson. However, a game "should not be regarded as a marginal activity filling in odd moments when the teacher and class have nothing better to do" Lee (1979:3).

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Games ought to be at the heart of teaching foreign languages. Rixon suggests that games be used at all stages of the lesson, provided that they are suitable and carefully chosen. 'Games also lend themselves well to revision exercises helping learners recall material in a pleasant, entertaining way. Therefore, it is agreed that even if games resulted only in noise and entertained students, they are still worth paying attention to and implementing in the classroom since they motivate learners, promote communicative competence, and generate fluency.' Tips for Using Grammar Games in Class Successfully
(Adapted from http://www.english-grammar-revolution.com/grammar-games.html)

1. ORGANIZATION Figure out how to organize your class i.e. the time spent. For the younger students you'll want to change your activities every five to ten minutes because they have shorter attention spans. If you don't change your activities, they'll soon start losing interest. As you get towards the higher elementary grades, you can expand the time you spend per activity. Additionally, try to have everything ready to go before the students enter the classroom. That way you can go from activity to activity with minimal downtime. This is essential as you can lose control of the class if you do not keep them occupied. 2. EXPECTATIONS If you notice that your class is getting noisy or rambunctious, it's time to change activities. Pupils of this age like to be active; in order to balance out the energy levels in the classroom, alternate between active activities and quiet activities. 3. VARIATION

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You want to make sure your activities appeal to all sorts learning styles, so even when you are using games to teach grammar you'll want to vary the types of things you expect your students to do.

For Level One pupils, stick to games that use talking, listening, looking and moving. For Level Two pupils, you can continue to use games that use talking, listening, looking and moving and add in some games that use writing and reading.

4. RESPECT To make games work for you and your class, be sure to operate your class with the utmost respect - both to and from students. This includes teaching your students from the very start that you expect respect at all times. This includes giving encouragement and following the rules. 5. ROUTINE Establishing a routine will help the class go smoothly. If pupils know what to expect next, they will be more able to participate in what's going on now. Set up a schedule for the type of activities you'll be doing at any given time throughout the class whether it is a game, story or song or whatever you want to do. Then, when you are planning your class, plug in the appropriate activities to each section of time. You should also leave a little time at the end of the class period to allow the pupils to clean up and gather their things as well as time for you to recap the class, praise the pupils and tell them good-bye. EXAMPLES OF GAMES By incorporating games into your lesson plan, your students will not only stop dreading grammar lessons, but theyll actually look forward to them. Board games, such as Go to Press! A Grammar Game, are sure to be a big hit with young students, and will have them giggling too. In this unique game, pupils 45

try to create a complete newspaper by moving from department to department (such as entertainment, sports, weather, etc.) finding and correcting errors in the headlines. The goal is to be the first player to return to the bosss office and say, Go to press! If you dont have access to board games, there are still a number of activities you can have pupils participate in. Create a crossword puzzle and use the clues to get pupils to practice critical thinking skills about the grammar lesson of your choice. Or, try playing a game of hangman to get pupils focused on adjectives. CONCLUSION Using games to teach grammar can be both fun and rewarding for you and your pupils. Just remember to keep them engaged and make sure that your games are truly teaching the skill at hand and you'll soon have a class full of pupils who get excited about learning grammar!

4.4.5 PUPPETS What is a puppet? A puppet is an inanimate figure moved by a puppeteer to convey emotion, character and story. Some examples of puppets: 1. shadow puppets 2. hand puppets 3. marionette puppets 4. water puppets 5. finger puppets 6. stick puppets 7. robotic puppets

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Main types of Puppets Hand or glove puppet: these are puppets controlled by one hand which occupies the interior of the puppet. Sock puppet: they are particularly simple type of hand puppet made from a sock and they operated by inserting ones hand inside the sock. One then moves his hand up and down to give the impersonation of speaking. Rod puppet: it is constructed around a central rod secured to the head. A large glove covers the rod and is attached to the neck of the puppet. A rod puppet is controlled by the puppeteer moving the metal rods attached to the hands of the puppet and by turning the central rod secured to the head. Human-arm puppet: it is also called a two-man puppet or a Live-hand puppet; it is similar to a hand puppet but is larger and requires two puppeteers. One puppeteer places a hand inside the puppets head and operates its head and mouth, while the other puppeteer wears gloves and special sleeves attached to the puppet in order to become the puppets arms, so that the puppet can perform arbitrary hand gestures. This is a form of glove or hand puppetry and rod puppetry. The marionette is a particular type of puppet. It is suspended and controlled by a number of strings, plus sometimes a central rod attached to a control bar held from above by the puppeteer. The control bar can be either a horizontal or vertical one. This form of puppetry is complex and sophisticated to operate, requiring greater manipulative control than a finger, glove or rod puppet. The most famous marionette is Pinocchio, invented by Carlo Collodi.

Why and how should teachers use puppets in their class?

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Teachers use puppets for the same reason a fisherman puts bait on his hook; to catch the attention of children. Children love puppets. Puppets are much more than a cute toy. Puppets are powerful communication tools. Puppets are tools you should add to your tool box along with the paper and pencils. use a puppet (or a set of puppets) to act out various grammar concepts. This can be especially useful for learning verb tenses and prepositions for instance.

4.4.6 DIALOGUES AND PLAYS Dialogues are popular activities in ESL textbooks for a number of linguistic as well as cultural reasons. According to Rivers (1981), there are two broad categories of dialogues: 1. Conversation-facilitation - Provide students with useful phrases with which they can begin to communicate. These dialogues are often short and therefore students are encouraged to memorize them. 2. Grammar-demonstration dialogues. - The dialogues are longer and contain certain grammatical structures that are to be studied. They provide contextualized examples from which students will structure. Teachers can use or adapt dialogues to: demonstrate grammar in context facilitate conversationThis may parallel grammar instruction, but also gives specific language practice provide recreation such as a skitThese dialogues are bridging activities that provide spontaneous use of learner knowledge. (b) Plays Apart from memorization, widely used in the audio-lingual era, dialogues can be exploited for plays through which students can practice language more freely. 48 deduce generalizations about a particular grammatical

Larsen-Freeman (2000) has pointed out, plays give pupils the chance of interacting and practicing communication acts in different contexts and because of this, they are of primary importance in language teaching. The play scripts encourage students to read aloud, swap roles, repeat and understand grammar in context, and make the sentences come alive. Pupils in pairs or small groups can also be given the task of writing a play script. After they have learned rules and done some practice, they can undertake the work of creating a play using the newly learned structure. Some points to keep in mind when writing or adapting dialogues for pupils to practice Use natural language as much as possible (include exclamations and expressions sequence). Keep the dialogue short enough so that students can easily remember it. Apply current sociolinguistic norms. For example, an informal introduction is Hi, nice to meet you, rather than How do you do? Depict situations in the dialogue that are relevant and useful to the learner. Retain truth value in the dialogue. Create characters who are realistic in that they have some personality and relate to the learners experience in some way. (based on Slager 1976 cited in Omaggio 1984 and Graham 1992). where appropriate; avoid a strict question-answer-question

Refer to online websites. Compile articles related to the importance of using different techniques for teaching grammar.

The end of this sessiongood luck with your activities! 49