Teaching Grammar | TESOL

Grammar is often the most feared aspect of the English language. Teaching grammar to TESOL students is one of the toughest and most difficult tasks faced by most TESOL instructors. Most of us don’t fully understand our own grammar rules. Even though we know some of them, bringing them in the most understandable and comforting way can be challenging for TESOL students.

Language must be grasped with rules that are understandable regardless of the difficulty. Grammar can be understood in two ways: how to use it and when to use it. The following tips will help you get in your way of teaching grammar to your TESOL students in an effective and fun way.

Teach yourself grammar first before you teach it to others

Big chances are coming your way if you grew up in an English-speaking environment because you learned the rules of grammar without being aware of it. It really makes you a natural at speaking the language but it can present some problems when it comes to teaching it. 

Experts say that it is impossible to effectively teach something you yourself do not understand. Let’s put it this way. Who do you want to teach you? Someone who understands the subject by heart or someone who is just faking it?

This is might be the most challenging step to becoming a solid instructor of grammar. Keep in mind to take time to learn how your language works so that you can teach it to others. This will make you pick up the mistakes of your students to correct them easily.

How to use inductive and deductive teaching and what is the difference between the two

Teaching inductively or deductively depends on the background of your TESOL student. Bu most teachers say that teaching inductively could be more effective than teaching deductively.

So what is the difference between the two?

Inductive learning is also known as the bottom-up method. You teach grammar through a discovery process which allows students to discover the rules and functions over the course of different exercises.  Students without recent educational backgrounds like adult learners, learn more quickly using this teaching method.

While the deductive approach is the more standard teaching style. It is where the teachers begin by explaining the exact rules that govern each aspect of the grammar subject. The teacher gives the rules, then goes to the lessons in which they use the given rules. The deductive method is the proven and tested approach between the two, but it is less effective. But you can choose between the two methods which you want to try and you can observe the rules.

Plan your ESL Lesson

Some ESL instructors go into the classroom without taking the time to plan it properly. If you are a native English speaker doesn’t mean that you can win the subject. Planning properly will avoid a lot of disagreeable situations like giving an example off the cuff, only to find out that it does not work perfectly as you thought it.

Grammar is tricky and confusing and a lot of exceptions to rules must be learned and understood. You don’t want to end up hanging in front of your class and embarrass yourself. Remember to plan ahead of time to map out the course of your lesson, including examples, so that you’ll have a foolproof course to interact with your students.

Continuous ESL professional development and learning

There is no doubt that teaching grammar to TESOL students is rocky and challenging, but it can also be satisfying and rewarding. If you have the time to observe and implement the tips above, you will improve your lesson. Never stop learning grammar and take more time to research a variety of approaches and methods to give an effective grammar lesson to TESOL students. As the saying goes by, “practice makes perfect”.

Another idea to develop your knowledge in teaching TESOL students is by taking a master’s degree program for teachers. You will uncover:

  • How to develop curriculum materials in TESOL.
  • Applicable techniques to connect with your students much better.

English is indeed a difficult language to learn and its grammar is confusing which makes it the culprit for being a tricky subject.

If you are a native speaker, shifting between different phrases, tenses, idioms, and verbs comes naturally but for a TESOL student, it takes a lot of time and dedication to practice.

Break things down to proportional sizes when teaching grammar and make things easier for them to understand. That way, it is much less daunting and it will be easier for you to teach.

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Leana Jan Candoleta

Leana was an administrative officer in a dialysis center. She has extensive experiences with all administrative tasks, including scheduling, information and billing. Having held positions in the medical and business field, leana is able to tailor her skills to meet the needs of various patients and clients. she has increased her efficiency in her skills and roles and became an effective employee in her company. As a senior Administrative Officer, she has helped the company earn millions when it comes to medical transactions. Leana graduated from West Visayas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Development Communication. After she graduated, she worked as an English Tutor in a Foreign School as her first job. She also served the community for a year and three months wherein she gained more experiences in her career record. She was also a holder of Civil Service License. During her college years, Leana was a member of Gawad Kalinga and Philippine League of Development Communication. After 5 years of working, she decided to shift to another career which is teaching. She took up the course Teacher Certificate Program in Phinma-University of Iloilo. She balanced work, school, social life and a mother. She did this to create a bigger future for herself and for her family. Leana is also a member of a non-government association in Iloilo City wherein her passions and hobbies can be shown off to other group members. Leana is a very passionate and goal-achiever person. She will do anything to be on top and be the best among the rest to reach for her better future. She is now waiting for the Licensure Examination for Teachers and hoping that she will pass it.