Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondHello, everybody. Welcome to Week 5. Now, Mary Therese, last week we didn't get time to do our quotes of the week. That's right. But I've got mine. So, my quote of the - last week, we talked about grammar and vocabulary pronunciation. And my quote of the week is from Patricia, who says, "Grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation are the keys to enter the magic world of communication. As a teacher, you need to use these keys properly in order to let your learners into that magic, new world." Oh, that was lovely. It's cool, isn't it? It's very cool, yeah. Yeah, real nice. Now, mine is strategy of the week. This is our new thing, strategy of the week.

Skip to 0 minutes and 42 secondsAnd mine is from Seuss, who said that you have to sneak the grammar into the lesson, a bit like parents sometimes disguise that there's vegetables in the food. I used to do that with my children. I'd chop up vegetables really small and put them in the sauce. So, just sneak the grammar in, so they don't realise they're learning it. I bet they noticed it and they spat it out. No, no, they didn't. And they now eat more vegetables, so maybe sneaking the grammar in will make people - - make people use the grammar. Nice, great, OK. And so, now we're doing the Q&A, aren't we, for this week and picking up questions that people asked last week.

Skip to 1 minute and 15 secondsThe first question that we have really is about - people were asking for examples of - so, this question is, "I'd like to learn more about activities to teach grammar effectively." Right, OK, we're going to - So, I think you've got an activity that we're going to do. I'm ready. I'm going to do an activity with young learners this time, because sometimes, we forget about the young learners. So I'm going to - OK, so how old am I? You are six years old. You dropped one on the floor. And this is Larry. I'm going to introduce you to Larry. Now, you might want to choose a different name if it's Japanese learners, because - l, r, - this is Larry.

Skip to 1 minute and 52 secondsAnd - Larry goes with lamb. Larry the lamb. Larry the lamb, that's right, OK. So, I want you to tell me what's Larry doing. Larry is walking on a box, on box. He's walking along the box. Walking along the box. He's walking along the box. That's right. Where is Larry now? Larry is in the box, inside the box. Where is Larry now? Outside the box. OK, where is he now? Larry is behind the box. And what's he doing now? Larry is hiding behind the box - hides, hides. Larry hides, hiding, hiding behind the box. Very good, Mary Therese. Larry's hiding behind the box. And what's he doing now? He's jumping over box. He jumps. Larry jumps. He's jumping.

Skip to 2 minutes and 36 secondsJumping over the box. He's jumping over the box. Jumping Over the box. He's jumping over the box. He's jumping over the box. Very good. OK, we can now bring in Laura, his little sister. Laura the lamb. Laura the lamb. Laura and Larry the lambs. So now, where are they, Mary Therese? They're on the box. OK, where are they now? They are beside the box. Beside the box, OK, OK. Where are they now? They're inside the box, in the box. In the box. Or inside the box, OK. That's great. I love that. So there, we can practise - But actually you know, you say that's just for young learners, but I quite enjoyed myself.

Skip to 3 minutes and 9 secondsI think you could do that with adults. I don't think that's - I mean, maybe instead of having Larry and Laura, you could have some other object that wasn't a cuddly toy. So, you could have, I don't know, a coin or something. And you just make it more grown up. That would work, wouldn't it? Yeah, yeah, any kind of real objects, I think. Or actually, you could maybe ask people to bring their favourite toy into the classroom and talk about why it was their favourite toy, who gave it to them, past tenses, when did they give it to you, why do you like it. You can get lots of activities out of a toy. That's true, yeah.

Skip to 3 minutes and 42 secondsNow, there's something else to know, another activity for practising grammar is a grammar auction. But we haven't got time to explain that now. But maybe you'd like to look that up? Find out what a grammar auction is, because that's a nice way of practising grammar. That's the task for this week, isn't it? We maybe will follow it up at the end of the week, if people ask about it. We have another question. We should have another question, anyway. People have asked, "Where can I learn about grammar terms and grammar rules?" So, I think really last week, we just kind of scratched the surface, didn't we, of grammar.

Skip to 4 minutes and 15 secondsAnd if you're going to be a language teacher, you need to understand language. You need to know grammar. You need to know the rules and the uses and that sort of thing. And so for me, my favourite book is a book by Martin Parrott called Grammar for Teachers. And I like - I find it very, very useful. Some people were talking about that you mentioned that you took - when you went to Germany for your first job, you took in your - everywhere you went, you took your grammar book. And somebody said, I wonder what that grammar book was. And Leslie answered, actually, saying, I wonder if it'd be the same one?

Skip to 4 minutes and 52 secondsSo, I think the answer is no, it wouldn't be the same one. No, no, no. It was - In our day, the grammar books were really dry. Yeah, it was Thomson and Martinet [INAUDIBLE].. I remember it well. - probably out of print. A Practical English Usage, or something, it was called, yeah. So anyway, I recommend Martin Parrott. I also recommend Raymond Murphy, particularly for new teachers. Yeah, he's good. They're actually books - the books are for students, not for teachers. But they're really, really useful for practising and for kind of finding out about forming and pronunciation. The other thing is we also have - we'll put this up on the step. We'll put up information about this.

Skip to 5 minutes and 26 secondsBut there's also an online grammar course, which is available through Cambridge English. And it cost �10, which actually I think is cheaper than a book, in fact. And that, I think, would be a useful course for people to follow, if they want to find out more about grammar. Somebody asked, didn't they, if you could become an English language teacher if you use the language correctly but you don't know the terminology? And I think yes, you can, because you learn it as you go along. The important thing, I think, is to look things up before you teach a lesson to make sure that, if someone asks you - You don't necessarily need to teach the formal terminology, though, do you?

Skip to 6 minutes and 2 secondsWe have lots of questions about that, questions from people saying, do learners - do we need to tell them? I think sometimes you do, because actually, often your learners will have learned language grammar in their own countries. And if they've learned a grammar-based kind of course, they will have learned the names of tenses. And they will - so, for example, I learned French.

Skip to 6 minutes and 26 secondsI know: pass� compos�, pass� historique, pass� simple. I can't give you an example of any of them, but I know the names of the tenses. So, if I was learning French now, and I got examples, it would be good to be able to hook the example into the title that I already know. So I think sometimes it's useful. But I think as new teachers, certainly, you will not know everything about grammar. And this is the beginning of a very long learning curve. Yeah. OK, shall we see if we - But not children, I wouldn't teach grammatical terminology to children. No, no, no, it's just complicated. There was a question, wasn't there, about the order in which you teach grammar?

Skip to 7 minutes and 0 secondsThat was - absolutely, the next question. Yeah, somebody was saying, so how can they - how can you know what to teach first, what to teach second? Do you start with numbers and then - And the answer really is what do your learners need? And we talk about communicative usefulness. And so really, what do your learners need to use? But there's also a website which, again, we'll put up information about, called English Grammar Profile, which will tell you what grammar is normally taught at A1 level, beginner level, what grammar is normally taught at intermediate level, for example. So, that's the answer to that question.

Skip to 7 minutes and 40 secondsThe other question that we had - quite a few people asked last week - One of the teachers in one of the videos mentioned using guided discovery for teaching. And lots of people going oh, yeah, I love guided discovery. And then, of course, the people that are new to teaching say, oh, what's guided discovery? Can you explain? So, an example of guided discovery - guided discovery means that the students work out for themselves the rules of the language. So they work out how the language is formed. So, what is the grammar? What is the structure? And they work out the meaning and use.

Skip to 8 minutes and 19 secondsSo generally, what happens is that the language that you're teaching, the grammar you're teaching, is in a text. For example, could be in a reading text or a listening text. So I, for example, I have a story about a man who gets on an airplane and thinks he gets off in Italy. But actually, he fell asleep. And the plane never went anywhere. He got back off, and he was still in New York. But there's loads and loads of past tenses. So I use it for teaching past simple and past continuous. So, they read the text to understand the story, answering a few questions. And then, I extract examples of the different forms.

Skip to 8 minutes and 56 secondsSo, in line four, he was wait - he was sleeping when the plane - when the plane door opened. And I will then ask questions, concept questions, about the grammar. And the students do an exercise where they say, so, I was sleeping when the plane door opened. How many actions is that? Two actions. Which action is long? Which action is short? So, by answering those questions, the students discover for themselves what the language means. That's guided discovery. And then, of course, you would do some pronunciation practice, so they had meaning, form, pronunciation. Yeah. Now, somebody asked me how you manage, I think, it was a whole grammar lesson?

Skip to 9 minutes and 40 secondsAnd the answer there is you never do a whole lesson on grammar. It should always be a lesson - How do we keep lessons that are entirely devoted to grammar interesting? Ooh. Well, you might be able to do it. Yeah, I guess. I guess, yeah. But, as Gosia said last week, you know, they're integrated. So grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation - integrate them. Especially with pronunciation, probably little and often. Yeah. I mean, the whole lesson I just described is a one-hour lesson. It involves reading. It involves speaking. The whole focus is on those past tenses. But actually, the students kind of never - don't find out about that until about halfway through the lesson.

Skip to 10 minutes and 17 secondsAnd then the rest of the lesson is devoted to speaking practice or listening practice or something. So yes, I don't think you would want to do great grammar exercises for an hour. And I think that's about it, Monica. So, we've come to the end of our Q&A for this week. So this week focuses on resources. And it's a really, really rich week, so so many resources out there, aren't there, Mary Therese? Absolutely. But we also look at using very little resources, fewer resources, as well. Yeah. That little and few is confusing. Little and few - oh, I like the little and few.

Skip to 10 minutes and 47 secondsActually, you hear a lot of people now say little instead of few, and less instead of - Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Language change, language changes. That's the other tricky thing, isn't it? Absolutely. Anyway, bye everyone. Bye-bye.

Introduction to Week 5

Monica and Marie Therese start the week by answering the question we asked you to think about at the end of last week. They also answer some popular questions from Week 4 and introduce this week’s topic: resources. This video will be posted on Friday 28th July at around 3pm (UK time).

You can find links to the sites Marie Therese mentions in the ‘See also’ section below. Please click here to find out more about how to purchase the online Grammar for Teachers - Language Awareness course in your country.

There’s quite a long list of things teachers can use as resources, isn’t there? This week we’re going to explore some of the different resources teachers use in the classroom. We’ll hear from learners and teachers about the resources they use and you’ll see some teachers using different resources in class.

As in earlier weeks, there’ll be quizzes and polls; we’ll invite you to make a podcast and and we’re going to be asking you for your views on using different online resources.

We look forward, as always, to seeing your contributions to our tasks and reading the comments and ideas you share with us this week.


Why do teachers talk so much about different resources? Why are they so important? Write your ideas in the comments section. Say also what you hope you’ll learn in the course this week.

As you work through the week, remember to mark each step you finish as complete by clicking the button at the bottom of each page. This will help you qualify for a Certificate of Achievement if you choose to upgrade your course.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Exploring the World of English Language Teaching

Cambridge Assessment English