Skip main navigation

What to avoid!

Read this article to see what we should avoid doing when teaching English grammar in context.

There are many valid ways to teach English grammar, as with any other subject.

This course is based on the principles of teaching English grammar in context. Based on these, here are some issue with examples that we would recommend avoiding. All of these issues and examples are taken from the lesson in the previous step.

Issue Example
Front-loading grammatical terminology Lesson Aim: Verbs
Feature spotting Circle all the verbs
Irrelevant grammatical items Find all the nouns too!
Proxy definitions A verb is a doing word
Grammar as rules and constraints Make sure the verb is in the right tense!
Inauthentic, made-up examples The man walked to the park.
Front-loading grammar in writing Write three sentences using verbs

This isn’t to say that there is one ‘good’ approach, and all the above examples are necessarily ‘bad’. In fact, they will be perfectly useful in certain settings and contexts, including when initially teaching grammatical concepts when teaching English as a second language. However, to achieve more higher order thinking about grammar and meaning, we ultimately want to move beyond these approaches.

The rest of the course will expand on the principles for teaching English grammar in context, and show you how to apply them in your practice.

This article is from the free online

Teaching English Grammar in Context

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education