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Identifying pitfalls

Watch Luke Pearce give an example of some approaches we should avoid when teaching with English grammar.
OK, so now we are going to look at what to avoid and we started looking at what teaching English grammar in context means and starting to develop an understanding of that. And in the next few weeks we’re going to look at all the principles in detail and look at lots of examples, but another way into this is to think about actually, what shouldn’t we be doing or what should we be trying to avoid. That said, the things I’m going to show you in this video aren’t all terrible things you should never do, and especially depending on the context, especially if it’s primary, or then there’s a lower-level learners or English as a second/additional language.
There’s nothing wrong with these kinds of things, but for English grammar in context, we really want to move beyond this, and this is not our endpoint. This is perhaps our starting point, or things we want to develop from and move on from. So to demonstrate these things, I’m going to show you a hypothetical lower secondary classroom. Say this is year seven, year eight, year nine. In a typical secondary school, I’m going to be the teacher, and as you’re watching. Make a note of what issues do you see? What problems do you see? Things we should be avoiding if we’re moving towards teaching English grammar in context, so I will start teaching this lesson. Good morning class welcome.
Uh, the lesson aim, As you can see on the board, is learning about verbs, so let’s all put down the lesson aim. We’re focusing on verbs today. Let’s start off with a definition. What is a verb? Can anybody tell me? A great answer. A verb is a doing word. It’s an action. Something you can do. So let’s look at a sentence altogether. The first sentence is ‘The man walked to the park.’ Which word is the verb? Which word is the action? It must be ‘walked’ because it’s
an action: walking. It’s something that you can do. OK, so next you’re going to have a go at doing some activities yourself. I want you to read the rest of the sentences and then to circle or underline or highlight all the verbs you can see in those sentences. If you finish. I want you to find all the nouns as well. That’s your extension activity. Find all the verbs first, and if you finish early, go ahead and find the nouns too. So here are the sentences we’re looking at today. Our example, ‘The man walked in the park.’ B) The cat sat on the mat and C) Martin thinks about playing football. Take some time. Complete that activity Some whole class feedback.
We already knew ‘walked’ was the action in the sentence A) Sentence B) The cat sat on the mat. That’s an action. The cat sat and C. Martin thinks about playing football. Oh, some people are a little confused here. ‘Playing’ looks like it might be the verb, but ‘thinks’ is the action here! OK, great. So finally, I want you to do some writing using verbs. Our aim is to write 3 sentences using verbs. Try and pick some different verbs from the ones we looked at in the examples. And remember, verbs are doing words so think of any actions or things that you do. Also very important, I’m going to come around and check.
Make sure the verb is in the right tense, whether that’s the past or the future or the present and the verb agrees with the Subject. I’m going to come around and check and make sure all those sentences are correctly written in proper grammar. OK, so go ahead and start writing. OK, you don’t really have to write, so that was my example of a hypothetical classroom and again nothing wrong about doing these things, but a lot of the things I did, are things we want to move away from in teaching English grammar in context. So leave your comments and discuss in the discussion area below. What problems did you see?
What things should we avoid in that classroom if we want to be teaching English grammar in context?

Watch the video to see a hypothetical English lesson.

This lesson contains some pitfalls: examples of approaches we recommend avoiding when teaching English grammar in context.

Use the discussion space below to leave a comment about what problems you notice in the video and why you think we should avoid them.

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Teaching English Grammar in Context

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