Good method of learning English grammar
Hamdan, a teacher of a famous English center, will share some practical methods to help students learn English grammar well – one of the difficult parts of those who choose to learn this language, from Hamdan’s own experience.
1. Hamdan’s sharing when he was a student at English centers
When I was learning English, teachers spent a lot of time in class just focusing on the form of the language, but without context, the result was the ability to use English naturally and stylely. My wealth was greatly affected by that.
After that, I experienced “natural English” myself through movies, music and novels. These resources have helped me find ideas and grammar patterns in English. In addition, it gave me a stronger foundation for language processing and learning. Since then, I myself have also started to see the usefulness of the structures that teachers have focused on teaching in the classroom.
It can be said that paying attention to both the form and meaning of a language will make a significant contribution to an individual’s learning of a foreign language. But how to accomplish this?
2. Identify gaps in language knowledge
When learners seriously focus on the shortcomings of their language, then, they realize knowledge gaps. They can even discover these gaps when participating in the Dictogloss method – grammar learning is integrated in English communication, now this method is widely used in language centers. Brother.
Here is an example of how the Dictogloss method works.
In an English class for adults at A2 level, the teacher made sentences in the passive of the present simple about harvesting olives. After creating interest in the topic of the lesson for the students, the teacher reads the following passage at a natural pace:
There are an estimated nine million olive trees in Palestine, which can produce tons of oil. Green ripe olives are picked in October by thousands of Palestinian population participate in the olive harvest. Once the harvest is completed, fresh olives are sent to the press. Olive oil is then exactred from the olives and packaged in yellow gallons. The product is not only sold in Palestine but also shipped around the world.
(There are an estimated nine million olive trees in Palestine, which can produce tons of oil. Green olives are harvested in October by thousands of Palestinian farmers. Once the harvest is complete, the fresh olives are harvested. The olive oil is then extracted from the olives and packaged in yellow gallons. The product is sold not only in Palestine but also shipped worldwide).
The teacher checked the students’ general understanding of the text, then the teacher reread it again. This time learners will write down the key words they hear. Students are asked to work in groups to try to reconstruct the text by memorizing it to be as close to the original as possible. Each group then compares its results with the others to come to a joint decision. Finally, the teacher will project the text that the student has just read on the board.
During this activity, the learners used their language knowledge, as well as figured out the meaning and form of the language. Here’s how to get them to notice the “gaps” they hear in their English notes. This process can lead to a restructuring in their conscious overview of the linguistic system.
3. How can learners focus on meaning and form?
Although we can infer the rules and forms of language, when communicating to convey a message, no matter how fluent we are, we lack grammatical accuracy.
Here is an example of inaccuracy but communication:
Man kill cat. (The man who killed the cat).
Through the sentence above, we know that a man is involved in killing a cat. The grammatical inaccuracies that lead to the above statement can be interpreted as any of the following sentences:
– A man killed a cat. (A man killed the cat.)
– A cat was killed by a man. (A cat was killed by a man).
– A man killed cats. (A man killed many cats.)
– The man may have killed his cats. (The man may have killed his cat.)
“Grammaticalisation” is a term coined by Dianne Larsen-Freeman and Marti Anderson in their book “Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching” (2011). This term means that learners focus simultaneously on semantics and grammatical forms.
Learners can express themselves correctly when they add grammar to readings such as: signs of tenses (past, present and future), articles (the/a/an/- ), aspect (continuous or perfect), preposition (on, at, in, etc.), plural, negative and question form.
In one of the youth classes at B1 level, the teacher read aloud the following grammatically simplified text:
Jemina – Jeremy – young – rich – couple – live – work – London – Sunday evening – drive – home – Jaguar – see – car – resemble – Porsche – rush – home – discover – Porsche – not there – stolen – feel – terrible – call-police.
(Jemina – Jeremy – young – rich – couple – live – work – London – Sunday night – drive – home – Jaguar – see – car – breed – Porsche – rush – home – discover – Porsche – not there – stolen – feel – terrible – call the police).
The teacher asked the students to tell a story using single words. The teacher then writes the words on the board and encourages the students to build a story by adding the necessary grammar points. At the end, the teacher will display the complete story on the board to compare with the results of the students.
Jemina and Jeremy were a young, rich couple who lived and worked in London. One Sunday evening, they were driving home in their Jaguar when they saw a car resembling their Porsche. They rushed home and discovered that there; it has been stolen! They felt terrible and called the police.
(Jemina and Jeremy are a young, wealthy couple who live and work in London. One Sunday night, they were driving home in their Jaguar when they saw a car that looked like their Porsche. They rushed home. home and discovered that it was there; it was stolen! They felt terrible and called the police).
In this way, learners have improved their understanding of past narratives by paying attention to the form and meaning of language.
4. How to change the learning attitude from passive to active?
In the book: “Implementing the Lexical Approach: Putting Theory into Practice” by Michael Lewis, he advocates activities that allow learners to pay attention and observe the linguistic forms. According to him, these activities encourage learners to switch from passive learning to active learning, thereby ensuring faster understanding and the learners building a foundation of grammar rules more carefully.
Teachers can do this by using a “fill in the blank” activity, which tests learners on existing knowledge when they predict missing grammatical structures.
During a lesson on phrasal verbs in a group of people with a B2 level, the teacher asked learners to predict the missing verbs in a text about Maya Anglou:
Maya Anglou was born in St Louis, Missouri (USA), in 1928 and ________ in St Louis and in Stamp, Arkansas. She was ________ first by her granmother and then her mother. As a child, she suffered violence and racism and at one point even decided to stop speaking for five years. Because of her love for the arts, she won a scholarship to study dance and drama in San Francisco, but at fourteen she __________ and was the first African-American woman to become a cable car conductor. After going back and finishing high school, she gave birth to a son, then _________ a number of different jobs, mainly as a waitress and a cook, to support her family.
(Maya Angelou was born in St Louis, Missouri (USA) in 1928 and ________ in St Louis and in Stamp, Arkansas. She was ______ first by her grandmother and then by her mother. As a child, She suffered from violence and racism and even stopped her from communicating for five years.Because of her love for the arts, she won a scholarship to dance and drama in San Francisco, but at the age of fourteen, she ______ and the first African American woman to become an automotive cable project engineer After returning and finishing high school, she gave birth to a son, then _______ several different jobs, mastering mainly serving tables and cooking, to support the family.
When this activity is over, learners compare their predictions with the original text. This type of exercise helps students realize that for the most part they will avoid using phrasal verbs and prefer more familiar verbs. This pushes them to dig deeper into the differences, as well as the meaning and usage of the target language.
5. What if learners don’t pay attention to grammar?
Without paying attention to grammar, learners can still make mistakes despite having a fair amount of experience with verb tenses in English. Learners can also correctly infer language rules and patterns based on what they have learned, but avoid using these constructs in real-world situations.
Changing the state from “not paying attention” to “attention” and using language spontaneously is not something that can happen immediately. The conversion process can take minutes, hours or even days, sometimes it doesn’t happen at all. However, it is the teacher’s job to help learners discover how grammar works in real-life situations.
Above are a few methods of learning English grammar shared by teachers of a famous English center, with eLib to consult and choose a method to improve your English grammar! Good luck!