|This eBook was used by the University of California – Irvine
for Education 134 Teaching English Internationally.
Teaching EFL Grammar
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Important: Don’t expect that you can work through one grammar book or even read anything just once and get a firm grasp on grammar. Teaching EFL grammar just isn’t that easy.
TEFL Educator recommends that you not teach grammar points as the main point of a lesson, but teach grammar to support the teaching of functions. You can read an excellent (and short!) blog post on this issue by clicking on the image below – it is titled Don’t Teach Grammar, Teach Functions (The link will open in a new window).
A good approach is to familiarize yourself with grammar and its terminology and keep a good resource book handy so you can look up more difficult or unfamiliar concepts when they come up in the classroom or in a lesson plan.
Teachers that are really skilled at grammar usually took more than a few years to get there. There is absolutely nothing wrong with telling your students, “I’m not sure how to explain that. I will give you a good detailed explanation during our next class” – and do it. Native speakers will usually know when something is correct or not but sometimes cannot explain exactly why it is correct, or not.
Grammar skills and the ability to explain grammar simply is another hallmark of a skilled EFL teacher. Students expect their teacher to be skilled in grammar and if you aren’t, you will probably lack confidence in the classroom as well as lose the confidence of your students. So, get skilled in at least the basics and keep a resource book handy for when you need it.
While TEFL Boot Camp would like to give you a simple explanation and a couple easy links to read, as in most the other sections, there is not really a super easy way to master grammar.
However, TEFL Boot Camp recommends the Fast Track Grammar Review for EFL Teachers. It is a great way to get a handle on teaching EFL grammar.
Fast Track was written by an experienced TEFL Teacher-Trainer with a master’s degree in education. Students on the TEFL courses he taught were having trouble quickly grasping the grammar they needed to pass the course and get their TEFL Certification. Thus was born Fast Track to help them get what they needed quickly and easily. The book helped them get confident about teaching EFL grammar.
Fast Track Grammar Review is a downloadable 66-page grammar eBook that is written for people intending to teach English or teachers who wish to brush up on their grammar skills. It emphasizes the idea of staying flexible and understanding grammar at a deep level. It also presents vocabulary so you don’t have to feel intimidated when the subject of grammar comes up.
You should be able to read this eBook, check a few other resources and bring yourself up to speed. Remember, most native-speakers of English already KNOW grammar intuitively. It is only that they don’t know how to explain what they already know.
Read the eBook with the idea that you will be introduced to a variety of NEW ideas about grammar. Note, for example, that some grammar books say there are eight parts of speech. Some say nine; some say more. Keep your thinking flexible and understand that different authors say different things. Just get to know the vocabulary of grammar so you know what people are talking about.
Try the eBook, do all the exercises, pre-tests and post-tests and you will be in good shape with grammar. Not to worry, the book is written with lots of graphics, practical examples and exercises and a bit of humor. The author knows that grammar is not a favorite topic of study. It also comes with a 100% no-questions-asked guaranteed refund. If you don’t like it, just ask for your money back – no problem.
This eBook is included with the certification courses. If you wish to purchase it for independent study, you can find it here: Grammar for EFL Teachers.
Grammar is almost always taught best using functional lessons and good TEFL methodology.
After you read the e-book and get a handle on grammar, you will be ready for the unit on teaching pronunciation.