Tài liệu Skkn how to help students learn grammar effectively.

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EDUCATION AND TRAINING DEPARTMENT OF DONG NAI PROVINCE VINH CUU HIGH SCHOOL CODE: ……………… HOW TO HELP STUDENTS LEARN GRAMMAR EFFECTIVELY D ẠY TỐỐT HỌC TỐỐT ENGLISH Written by: BUI THI XUAN HUONG Research area: English teaching method SCHOOL YEAR: 2014-2015 Trang 1 CURRICULUM VITAE I. PERSONAL INFORMATION 1. Full name: Bui Thi Xuan Huong 2. Date of birth: April 7th 1986 3. Male/female: female 4. Address: Tan Trieu village, Vinh Cuu district, Dong Nai province 5. Phone number: 0918.539253 6. Email: bt.xuanhuong1@gmail.com 7. Career: English Teacher 8. Work at: Vinh Cuu High School II. EDUCATION 1. University: B.A in English  Year graduated: 2010  Trained specialty: English 2. Post graduated: MBA  Year graduated: 2013 III. EXPERIENCE Experienced professional field: Teaching  Year of teaching: 6 Trang 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS I. REASONS FOR CHOOSING THE TOPIC.......................................................5 II. THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES AND REALITY.........................................5 1. Theoretical perspectives...................................................................................5 2. Reality..............................................................................................................8 III. SOLUTIONS...................................................................................................9 1. Teaching grammar in a non-stressed and exciting environment......................9 1.1. What to teach.............................................................................................9 1.2. How to teach..............................................................................................9 1.2.1. Using games........................................................................................9 1.2.2. Eliciting.............................................................................................12 1.2.3. Showing the forms.............................................................................14 1.2.4. Give students practice in using the grammatical patterns.................14 2. Helping students to consolidate the grammar patterns regularly...................17 2.1. Using games.............................................................................................18 2.1.1. Shoot for Points.................................................................................18 2.1.2. Board Game.......................................................................................18 2.1.3. Tic Tac Toe........................................................................................18 2.1.4. Snakes and Ladders...........................................................................18 2.1.5. Football..............................................................................................19 2.2. Jumbled sentences...................................................................................19 2.3. Matching..................................................................................................19 2.4. Chinese whisper game.............................................................................20 2.5. Find someone who...................................................................................21 2.6. Picture description...................................................................................21 2.7. Sentence chains........................................................................................22 3. Guiding students how to learn grammar effectively......................................22 3.1. Raise your motivation..............................................................................23 3.2. Be aware of grammar...............................................................................23 3.3. Learn grammar with association and fun.................................................23 3.4. Study regularly.........................................................................................24 Trang 3 3.5. Read a lot of English books.....................................................................24 3.6. Make sure to practice...............................................................................24 3.7. Learn with your friends...........................................................................25 3.8. Use the Internet........................................................................................25 IV. FINDINGS.....................................................................................................25 V. RECOMMENDATION.....................................................................................27 VI. REFERENCES..............................................................................................28 VII. APPENDIX....................................................................................................30 Trang 4 HOW TO HELP STUDENTS LEARN GRAMMAR EFFECTIVELY I. REASONS FOR CHOOSING THE TOPIC Nowadays, English has been considered as one of the most popular languages. It is now the key factor of globalization- of political views, international business as well as education (Johnson, 2009). Thanks to the development of economic with oversea investment and tourism more and more people spend time and money taking English classes at schools or private centers with the hope that they can better their communication in English so that they are able to study abroad, and look for good jobs with high income. Realizing how important English is in education, the Ministry of Education and Training in Vietnam has a number of policies to develop both teachers and students’ English proficiency. For instance, the project of improving teachers’ English proficiency following The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) standard by the end of the year 2020 has been carried out recently to provide further training for those who are not qualified enough. Furthermore, students in Dong Nai province have opportunities to study with foreign teachers, especially Filipino teachers. Despite the fact that teaching English has some improvement recently in the light of learner-centered approach which is adaptable to help students better their English, teaching and learning English in Vietnam has not developed students grammatical competence, motivation, and activeness. The students are expected to be proficient at English after graduating from high school, although there is a considerable studying time, many Vietnamese students are still not able to use English grammar correctly and confidently. As a matter of fact, grammar is very helpful for students. Pradeep (2013) states that grammar is a very important part that cannot be neglected in teaching and studying English. It can be taught through different methods either explicit or implicit. However, Denham (1992) highlights the fact that teachers instruct most of their lessons through Grammar Translation Method approach (GTM) which is known as teacher-centered and makes students bored. This suggests that it’s high time for teachers to teach grammar in a variety of ways to allow students to better their grammar competence as well as enhance four main skills including reading, listening, speaking and writing. Thus, in my opinion, it is necessary to carry out this study to make practical benefits for students by applying workable methods. II. THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES AND REALITY 1. Theoretical perspectives The role of grammar in teaching and learning English According to Harmer’s viewpoint (1987, pp.12) “Without some understanding of Grammar, students would not be able to do anything more than utter separate items of language for separate functions. The expression of Trang 5 functional language is only possible through the use of the Grammar of the language” Firstly, teaching grammar helps students understand how the language works. Apart from vocabulary, students need to know grammar to understand how it is written or how words are combined together to understand the proper meaning. Without grammar or with a poor knowledge of grammar, they may get confused with complicated expressions. Appropriate grammar techniques are embedded in meaningful, communicative contexts then contribute positively to communicative goals and they also promote accuracy within fluent communicative language use. Secondly, Smith (2001: 15) claimed that if teachers neither pay attention to grammar nor create opportunities for learners to improve grammar, learners are likely to stand the risk of fossilization or reach a point where they can cope with level of communication that is demanded of them by making use of their existing grammatical resources and communication strategies and probably with sufficient fluency. Surely, they do not see the need to develop their linguistic abilities any further. In favor of the importance of grammar, Larsen – Freeman (1986:13) affirms that grammar is regarded as a skill rather than an area of knowledge. Learners do not simply store knowledge about the language and its usage; they need also to develop an ability to do something. They must have a chance of learning situations to overcome the knowledge problem. It is true to say that grammar is the fifth skill besides four skills reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Skill development as well as learning grammar takes practice. Grammar might not be taught only when the students already possessed the knowledge and the ability to use the grammar item in speech, writing and listening comprehension. In fact, grammar is the basis for mastering four language skills. When we have concrete foundation of grammar, we feel much easier to advance. In general, grammar is acknowledged to be of importance in language study and in language teaching and learning in particular. Grammar is acquired naturally from meaningful input and opportunities to interact in the classroom. More especially, learners can improve their grammar competence in a suitable environment without conscious focus on language forms. However, this partly depends on the learning circumstances. As a result, grammar teaching gains its significant role in English Language Teaching because highly developed language skills are difficult to achieve without some knowledge of grammar. Teacher should help students to acquire grammar knowledge through meaningful contexts which improve students’ motivation. The important of students’ motivation Since motivation is not only a vital but also a highly complex factor determining more or less successful language learning, it is necessary to examine approaches to motivate in learning in order to bring about better insights into it. Trang 6 Over the years there have been in numberable studies on motivation in foreign and second language learning. In these studies, researchers have attempted to explain what is meant by motivation. However, most studies on motivation in foreign and second language learning have been influenced by the work of Gardner (1985) (quoted in Spolsky, 1998), who defines motivation as consisting of effort, plus desire to achieve the goal of learning, plus favorable attitude towards learning the language Another theory on motivation can be seen from Littlewood’s perspective (1998:53) that “in second language learning as in every other field of human learning, motivation is the crucial force which determines whether a learner embarks on a task at all, how much energy he devotes to it, and how long he perseveres. It is a complex phenomenon and includes many components: the individual’s drive, need for achievement and success, curiosity, desire for stimulation and new experience, and so on”. Apparently, Littlewood, not only highlighting the important role of motivation in second language learning but also emphasizing the ‘highly complex construct’ of motivation claimed that if a learner is motivated she will probably decide to undertake a particular task with certain amount of energy and time needed for it. Furthermore, McKay and Tom (1992:2) point out that the need and drive to communicate with others in a new language provide strong motivation for most learners. This is more or less similar to Lightbown and Spada’s (1999: 56) definition of motivation in second language learning that “motivation in second language learning is a complex phenomenon which can be defined in terms of two factors: learner’s communicative needs and their attitudes towards the second community” They also add that '' if learners need to speak the second language in a wide range of social situations or to fulfill professional ambitions, they will perceive the communicative value of the second language and will therefore be motivated to acquire proficiency in it. Likewise, if learners have favorable attitudes towards the speakers of the language, they will desire more contact with them.” Learners’ motivation can change overtime and effect on their language learning. Various studies have found that motivation is strongly related to success in language learning. Gardner (1985) (quoted in Spolsky, 1998) sums up “… it seems clear that achievement in a second language learning is influenced by attitudinal/motivational characteristics. Postulating that achievement in a second language learning is promoted by an integrative motive is not tantamount to saying that this is the only cause or predictor”. However, many research findings shows that successful learning can enhance motivation, and the relationship between learning achievement and Trang 7 motivation is an interactive one. As Gardner and Smythe (1981) (quoted in Hedge, 2000) claim that the high correlation between motivation and successful learning confirms the crucial importance of motivation in the classroom whether learners arrive with it or whether they acquire it through classroom experience. 2. Reality Most of the students in my school are not good at English as well as they don’t enjoy learning English grammar. Most students consider that grammar structures in their textbooks are boring with too much grammar rules and tiring exercises. My students often have the same comments about the challenges and difficulties of English grammar such as “There are so many rules”, “It is so difficult to remember the patterns”, “I made mistakes when I did grammar exercises although I learnt carefully”, “I don’t know how use all the English tenses correctly” and so on. What can we do to solve these problems? As a Vietnamese high school English teacher, I realize that it is time to change the ways we teach English grammar. One of the most common ways of teaching English grammar in my school is to instruct students by Grammar Translation Method (GTM) which focuses on forms. First of all, teachers provide students the form of the new grammar point and givin examples so that students can understand. After that teachers explain the usage ot the grammar point if necessary and ask students to apply the new grammar structure to complete exercises. At the end of the lesson, they ask the students to learn the grammar point by heart and finish all the exercises in workbook at home. The way of teaching grammar mentioned above are very common in most public as well as private school in Vietnam. In my point of view, it clearly shows some problems. Firstly, students feel bored and frustrated with the tiring rules and execises . They have no interest in learning English grammar and they learn the grammar rules just because they are forced to do so. As a result, students lose their motivation. Secondly, students don’t know how to use the new grammar structures. Trying to remember the forms and rules is not enough. More importantly, students should know how to apply the grammar points appropriately and correctly in whatever cases. Finally, students lack of revision. It's easy to forget previous grammar points if they just learn by heart. So, teachers should provide students exciting repetition activities. Many works have been carried out to find out the effective ways to improve students’ grammar acquisition as well as other basic skills. From my own experience and many reference books, I have used some solutions to deal with the arising question Trang 8 “How can teachers help students to learn grammar effectively? I wish these solutions can allow me and other English teachers to successfully resolve the problems in teaching grammar features and help the students better their grammar acquisition. III. SOLUTIONS I have applied the following solutions at Vinh Cuu high School in classes 10A1, 10A2, 11A1 and 11A2 from the beginning of the school year 2014-2015. 1. Teaching grammar in a non-stressed and exciting environment 1.1. What to teach Teachers frequently need to present new grammar to learners and grammar presentations are often at the heart of language lessons. However, English grammar is very complex, so teachers often want to strengthen or supplement the grammatical explanations in order to meet the particular learning events in their own classrooms. As a matter of fact teachers can use variety ways to instruct grammar lessons and they can use not only the course book with ‘ready-made’ presentation but also other materials like a reading texts or online activities. Normally, teachers convey lessons about the following points: 1) the new structure and its possible forms 2) the meanings imparted by the structures in context 3) the core of what the student needs to learn Therefore, teachers should find the ways to present the structure and to check that whether the students are interested in the grammar lessons or not and the core concepts are understood within a certain context. 1.2. How to teach 1.2.1. Using games The understanding of a lesson is more easily achieved when students are engaged, interested and having fun during the lesson. In fact, many games have been conducted in order to teach grammar effectively in an exciting and relaxing learning environment. 1.2.1.1 Word puzzles It is a useful and interactive method whereby students can learn all sorts of important parts of English grammar. They can be used to encourage students to identify and understand various parts of a sentence; grammatical concepts like synonyms, tenses and conjugations; or incorrectly used grammar. Word puzzles Trang 9 such as crosswords are easily modified to suit all age and skill levels and introduce an element of fun competition into the learning process, so they can be invaluable in forging a full and lasting understanding of English grammar. 1.2.1.2 Bingo The game of Bingo is based on people marking off spaces on their card until they fill in a row or column fully. In normal Bingo these are numbers, drawn at random from a pool. In grammar lesson Bingo, they could be pronouns, verbs, nouns, sentence structure, antonyms, and so on – students could use the daily newspaper and attempt to find correct examples of these grammatical concepts faster than each other, thereby “winning” the game – and learning in the process! Short and fun grammar exercises like this can be included on a regular basis during your lessons to keep correct grammar usage fresh your students’ minds and improve their recall of the topics at hand. 1.2.1.3 Jumbled Sentences Choose a number of sentences from the last few chapters (pages) that you have been working on in class. Make sure to choose a nice mixture including adverbs of frequency, time signifiers, adjectives and adverbs, as well as multiple clauses for more advanced classes. Type (or write on the board) jumbled versions of the sentences and ask the students to reassemble them. If you are focusing on specific grammar points, have the students explain why certain words are placed in certain places in a sentence. For example, If you are working on adverbs of frequency, ask students why 'often' is placed as it is in the following negative sentence: 'He doesn't often go to the cinema.' 1.2.1.4 Whisper Circles With the aim to teach the grammar structure (it takes ...to do ...) I used a game named whisper circles + Divide the students into groups of 7 to 10. + Choose one leader from each group. Give the leaders the card which has the sentence "It takes about six seconds for something you drink to reach your stomach." Ask him to memorize the sentence, go back to his group and whisper what he has read on the card to the person on his right. Each person will whisper the sentence to the next person and the sentence can be said only once. The last person will say the sentence out loud. If the sentence is the same with the one written on the card, that group wins. 1.2.1.5 Match and catch the riddle When instructing simple present tense, I can take advantage of this activity to help my student involve more in the lessons. Trang 10 + Divide the class into two groups: The QUESTION group and the ANSWER group. + Give the questions to the first group and the answers to the other group. Each student in the first group is supposed to read the question he has aloud and whoever has the answer in the other group reads the answer aloud. If the question and the answer match, put the students in pairs. If they don’t, continue till the right answer is found. Each student can read his part only twice. When all questions and answers are matched ask the pairs to read the riddle they have just for fun. 1.2.1.6 Crazy story To present simple past tense or reported speech I will ask my student make their own story + Prepare sheets of paper with six columns which bear the following titles at the top WHO? (a man's name) WHOM? (a woman's name) WHERE? WHAT DID HE SAY? WHAT DID SHE SAY? WHAT DID THEY DO? + Divide the class into groups of 6. Give each group one sheet of paper. Ask the first student to write under the first part and fold the paper so as to cover what he has written. Tell the student to pass the paper onto the next person. As each person writes, he should only look at his fold. When all students finish, one student from each group will be asked to read their story in the following format. You can write the format on the blackboard. ............. met ............... in/at .............. He said .............................................. She said ............................................. And so they .......................................... 1.2.1.7 Find the differences It is helpful for teachers when teaching the following structures there is/are....., s/he has ......., s/he is .......ing, s/he is + adjective) Trang 11 + Find or draw two pictures which are the same except for seven features. Photocopy them on separate sheets of paper. + Ask students to work in pairs. Give one copy of each picture to the pairs. The pairs are not supposed to show their copies to each other. Partner A will describe their copy and Partner B will listen carefully and examine their own copy to find the differences. They can ask questions if they require more detailed information or need any clarification. The pair that finishes first wins the game. 1.2.2. Eliciting Instead of simply giving the grammatical structures, teachers ought to engage students more by drawing those patterns from the students. We should invite student to give their ideas as well as make suggestions. Students are also encouraged to contribute what they know already and make guesses at the new structures. This is called eliciting. Eliciting helps focus students’ attention and help students brainstorm the ideas. This involves the class even if students do not know the grammar point being elicited. Furthermore, students are encouraged to contribute what they already know or partly know. So this technique is useful for teaching mixed ability classes. In addition, teachers can see what students know and what they do not know by eliciting. Therefore, we can adapt the presentation to the level of the class. Of course, it takes teachers more time to elicit new structures. However, it will catch students’ attention and they will remember the lesson more. The more a student engages with a new grammar point, the more likely he is to learn it. Teachers can elicit new grammar points using the following ways: 1.2.2.1 Eliciting from visual aids There are probably as many reasons for using visual aids as there are instructional aims but in my opinion there are two main reasons a teacher should consider using pictures, flashcards, realia, and so forth. First visual aids increase the effectiveness of any lesson because they clarify meaning instantly. Second, using visual aids increase motivation and stimulate students’ interest. However, in any situation teachers are still the most effective visual aids. For instructing tenses and time words, I can use time lines so that my students can realize the forms of the tenses easily such as past simpe, past progressive and past perfect in Unit 3 English 10 page 32 (Figure 1) Trang 12 Figure 1 Many grammar points can be illustrated by boxes or circles labeled appropriately such as relative clause in Unit 15 English 10 page 156 (Figure 2). 1.2.2.2 Eliciting from guessing Students can guess the rules which they have never actually been taught because language often follows rules. Moreover, eliciting is one way of Trang 13 encouraging students to guess and to work out rules for themselves. Learning through this way will fill students with enthusiasm. EX: To elicit how to add –ing after Verbs, I write on the board: love à living drive à ? In addition, a teacher can also have students guess a new structure based on their background knowledge. EX: To elicit the usages of simple present tense, I will write down a sentence on the board “ The Earth goes around the Sun”. Students know that this is a truth, a fact. So that they can draw out one of the usages of this tense is to talk about the truth. 1.2.3. Showing the forms Teachers are recommended to show the forms of a new structure in case students don’t know it. In fact, we can write a formation on the board. It is a traditional method using PPP Technique (Present- Practice- Produce). However, some students get bored when they are taught by this way and some are easy to forget the given structure as they are forced to learn by heart. To make them remember longer, it is necessary to link the structure with a certain context for further practicing. In fact, we can all grammar point through this way. The mot important thing is helping students become engaged more into the lessons EX: in order to instruct the grammar point reported speech in unit 5 English 11, I will some examples for my student to draw out he forms.  Direct speech: “I like ice cream”.  Reported speech: She says she likes ice cream. 1.2.4. Give students practice in using the grammatical patterns This step often takes place after we have presented the structure of the lesson. We can do this by asking student to role play using the new structure, asking students to fill in the blanks, asking multiple-choice questions, asking students to make sentences with the new structures and so on. 1.2.4.1 Asking students to role play After presenting a new structure, teachers can ask students to role play using the grammar point to be sure that students really understand the forms and usage of the structure in context. Role play is a very useful way to practice what students have learnt. It can help students better their communicational skills, interpersonal skills, conflict resolution, as well as improve group decision making, and develop insights. Trang 14 For example, after presenting how to make suggestions using the following structure Why don’t we + V……? What / How about + V-ing………..? Let’s + V………… After that, we can divide class in to small groups (three students for each group). Then one student of each group will choose a piece of paper which providing a situation for students to role play randomly. After 10 minutes each group will come up and perform. Which group has the best performance will be the winner. EX: You and your friend are going to have a picnic this weekend but you don’t know where to go. One of your friends want to visit Tran Bien Temple. But other members don’t like this idea. Another one suggest to go to Suoi Tien Park. But it’s too far. So you suggest to go to Bien Hung Park that is in the center of Bien Hoa City. Let’s make your own conversation using the given information. 1.2.4.2 Asking students to fill in the blanks After teaching a certain grammar point, I ask my students to do the following task. Fill in the blanks with the correct forms of the verbs: 1. She (go)________to Nha Trang two weeks ago. 2. What _____you (do)______ yesterday? 3. My father (not/ watch) ________TV last night. 4. When I (be)____ a little girl, my father (take)______ me to the park. 5. _____you (eat)______breakfast this morning? We can make the above task become more interesting by designing it as a game. For example, the teacher shows the questions in turn. The class is divided into two groups. The students raise their hands to get the right to answer. Each correct answer will be awarded one point. The winner will be the group with more points at the end. 1.2.4.3 Asking multiple-choice questions I ask students to do the following task. Choose the best answer A, B, C, or D: 1. I need _______ some new clothes. A. buys B. buy C. to buy D. buying C. sings D. to sing 2. I can_________very well. A. sing B. singing Trang 15 3. My sister often ____________ school by bike A. go to B. gos to C. goes to D. goinging to 4. I sometimes _________ yoga at home with my mom. A. do B. play C. go D. make 5. They _______________ from Bien Hoa city. A. come B. comes C. are coming D. have come This kind of exercise is very common in examination but it is so boring. Therefore, teachers can make it more interesting by designing it as a competition game in which the questions are shown in turn. 1.2.4.4 Asking students to make sentences with the new structures This task will be easier and more interesting if students work in groups and compete with each other. This activity will encourage the student to use the structures in real communication. Therefore they can enhance their speaking ability.  When I finish the first semester (the school year 20142015), I conveyed a survey on my students towards the following question. Did my ways of teaching grammar make you feel like learning English grammar and memorize them longer? Class Total Not at all A little A lot quantit y % quantit y % quantit y % 10A1 45 2 4.4 % 6 13.3 % 37 82.2 % 10A2 44 0 0% 8 18.2 % 36 81.8 % 11A1 46 1 2.2 % 10 21.7 % 35 76.1 % 11A2 45 2 4.4 % 12 26.7 % 42 68.9 % Based on the result of the survey, we are able to recognize that most of the students (more than two thirds) found that my ways of teaching grammar made them more active and really enjoyed learning English grammar points so that they can memorize them for a long time. At a matter of fact, this will enhance students’ Trang 16 motivation in learning English grammar in specific and other aspects of English in general. When I apply the traditional Grammar Translation methods in teaching grammar, my students also get good results in written tests which focus on checking grammatical competence. However, they cannot using the grammar points they’ve learnt before in their speaking. In comparison with the new methods I realize that my students not only get better results in the exam but also they can improve their speaking skill.  All of my lessons are conducted using communicative activities with the purpose to improve students’ communicative ability. Hence, I also made a survey in which I can identify how often the students communicate with their classmates through the activities in class by examining the following question. Did you have more opportunities to interact with your classmates by when I applied communicative activities? Class Total Not at all A little quantit y % quantit y A lot % quantit y % 10A1 45 5 11.1% 10 22.2 % 30 66.7 % 10A2 44 4 9.1% 14 31.8 % 26 59.1 % 11A1 46 6 13.4 % 10 21.6 % 30 65.2 % 11A2 45 2 4.4% 15 33.3 % 28 62.2 % From the above survey, we can see that more than 50% of the students have the chances to communicate with their friends via the activities which teachers used in class. As I observed my class, I found that most of the students are very active from the beginning until the ends. They raise hands to answer and other students clap hands to encourage. From what I see they can create meaningful sentences using new grammar point. In addition, classroom environment is lively and funny. It seems that 8 to 10 minutes is not enough for playing the games. When time is up, some students even do not want to stop. I see that my students cooperate well and communicate with others frequently in order to contribute ideas, discuss the answers, and make possible sentences. Hence, students’ speaking time is increased nearly 60%. Trang 17 2. Helping students to consolidate the grammar patterns regularly If students don’t have a lot of chances to review the grammar points they have learnt, it is easy for them to forget. Revision is really important and necessary. Thus, teachers need to help students consolidate the structures as often as possible. In fact, there are a lot of activities to help students review what they’ve learnt. In this part, I’ll suggest some reviewing activities that are designed as games so that students have more interest in studying. Teachers can organize these activities whenever necessary. 2.1. Using games 2.1.1. Shoot for Points We often need to review things that are not fun, things like the past simple or pmjast participle of irregular verbs. Instead of the classic Q & A activity, we can use a large container or trash can as your “basket”, give your students a ball and have them shoot for points. But here’s the catch: you’ll ask them a question in past simple, and they’ll have to remember the past correctly in order to earn the chance to shoot. They can get 10 points for scoring or five if they miss (because at least they answered the question correctly). You can try any variety of this type of game, whether you use large balls or small ones, or even a wadded up piece of paper. 2.1.2. Board Game Everyone loves a board game, and students will particularly appreciate one if it’s not only loads of fun, but also a helpful way to review essential grammar. You can design your own to include the tenses and structures your students have learned. 2.1.3. Tic Tac Toe Tic Tac Toe is another versatile game, one that can be adapted to suit a wide variety of needs. What you need to decide first is which grammar your students need to review for the test. Then, write the topics on nine index cards or large enough pieces of paper. Arrange the cards face down on a table or stick them on the board, in the classic Tic Tac Toe 3 x 3 grid. Next, teams take turns choosing a square (you can add letters across and numbers down to make it easier to call out the squares). You turn over the card and reveal to your students the tense/structure/grammar point written on it. Students must then either provide an example or ask a question that another team member must answer correctly to get their X or O on that square. Of course, the first team that gets three Xs or Os across, down or diagonally wins. Trang 18 2.1.4. Snakes and Ladders To play this classic game in your grammar review lesson, you’ll first need to prepare some cards: they may have verb tenses written on them, questions your students must answer or prompts from which to say a complete sentence. The rules are simple, but the game is so much fun! Students must first choose a token to move around the board (a different colored button for each will do nicely!) Then they take turns rolling the dice to move across the board. They must take a card and answer correctly to remain on that spot, or move back two places if they are incorrect. If they land at the bottom of a ladder, and they answer correctly, they get to move up the ladder, but if they land on a snake’s head they automatically move down to where its tail is. 2.1.5. Football First, you’ll need to draw a playing field like this one on the board or a large piece of paper: Next, divide your students into two teams. Place a “ball” token at the center. Then, students must answer questions correctly to approach the posts and score a goal. For example, Team A answers correctly and moves right one step closer to their goal. Team B answers correctly and moves the ball left back to the center. Team A answers incorrectly and can’t move the ball at all. Team B answers correctly and moves left one step closer to their goal. If Team A were to keep answering incorrectly and Team B correctly, then Team B will continue moving left to eventually score a goal. When a team scores, the ball moves back to the center, and the team that did not score last starts. The team with the most goal wins 2.2. Jumbled sentences To help students review the new structure, I divide the class into small groups and ask students to re-order the given words to make meaningful sentences Ex: Her/ often/ reads/ in/ she/ free/ book/time  She often reads book in her free time. Trang 19 I show a set of jumbled sentences in turn. The students raise their hands to get the right to answer. Each correct answer will be awarded a point. The winner will be the group with the most points at the end. 2.3. Matching This activity is very popular to review what students have learnt. Teachers can design it as a competitive game so that students can review the lesson by playing game. Teachers divide class into groups. Each group will take turn to match two halves of sentences. Which group has more correct answers will be the winner. EX: When reviewing conditional sentences Type 2, we can use this activity. 2.4. Chinese whisper game One more activity teacher can use to review the grammar structure is Chinese whisper game. This is a game-like activity which plays in groups and it requires all members of each group take part in the game. First, after teaching a grammar point, teachers can create two groups. Each group will sit in line. The first players of two groups will see a sentence given by the teachers. Then he/she will come back and tell the next player and continue to the end. The player sit at the back will go to the board and write down the answer. Which group has more answers will win the game. Trang 20
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