Saturday, May 16, 2015

Teaching Grammar through Skills by Fani Miniadou – Report

All too often we hear students, especially teenagers, complain about grammar exercises – difficult, boring, monotonous… In her presentation, Fani showed us how we can make teaching grammar more fun, more interesting, more exciting and, what is very important, more meaningful. By the end of her session we all had no doubts that even the most reluctant and bored students of ours can’t help but participate in class and enjoy grammar. 

The first activity that Fani showed was Grammar Auction, but unlike the classic version, in which students bid for the right to say whether a sentence is right or wrong and/ or correct it, in this version all the sentences that students are given contain grammar mistakes. There can be sentences taken from students’ essays or homework and thus a boring activity of correcting mistakes is turned into a fun way to review key points in grammar and sentence structure. 

The second activity is a great way to make students practice and revise prepositions of place and location and it will especially suit the learners who like drawing. Students are divided into A-B pairs. Group A is given instructions what to draw where, so they read the instructions to person B, who is supposed to draw what he is told. 

Taking a classroom survey is another activity that aims at practicing degrees of comparison in a personalized manner. Students are given a questionnaire and fill it in with the answers about themselves first and then about their classmates. Having done that, students compare their answers by using comparative and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs. Fani then suggested that after finishing this exercises, students can be asked to draw a pie chart or a table using all the data and then write a short report – a very useful activity that get students familiar with so popular today IELTS writing.

In the next activity Fani suggested students practice conditionals imagining what they would do if they were the Prime Minister of the country. Students can be asked to come up with some ideas in class and then at home prepare an election campaign to be presented at the lesson. As Fani said, that was an exercise that engaged absolutely all her students. 

As can be seen, all these activities can spice things up at the grammar lesson and give our students opportunity to learn in a fun way. 

By Lana Lemeshko

Photo credits: Yiouly Vezergiannidou


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