Fun With Grammar
When we think of grammar, our minds usually wander to the days in our past, stuck in a stuffy classroom in high school where we had to diagram dull sentences. Grammar is one of those skills that is part of the essential building blocks of the English language, and can vary significantly across languages. I really think we take for granted the “ear” we have developed over time, which helps us use, or intentionally not use, the correct grammar when we communicate. For this reason, grammar can be difficult for tutors to teach effectively and in an engaging way.
Azar’s Fun with Grammar is full of fantastic communicative activities to practice various grammar topics. While many of the activities are more geared towards a classroom setting, all lesson plans and worksheets can be adapted to be used in tutoring sessions. The activities are also labeled by proficiency level.
Here is an example of an activity called “Detective”:
This activity is meant to practice the simple past form of “to be.” The learner reads the story and the questions on the provided worksheet, while filling in the blanks with the past form of “to be” – was, were, wasn’t, weren’t. Subsequently, the tutor and learner can take turns being the “police officer” and the “witness.” The “police officer” will ask the completed questions, and the “witness” will use information from the story to answer the questions. For more advanced levels, have the learner generate their own questions, in addition to or instead of using the questions provided. This activity not only helps the learner practice using the simple past form of “to be,” but it can also lead to learning how to interact with police officers.
This resource can be found in the tutor library at the Literacy Center, in the reference materials section. Tutors may make copies of lessons and worksheets. This resource, and many others, are also available to download online here.