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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > How to....    

How to....


How to....
Today, I had a meeting at school. We were asked to prepare a material on: How to teach:
- vocabulary;
- grammar;
- speaking;
- listening;
- reading and
- summary.
In our school we have a text to introduce the "grammar" and then we ask the stds to make a summary of it. They should write 5 lines, we correct and then they memorize to present it.
Some teacher told us how they do it...... but sometimes I think they are so traditional..
I prepared my material but before sending it through e-mail to my coordinator I would like to know your opinion. How do you teach them?
Do you think itīs possible to change a teacherīs way of teaching vocabulary, for example?
What would be a good technique to teach those items?
Can you help me?
If you want, you can send me a private message.

Thanx in advance.....

20 Feb 2009      


Hi cassy! This is my post to Ivona īs question. I think it might be useful 2U! If you want to folllow the thread...  http://www.eslprintables.com/forum/topic.asp?id=4709

Hi dear Ivona! I think this is an extremely interesting topic since we have thousands of ESLprintables on GRAMMAR. However, the approach used is only visible on a few of them. So, I īve often wondered how teachers introduce the grammar topic they īre going to teach, I mean, all the work they do with the students before handing out the worksheets we download in this site.

The approach we choose reflects our beliefs in why  people learn languages (what for?) and how they learn, as well as the didactic and pedagogical theories we follow.
Personally,  I see grammar as a tool to communicate.  That īs why I  introduce a grammar topic from one language skill: reading, writing, listening or speaking (I try to diversify as much as possible. If in this Task I used listening, in the next one I īll use speaking, and then reading, and so forth....). Students get exposed to the language even though they aren īt aware of it yet. For example, if I use a reading activity to introduce the grammar topic  (always contextualized with the cultural topic of the Task we īre teaching at the moment), the text I choose  will have the structures they are going to learn and the reading tasks chosen will make the students use those same structures.
After this period of exposure (it can vary from 15 to 40 minutes), it īs time for students to become aware of the structures they īve seen and they īve been using. Sometimes I use the correction of the reading (or any other skill) tasks on the board. I ask questions about the sentences, about what is common in them, etc,  to lead them to infer the rules of the use and form. After they inferred the rules with the whole class, it īs time to systematize it all in a very clear way. If I give a worksheet, they īll systematyze it in pairs or individually. If not, I īll do it with them on the board and they copy into their notebooks.
And then it īs time to practise/drill. And that īs when most of the worksheets I download (or my own) are handed out to the students. I always choose at least 3 different types of exercises, not very long ones, with increasing degree of difficulty. I usually ask the students to do the first exercise in pairs, so that they become more confident, and then individually.
Last but not least, now that the students have the knowledge, it īs time to put that knowledge in use, i.e., time to develop students communicative competence, because that is what grammar is for. A real situation is created, and students have to use the grammar they learned through one of the language skiils (writing, speaking........). They can create a dialogue and roleplay it to the class, they can write an interview, they can organize a debate, depending on what best suits the grammar topic studied as well as the cultural topic.
That īs the way I do it. I think it meets the needs of the students and it īs according to the aims of the  Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
I hope I could help ivona!
A nice day to you all!

20 Feb 2009