Grammar: C-

In the spirit of today’s conversations among teachers of English that I witness on twitter and facebook and in blog posts, it would seem such a weird topic to write a post about. Well yes, we surely promote a balanced approach , but communicative side definitely takes the lead (which I by no means want to defy).

My point is very personal. It’s that I am terrible at teaching grammar. I want you to get me right, I know different methods to present or deal with a grammar point. I just don’t feel confident when I have to give a grammar class (and with the syllabus offered by my department I sometimes HAVE to). To me, like to many/most of you, teaching grammar out of context makes little to no sense. In contrast, that’s common practice at my chair. Well I don’t ever teach it this way anyway. Yet even when there’s a somewhat more flexible and balanced course I still think I will put my foot in it. Many times preparing a lesson with grammar points involved the very anticipation of the work we’re going to do leaves me with frustration. I am never sure if it’s the right time to teach this or that, the right activity, etc.

Every year 1 or 2 students write in their end-of-term questionnaires that grammar probably should require more attention in our classes. A point which I totally relate to – indeed, it should. I don’t think I’m giving my students enough knowledge in this aspect. I cover some points and structures that as we come across them cause problems during the course. But to be honest, teaching grammar..is not my cup of tea (which of course a good teacher should not feel like!..).

Here’s the downside of my teaching.

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image from http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/

And so I turn to you – have you ever felt the same way? What would you recommend? I have been reading teachers’ guides on how to teach grammar, now I’d use some hands-on tips..

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