The ESSENTIAL BUILDING BLOCKS towards working successfully with Grammar The T needs to be clear about how they are formed. Ss need to have opportunities to attempt to use the items in “restricted use” practice activities and exercises. The T needs to be clear about what the items mean. Ss need opportunities to focus on and become clearer about the meaning and form of items. Ss need opportunities to attempt to use the items to communicate in more unrestricted activities. Ss need opportunities to listen to or read material including the items. SHOWING the MEANING of a STRUCTURE When we present a structure / grammar, it is important to : Show what the structure means and how it is used, by giving examples; Show clearly how the structure is formed, so that Ss can use it to make sentences of their own. ANALYZING LANGUAGE : FORM Grammar is concerned with the form of the language : that is, the patterns, the regularities, the nuts and bolts you screw together in different ways. The pattern itself generates a wide range of different possibilities quite separate from the vocabulary it uses. By changing the vocabulary, the pattern can be utilized to talk about a variety of different things. The understanding of grammar can be summarized into a pattern in a ‘substitution table’. SUBSTITUTION TABLE By reading a substitution table from left to right, choosing one word from each section, you can make a large number of grammatically correct sentences. A table such as this could be both a stimulus to practice activities in the classroom and a way of recording the studied grammar in notebooks. Oral practice in the form of drills is often based around substitution tables. SHOWING MEANING VISUALLY The simplest and clearest way to present a structure is often to show it directly using things Ss can see : objects, the classroom, yourself, the Ss themselves, pictures. For example, presenting the structure “too…..(adjective)…to……” : pointing to the objects or drawing on the board. The ceiling is too high to touch. SHOWING MEANING through a SITUATION It is not always possible to show the meaning of a structure visually, using what is in class. Another way of showing meaning is to think of a situation from outside the class, in which the structure could naturally be used. The situation can be real or imaginary. HOW ? : By giving several different examples, the T helps the class to build up a clear idea of what the structure means and how it is used. After giving a few examples, the T can just give the situation and try to get the Ss to give the example. This checks how well the Ss have understood, and also helps to involve the class more.