- On 10 June 2019
- Tags TEFL Florence
How to Learn and Absorb English Grammar in your TEFL Course:
If you are anything like many of our TEFL trainees at Via Lingua you might not have studied English grammar since primary school! Most trainees on day 1 of the course tell us:
“I know how to speak English correctly but I don’t know how to explain it...”
The good news is that our TEFL course teaches you the grammatical concepts AND how to teach them, because as you know, teaching English requires understanding the “why” behind the language.
Throughout your TEFL course you will get the opportunity to engage in many Grammar sessions which will help you get an introduction to each of the important concepts. Then, to really learn the material you should follow these best practices:
1. Read about the specific grammar concept on your own first. Even if it doesn’t make perfect sense to you when you read it, you are already creating a base of knowledge yourself.
2. Be active in your grammar sessions. The grammar sessions are highly interactive and communicative. Your instructor will facilitate plenty of participation and therefore plenty of opportunity for you to get involved and ask questions. This will help you gain confidence and clarify any confusion.
3. Do your grammar exercises right away. While the information is fresh start practicing! People often have a higher success rate when they learn and practice in all different styles - reading (your grammar book), auditory (in class), visual (the whiteboard in class), and kinesthetic (doing the exercises yourself).
4. Identify your areas of strength and weakness. Some concepts will be harder than others. Identifying your areas of strength will give you confidence and will help you target the areas that need extra practice. This way, the grammar won’t feel like such a large hurdle.
5. Do extra exercises. The TEFL instructors have extra grammar exercises to offer as well as a library of grammar books for you to practice with. Additionally, you can look online for extra explanations and videos.
6. Personalize the grammar. Create sentences about your own life, songs, or stories to help you absorb the verb tenses - let your creativity flow and make grammar much more interesting to study!
7. Give yourself time. During the second week of our course, trainees often start to worry that the grammar just isn’t sticking, but this is premature. Our brains need time to soak in and compartmentalize the new information so as long as you stay diligent with reading, participating, and practicing, you will get there!
8. Ask for help! Get help from your peers, form study groups, and ask your instructors for a hand with grammar. You will find that your peers will look to you for guidance in certain areas of the course that you excel in and that they will be able to do the same for you in your areas of difficulty.
9. Know that studying grammar is a continuous process. Just when you think you have the grammar completely figured out, your students will surprise you with a new question. You will learn to welcome and embrace these questions as it becomes a new topic to explore on your own or even with your students. Once you have the foundation of grammar in your pocket, you won’t be intimidated by what you don’t yet know.
Follow these steps and you’ll be ready to take on any student that comes your way. Be forewarned that you might also start correcting everyone else’s grammar, too.