Practicing grammar tenses can be a difficult venture in the TEFL classroom. Not only do students need to learn the tense form but they have to be able to actually use it in their speaking and writing. It’s fine to have them write out practice sentences over and over again in your grammar lesson to get the form down. But let’s be honest, this can get a bit boring!
Today I’m going to introduce a great way to have students practice grammar tenses and even give you a worksheet that you can use in your classroom to really make an interactive grammar lesson! Bonus right??
A great way to have students practice speaking and writing in the tense you are teaching is to use a survey. That simple!
Using Survey’s to practice grammar tenses
Although surveys aren’t always extremely common in students’ day-to-day lives (and so a little inauthentic if you want a more real-life activity), they are a great way to have students practice grammar structures or vocabulary you have taught in class. Today, I’m going to focus specifically on grammar tenses, however, you can always create your own questions using vocabulary words from your lesson. Feel free to use the worksheet I’ve created HERE as a template.
The other great thing about using surveys in your grammar lesson is that students have to repeat the same point over and over again which helps them to really get familiar with the structure of the tense. They also have to write down the answers so they are practicing their listening, pronunciation and writing skills too! You’re really hitting a lot of great skills with this survey activity!
What else do surveys do for students? They allow them to interact with their classmates, practice the structure both controlled and interactively in conversation, use follow-up questions and practice their speaking.
Including a Survey into the Grammar Lesson
- You can use it as a Produce activity for your Present, Practice Produce lesson plan. If you want to see what that would look go to my post: How to Make a Lesson Plan Using the Present, Practice, Produce Method
. Iwould also use it just for a short conversation class, especially if students need a little more guidance and encouragement to speak. Again, you can quickly review the grammar point and then jump into the activity.
For lower level classes I would suggest you give them a more structured answer that they can work with. This will help them feel a little more confident in their speaking and ensures that they will use the grammar point or vocabulary you want them to.
An example question is provided on the worksheet.
For higher levels, I would also provide them with an example but also elicit some follow-up questions they could ask and encourage them to do so to have longer conversations and more speaking.
Some Pointers to Help Maximise the Survey in your Grammar Lesson
- Introduce any vocabulary that you think they may have difficulty with (I’ve tried to make the surveys using more natural words and phrases)
- I would suggest doing the first question together on the board to give them a clear idea of how they complete the activity and stress the fact that they are
practisingthe tense in their speaking.
- Give them some easy follow-up questions they can use. Even beginners can ask WHY?
- Walk around and listen to students while they are doing the survey and write down any mistakes you hear. This can be pronunciation, structure, or vocabulary….whatever you want to take up as a class.
- Try not to interrupt students unless they are having trouble understanding each other or the mistake is stopping them from being able to communicate.
- Make sure students are using the grammar tense and if they aren’t trying to provide them with more examples that they can use in their speaking.
- If you have more time you could always have the students verbally report their results to a partner (You may want to provide feedback first so students can practice the corrections)
The last section of the survey worksheet where the students write sentences to summarise the survey results can either be done in class or assigned for homework depending on how much time you have. I have provided examples but you may want to create more examples students can use on the board. This ensures that they know what to expect and how to complete the homework. To purchase the Grammar Survey Resource pack go to the Premium Resource Gallery.
Let me know how it worked for you in the comments below!