Friday, November 21, 2008

ESOL Grammar Activities

I've added a new page for ESOL Grammar Activities to the Skills for Life website. Like the other activities pages, this contains direct link both to our quizzes and to quizzes on other people's websites.

This change reflects a change in some of my teaching this year. I am supporting a number of learners who don't speak English natively and I want to address some of their difficulties with grammar. In analysing their difficulties in initial assessment, there were a number of common factors: endings to words (both nouns and verbs), articles (or, more correctly, determiners), prepositions and conjunctions. Of course the internet is alive with quizzes and other activities for grammar for English learners, but I've not previously found them greatly useful for this group of learners. Some of these people may have been to school in the UK for at least some of the time, some may not be literate in their first language, some may not have been to ESOL classes. Moreover the mistakes are presented in English literacy, for me in their main courses, and so perhaps a literacy approach rather than an ESOL approach is needed.

The most acute difficulty is with the endings for tenses and plural nouns. I certainly don't want to teach tenses in a formal way, but I do want to help them recognise and correct their errors. So I have started writing some quizzes for endings. It has been hard work writing even a few. I have also found a few relevant quizzes for the other topics on other sites. I have used these activities for explanation as I go along, rather than for reinforcement which is how I usually use quizzes. So far the feedback from students has been very positive. I hope the page will develop in the coming months.

1 comment:

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