How to Learn Grammar and Teach it as well

by Emma


I found your website through Really Learn English.

Well I am English this is the thing, and I live in Spain and over the pass few years I have been giving English classes for children and conversational classes for adults in my spare time.

My problem is that as I'm not a qualified teacher but I do have experience with classes on a conversational bases. I do struggle or feel nervous as my grammar is very bad as a native, I try to avoid classes for grammar and also there are many English schools here in the town so they get the grammar from there, they are interested in speaking with me, as they don't get the opportunity in the schools to practice.

As I haven't lived here long in this town, I started off just offering the conversational classes because there aren't many English people living here. So I thought well I'll start with that, but now word is getting around that there is an English native to practice with, which I'm pleased about but now I'm starting to have people ask for classes with a more basic level, so I will have to teach the grammar. This is where I panic!

I would be very grateful if you have any advice for me and ways in which I can learn and teach, is this impossible to do these classes if my grammar is not good? Sometimes I don't know where to start.

I feel very insecure in my classes especially with the children, I just can't seem to find a system or material that I can stick too, on the internet I'm just confused with so many websites and material, if I have a lesson one day that doesn't go as planned, or the children look bored, I then get very discouraged.

I would be grateful for any advice!



Comments for How to Learn Grammar and Teach it as well

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Jun 17, 2013
I have great news for you!
by: Diana Tower

Dear Emma,

Thank you so much for asking this question. I remember when I first started teaching English (in 2006) and I got a job with Vaughan Systems. After being offered the job I did 2 weeks of training which included grammar basics.

Many native English teachers struggle with grammar. This may surprise you or others but it makes sense because many native English speakers are not formally taught grammar.

I felt the same way regarding grammar classes. I was much more interested in providing "real life" classes that focused on business situations, conversations, pronunciation etc.

So, how did I overcome my fear of teaching English Grammar?

Find a Good Grammar Reference Book
My personal favorite (that has saved me a lot of time when trying to figure things out) is Practical English Usage , by Michael Swan.

I can honestly say that this grammar guide is the best I have ever used and I use it daily answering my student's questions and many of the questions that people ask on this website.

Find a fun and easy way to change your view of grammar

Now comes the fun part. The fact that you are looking to both improve your grammar and teach others, instantly made me think of Elizabeth O'Brien and sentence diagramming.

She has the perfect course to not only improve your grammar, but also learn how to teacher grammar in a fun, interesting and visual way. Get Smart: The Complete Grammar and Sentence Diagramming Solution.

I am currently working my way through the grammar program, and I am impressed with how easy everything is.

I am a very visual person, so the idea that I can SEE the grammar makes it much easier to understand.

Children love to sentence diagram and it is also a great way to reduce stress surrounding grammar.

Find some simple explanations and exercises. I highly recommend the "English Grammar in Use" series. It is a simple and easy to use approach to learning and practicing grammar. On the left pages you are presented with simple grammar explanations, while on the right your are given exercises to practice that particular grammar point.

I hope that helps you and with these three resources, you will be teaching English grammar with confidence in no time.

All the best,

PS: Where in Spain are you living? :)

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