How to Explain English Grammar


Learning the ins and outs of English grammar is not much fun for many English language students. Whether you are teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) students or native English speakers, showing students why and how the grammar point you are teaching is important in daily life will help them learn it. When students figure out the grammar structure for themselves, they are more likely to retain the information. (See Reference 1.)

Help students discover the grammar point themselves.
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Things You'll Need

  • Chalk or dry-erase marker
  • Black or white board
Step 1

Show students how the grammar structure is used in their everyday lives. This will help encourage them to learn the structure. Utilize relevant role play modeling an authentic conversation or a reading text that contains the grammar structure.

Demonstrate the grammar structure in a real-life situation.
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Step 2

Ask students questions about the role play or reading selection using the grammar structure you want to teach. Listen to their responses to see if they are using the structure.

Ask questions using the grammar structure.
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Step 3

Teach the specific grammar concept. Ask students to identify when they think the structure is used and for any other information they notice about it from the role play or the reading. Students are discovering the rules for the structure themselves when you encourage them to think about how the grammar point is used in English.

Ask students what they notice about the structure.
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Step 4

Follow-up with a grammar exercise that utilizes the grammar point you've taught such as a fill-in the blank or creative writing exercise where students use the grammar point. Students could also pair up or form groups and model a role play where the grammar point is used throughout.

Encourage your students to talk to each other and use the grammar structure.
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