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Stories, Games and Articles for EL, Issue -- Experiential Learning 15
May 24, 2016

Experiential Learning 15 - Can grammar be taught interestingly?

I have always maintained that anything can be taught interestingly. Learning can be made exciting and it can be done without learners becoming distracted. Here's a sample.

I was participating in a group interview for a teaching certificate in English. Another teaching degree. Why? Well, I want be better at what I do well already, by God's grace.

Never too old to learn I say. In fact the Bible says, 'As your years, so shall your strength be.' I believe the Bible. I am becoming stronger and wiser than I ever was in terms of understanding and applying myself to learning.

Back to the interview. One of the tasks was to demonstrate the teaching of the meaning of some sentences without being theoretical. The pair that I got was:

He stopped to call her back

He stopped calling her back

I was expected to help the group tell the difference between these two sentences.

I could have done it in several different ways, but I chose to act it out.

I stood up and acted as though I was driving, sound effects and all, with my hands clutching the steering wheel along with my cell-phone in one of my hands. The phone starts ringing and I decide to pull-over and take the call. But by the time I stop, the ringing stops and instead of taking to the road again, I decide to return the call. So I 'stopped to call her back'

In a similar manner, I acted out the second sentence too, to show that I 'stopped calling her back' / returning her calls because I didn't want her in my life anymore. This demo though was not as clear as the first one.

Anyway, by the end of it the group was totally engrossed and answered my questions correctly. The interviewer too was responding correctly to the situation being acted out, so it was somewhat of a success.

Teaching grammar with acting / role play is more engaging and exciting than just plain talking and defining.

Go to ELT page and check out some more games and activities to teach grammar.

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Thank you

Thank you all for signing up to receive and read EL. I hope you like this issue as much as I liked writing it.
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