Does grammar get you going or make you want to pull out your hair? Are your students motivated to learn grammar and engaged in your grammar lessons? Our grammar sections have always been the lessons that get used most often on ESL Library. We develop new grammar lessons each month, and we currently have lessons on 60 grammar targets in our Grammar Practice Worksheets section alone.
We’ve made many improvements to this section over the past few years, such as adding grammar charts and explanations to make teaching easier, creating speaking and writing activities so students can practice the grammar in context, and including quizzes so that you don’t have to make your own.
Still, with 60 grammar lessons and counting, teachers often wonder about best practices for teaching grammar. We often get asked:
- In what order should I teach the grammar targets?
- How are the grammar lessons sorted and categorized on your site?
- How can I find related resources such as charts for clarity and activities for fun?
We hope this post will serve as your new definitive grammar guide!
Suggested Teaching Order
Let’s start by listing the comprehensive grammar lessons in our Grammar Practice Worksheets section in order from easiest (beginner) to most difficult (advanced). Since each of these lessons contains 10 or more pages on average, you could present the grammar point, do a few pages in class, assign a few for homework, and even do a few for review the following day, week, etc. (See Teaching Order for a printable pdf of this checklist.)
- Simple Present – Be
- Simple Present
- Singular & Plural Nouns
- Articles 1
- Pronouns 1
- Imperative Verbs
- Modals of Ability – Present
- Present Progressive
- Simple Present Vs. Present Progressive
- Adverbs of Frequency
- Prepositions of Time
- Prepositions of Place
- Parts of Speech
- Simple Past
- Subject-Verb Agreement 1
- Yes/No Questions
- Wh- Questions
- Modals of Ability – Past
- Count Vs. Non-Count Nouns
- Quantifiers – Many & Much
- Articles 2
- Quantifiers – Some & Any
- Adverbs of Manner
- Prepositions of Direction
- Simple Future
- Verb Collocations
- Subject-Verb Agreement 2
- Pronouns 2
- Gerunds & Infinitives
- Modals of Advice
- Modals of Possibility
- First Conditional
- Equative, Comparative & Superlative Adjectives
- Comparative & Superlatives – Adjectives & Adverbs
- Present Perfect
- Present Perfect Progressive
- Modals of Necessity & Obligation
- Second Conditional
- Complete Sentences
- Tag Questions
- Past Progressive
- Future Progressive
- Verb Tense Review 1 – The Simple Tenses
- Phrasal Verbs
- Causative Verbs
- Third Conditional
- Past Tense Modals
- Adjective Clauses
- Adjective Phrases
- Adverb Clauses of Time
- Adverb Clauses of Contrast
- Passive Causative
- Direct & Reported Speech
- Embedded Questions
- Past Perfect
- Past Perfect Progressive
- Future Perfect
- Future Perfect Progressive
- Verb Tense Review 2 – The Perfect Tenses
How can you sort the grammar lessons on our site? We have several options to make life easier for teachers, depending on their needs.
First, click on Lessons in the top bar of any ESL Library page. Then click on Grammar Practice Worksheets in the Grammar & Writing section. You will land on this page:
You’ll see that lessons can be sorted by levels (Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced) by using the sort buttons on the left (under the introductory paragraph).
Lessons can also be sorted alphabetically (A–Z icon), from easiest to most difficult (1–9 icon), or into grammar target categories such as prepositions, modals, conditionals, etc. (tag icon).
Note that the suggested teaching order listed earlier in this post is the same order as the “1–9” icon.
Teaching Tips & Related Activities
Want suggestions on how to present a grammar target, or looking for grammar activities to use as warm-ups or fillers? Click on Blog in the top bar, and then scroll through our posts or click on Grammar in the left side bar. Grammar posts often include teaching tips, printable charts, exceptions or tricks to make the target easier for students to learn, and fun activities for practice. Reviewing the key points of a grammar point can be a good refresher before you teach it.
You can also search the blog for specific grammar targets and related activities by clicking on Blog in the top bar and typing a keyword into the search field on the left.
Try our Grammar Day Roundup 2017 post for easy access to our collection of grammar posts.
Grammar & Usage Resources
Our Resource section keeps growing and growing. Click on Resources in the top bar when logged in and scroll down to Grammar & Usage for easy access to charts, lists, and cards.
When you click into a lesson from our main Grammar Practice Worksheets page, you will find a list of related lessons, activities, and blog posts along with information about the the level, time, lesson description, lesson tasks, and grammar points covered.
You can also search for related materials using the magnifying glass icon at the top right of any ESL Library page. This takes you to a search field.
Once you’ve covered a grammar target using our Grammar Practice Worksheets, make sure you check out our other sections such as Basic Grammar Sentences, Grammar Stories, and Simple Sentences for lessons that use the grammar targets in the context of a story or dialogue.
ESL Library has over 2,000 flashcards in our Flashcard Library, and this includes several grammar categories. Click on Flashcards in the top bar, and then choose a category and subcategory.
Did you know that our flashcard system makes it easy to customize and organize the flashcards you want to use? You can even change the words under the images by typing in your own before printing, which is handy for reinforcing a grammar point (e.g., change a present verb like cook into the gerund cooking). There are so many ways that flashcards can enhance your lesson. Check out Flashcard Ideas for suggestions.
Grammar Through Writing
What other ways can you practice grammar? The following suggestions provide even more ways to ensure our students are able to use the grammar in natural contexts.
We believe journals and blogs are a great idea. Practice is key, and journaling or blogging will enable students to practice everything from sentence structure to verb tenses. Using Journals with English Learners and Inspiring Students to Reflect & Write by Blogging will give you some good ideas.
Have you tried using a Writing Correction Key for correction? This will help students remember their mistakes for next time and will also save you some time while correcting. Click on Resources in the top bar when logged in and then click on Writing Correction Key.
For writing guidance, samples, lessons, and activities, check out our new Writing in English section.
Grammar Through Reading & Speaking
Students also need to see the grammar in context and use it while speaking. Our Discussion Starters lessons work well for both cases! First, students can hunt for a certain grammar target while they read the short article. For example, if you were teaching the present perfect, you could have students underline all the examples they find in the reading. They could also count how many times the simple past was used and explain why the present perfect was used instead in certain sentences. This activity would also work well with real-life materials such as a newspaper/magazine/online article or an excerpt from a novel.
Then, while they’re speaking about what they’ve learned (e.g., when using the warm-up questions, discussion questions, and critical thinking tasks in our Discussion Starters lessons), tell them to focus on the present perfect and have them try to produce it as much as possible during their discussion. Practice makes perfect!
Grammar for Young Learners
We have a complete section of fun, colorful lessons for young learners called Fun Grammar Lessons. These kid-friendly lessons cover the basic building blocks of English with activities that will keep young learners engaged. For more information about this exciting section, see our blog post on Fun Grammar Lessons for Teaching Young Learners.
Let us know if you have any other questions about grammar or using our site. We’re happy to help!
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