Grammar deals with the structure, formation, and interpretation of language. Broadly, grammar comprises four aspects of language:
Morphology: forms and structure of words
Syntax: arrangements of words in sentences and phrases
Phonology: sounds and pronunciations
Semantics: meanings of words
Grammar typically contains certain rules and guidelines that must be followed while using a language. These rules and guidelines help in bringing a sense of standardisation and uniformity of language which makes it universally understandable and unambiguous in interpretation by individuals. Incorrect usage of grammar can lead to communication being meaningless and also increases the chances of gross misinterpretation by the receiver. Those who are good at grammar can communicate more effectively than others who are not. Grammatical prowess builds self-confidence in kids as they are confident in their ability to express and communicate. Kids who are adept in grammar perform much better in academics and even in their professional lives as compared to those who are not.
Kids need to learn basic grammar. However, teaching grammar to kids can be a tedious task. After all, it is not the most interesting and engaging of topics. In this blog, we list down a few techniques on how to teach grammar in a fun way.
Techniques to teach grammar
Grammar games for kids
All kids love playing games. So, why not engage them in games which allow them to have fun while they also learn some basics of grammar? The online space is filled with numerous grammar games for kids of all ages. These games typically start from the very basics of the alphabet, and gradually level up to include words, pronunciations, sentence formations, etc. Such games are a great fun way to learn basic grammar for children.
For example, there are games where an incorrect sentence is given and children get three strikes to correct the formation of the sentence. As they get their answers right, they graduate to the next levels with the grammatical challenge becoming tougher and tougher with levels.
Songs are a great way to teach grammar to kids. Allow kids to listen to the songs they like. Just keep in mind that you pick songs that are not grammatically incorrect in their lyrics. It might have a counter-effect. When children enjoy those songs, encourage them to sing along. On the surface it looks like they are enjoying their favourite songs, however, very subtly they are learning so many grammatical techniques such as pronunciation, sentence structuring, etc. It is also a good idea to make the kids write down the lyrics of the song and you can even ask them to interpret what the lyrics mean.
Stories are another thing that kids tend to enjoy. Stories can be a great source of learning grammar for kids. Reading stories, or even listening to stories introduces kids to new words, phrases, new ways of sentence formation, etc. Encourage kids to read the stories aloud and also ask them to interpret the key lessons in the narrative. Even watching good content in the preferred language can help children learn grammar. The more they listen to correct grammatical formations, the more they will internalise the grammatical correctness in their subconscious minds.
Consuming grammatically correct text written by others can be a great source of learning grammar for kids. However, true learning comes from doing. As kids improve their learning of grammar, gradually engage them in the task of original writing. To make it interesting, you can make writing fun. For example, you can ask them to write a page about their favourite cartoon character, their favourite superhero, etc. Let them write, even if they make mistakes. Constructively point out those mistakes and let them learn from their mistakes. Also, ask them to read out aloud what they have written. This will help them learn the phonetics of word pronunciation and the role of punctuation and exclamations. Those students who develop an advanced ability to write always have a head start over others who don’t. Written communication is an integral component of both academic (exams, essays, etc.) as well as professional (emails, memos, etc.) life. There are exclusive careers in the professional world that have a way of expressing themselves through effective writing (journalists, authors, copywriters, advertisers, etc) and speaking (leaders, politicians, commentators, presenters, etc).
Technological innovations have largely rendered the knowledge of grammar futile. Most word processing software such as Microsoft Word have grammar checker tools inbuilt that keep identifying grammatical errors and suggesting grammatical corrections as you write. While using these tools extensively helps in improving your grammar, it could also result in kids ignoring the importance of learning grammar and they might tend to lean on the tools to correct the grammar for them. An interesting way of leveraging these tools to your advantage is to compete with them. Ask your kid to write a hundred words on any topic using Microsoft Word (or any other word processor), but be sure to switch off spellcheck and grammar check tools. Once they have completed writing, switch on the tool and let them see the number of mistakes they made. Gamify this and encourage them to do better the next time they write. Do not forget to add a reward as they gradually do well against the grammar checker tool.
Another way to make grammar fun for kids is to make them identify grammatical errors around them and let them see the funny side of them. The internet is full of such hilarious examples of grammatical blunders. When on the road, encourage them to look at grammatical anomalies and funny spelling errors in banners, signboards, hoardings, restaurant menus, etc. This could be an extremely fun activity for kids to learn grammar while on a fun road trip with family.
Correct grammar is an essential ingredient of effective communication. At EuroSchool we take great care to ensure our students are on top of their grammatical usage. Pedagogical methods at EuroSchool follow fun ways of teaching grammar to kids which makes them excellent communicators for life.