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A three-dimensional grammar

How is it What
FORMED does it

is it USED?

Songs and Chants
Songs are one of the most enchanting and
culturally rich resources that can easily be
used in language classrooms.
Integrates all learning skills : listening,
speaking, reading, and writing
Adapts to teach a variety of language items
such as sentence patterns, vocabulary,
pronunciation, rhythm, adjectives, and

Teaching grammar through songs

Songs create a non-threatening atmosphere

for students.
Puppets can be used together with songs to
teach the language functions and the social
skills of greeting, responding to
conversation, and initiating conversation

Teaching grammar through songs
"when a child speaks through the puppet, it
is not the child who is perceived as making
errors but the puppet, and children find this
liberating. (Ozdeniz, 2000)
Songs are authentic texts, hence they are
motivating : possess prosodic features of the
language such as stress, rhythm, intonation
which students can emulate.

Some examples of the activities are:

Gap fills or cloze texts

Focus questions
True-false statements
Put these lines into the correct sequence
Add a final verse
Circle the antonyms/synonyms of the given

Whats the Weather (to the tune of Clementine)

Is it sunny? (hold arms

Whats the weather? above head in a circle)
Whats the weather? Is it cloudy? (cover eyes
with hands)
Whats the weather like
today? Is it rainy out today?
(flutter fingers
Tell us (students name),
Whats the weather?
Is it snowy? (wrap arms
Whats the weather like around body and shiver)
Is it windy? (blow
children over with a
swoop of your arms)
Whats the weather like
Jazz Chants for Children; When I Was One
When I was one
it wasnt much fun. What did you do
What did you do when you were four?
when you were two? When I was four
When I was two I learned to drive.
I learned to ski. What did you do
What did you do when you were five?
when you were When I was five
When I was three I played with sticks.
it was a bore. 8
Start with a story, any story traditional,
from a modern storybook, or just made up
on the spot.
Read or tell the story to the children, and
include pictures, actions, and sound effects
whatever it takes to make the story
understandable and enjoyable.

As you do so draw attention to and
emphasise the grammar point that you
want them to notice. Maybe add more
of that type of example to the story as
you go.
e.g. Articles, Adjectives, Comparative
and Superlatives, Tenses, Imperative,

Encourage the children to join in as
they notice a pattern, or contribute
ideas (of other adjectives, e.g., as they
look at the pictures), or you can include
some sort of short chant (such as
maybe a grammar rule) for them to join
in with.

Re-tell the story (and / or get the students to retell
it) and make changes to emphasise your grammar
Change the tense of the story present to past or
Change the adjectives, or make them all
Change the story all to imperative, or interrogative
Change the point of view of the story 3rd person
to 1st person maybe

Example of teaching grammar using storytelling
(chain story)
i. T starts a story and go around the class letting
students add to the story.
ii. T should indicate either past or present tense before
the story begins. Pupils should add to the story in the
tense suggested.
iii. T may suggest a past tense story and begin with
Last night, I saw
iv. The next pupil can continue the story from there. If a
pupil adds to the story in the wrong tense, eliminate
the pupil and continue with the story.
v. As the class builds the story, discuss those words in
the story that help indicate the story is in past tense.

Why storytelling can be effective for teaching English
to young learners?

i. The purpose of telling a story is genuinely

ii. Storytelling is linguistically honest. (It is
oral language, meant to be heard.)
iii. Storytelling is real (People do it all the time)
(Curtain & Dahlberg, 2004)

Why storytelling can be effective for
teaching English to young learners?

iv. Storytelling appeals to the affective domain.

v. Storytelling caters to the individual while
forging a community in the classroom.
vi. Storytelling provides listening experiences
with reduced anxiety.
(Curtain & Dahlberg, 2004)

Nursery Rhymes
Essentially very old poems that have become
traditional and lasted the test of years mostly
because of their rhythmic quality. Some of them
have tunes and have become traditional songs for
children, and some of them are traditionally
the rhythms, tunes and words are simple and easily
adapted to suit young learners grammar needs for
the purpose of

Having fun, motivating students

Practising natural rhythmic language
Providing a structure for practising grammar rules
Poems, like songs, contextualise a grammar lesson
Since poetry is often spoken, repeated and dealt with,
it acts as an effective tool for practicing a specific
grammatical structure.
Through repeating and considering the poem, the
grammatical structures become more deeply
poems exaggerate the rhythmic nature of the

There are three main barriers in adopting
poetry in the teaching of grammar especially
for L2 learners. What are they?
Linguistic, cultural, and intellectual barriers.
Begin with:
- talking about poetry or the poet
- Discussing some necessary vocabulary
- Reading the poem has been read at least twice,
- Eliciting the primary responses of the students
about the poem
- Practicing the grammar item, students may be
asked to paraphrase the poem.
Nursery Rhymes and Poem
Discuss or talk about the meaning of the
poem/rhyme and its relevance.
Students may also be asked to write a poem about
anything they want using the grammar structure
identified earlier.
How can you adapt the above procedure to meet
young learners needs?
It might not be very useful to use poems for young
learners or beginners. Using nursery rhymes
would be more helpful since they provide more
joyful and easier contexts.

The Swing
By Robert Louis Stevenson
How do you like to go up in a swing What grammar
Up in the air so blue? item can you teach
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing from this poem?
Ever a child can do! How would you go
about teaching it?
Up in the air and over the wall, What are the
Till I can see so wide, limitations of the
Rivers and trees and cattle and all Over the poem (if any) to
your learners?
Till I look down on the garden green, How would you
Down on the roof so brown- address them?
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

Authentic resources and student centred
activities gives the pupils a chance to express
and enjoy themselves during learning
These resources can assist our teaching of
grammar while providing a relaxed atmosphere
and motivate students.
A teacher's selection of a technique or a set of
techniques is based on the objective(s) for the

Tutorial task
In groups of 3-4,
Choose one technique to teach one grammatical
item that you have identified. Plan and
demonstrate (peer-teach) a grammar activity
using the following question as a guide;
In your opinion, what is the best way to help
learners notice the meaning, use and form
based on the technique that you have chosen?

How to Teach Grammar With Time Lines |
Arif Saricoban & Esen Metin, Songs, Verse and Games for
Teaching Grammar,arifs [at] Hacettepe
University & Cankaya University (Ankara, Turkey)
Hill, D.A. (1999). Traditional folk songs in class. MET,
Kim, L.S. (1995). Creative games for the language class.
English Teaching FORUM, 33/1: 35-36
Lo, R. & Fai Li,H.C. (1998). Songs enhance learner
involvement. English Teaching FORUM, 36/3:8-11.

How to Teach Grammar With Time Lines |
Ozdeniz, D. (2000). Puppets in primary. Retrieved April,
17, 2006, from
Wickhem, R. (2012) Techniques for Teaching Grammar
Module. IPG Kampus Dato Razali Ismail
Zimmerman, C.B. (2014) teaching and learning vocabulary
for second language learners in Teaching English as
Second or Foreign Language (4th ed). Celce-Murcia, M.,
Brinton, D. and Ann Snow, M. (eds)