English grammar is notoriously difficult to learn for both native and second-language speakers. There are so many intricacies, obscure rules, and exceptions that it comes as no surprise that different generations of teachers have used various approaches to teaching grammar to train literate English writers. In the past, memorization-based techniques that relied on repetition slowly gave way to more creative methods. Today, we live in a society that prizes literacy and is willing to adapt to more effective methods to achieve the best results in teaching grammar.
Pedants, rejoice – National Grammar Day is here! But let’s think carefully about what exactly it is we’re celebrating
Yippee (or groan)! It’s National Grammar Day again.
When it comes to teaching grammar and vocabulary, it's important to have models for students to follow. Unfortunately, finding models can be difficult. Sentences taken from standard worksheet often come out of context and novels or non-fiction books are often too long to make pulling sentences from them effective. Where do you turn when you want a simple source text full of models for students to follow? Picture books. Pictures books help students learn about grammar and vocabulary in the context of a larger story giving the concepts they need to learn more meaning.
As a future teacher of English as a foreign language, you need to give your students informed instruction in English pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary, and grammar; but language teaching, at the more advanced levels in particular, is also concerned with idiomatic language use, such as collocations and formulaic language, or strategies that match a given communicative situation, e.g. pragmatic knowledge about how to establish and maintain social relationships exchanging messages in a specific socio-cultural environment (like e.g. inviting or apologizing).