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Teaching Grammar to Children

Explaining and demonstrating English grammar to children can be completely different from teaching adults. Phrases such as subject noun adjective verb are very difficult for them to understand, and just writing sentences on the board and explaining them often doesn't work. Therefore I have created this great guide for anyone who has to teach English to children. I hope that it can make your lessons a little easier.

When teaching grammar, it's best to first teach them the vocabulary that you plan to use with pictures or flashcards. Show them the words one by one and encourage them to repeat after you. Next teach a simple sentence and show them where they can substitute the words.

For example, if I was going to teach something easy like I like.... I would first practice all the food words we were learning with flashcards, and then write I like.. on the board. I would then drill the grammar by subsisting the food flashcards and get them to repeat after me. My board would look something like this.

In the end we would end up drilling something like

I like apples
I like grapes
I like oranges
I like ice-cream
I like cheese

As boring as it sounds, the only may to make the children remember the grammar is by repeating it again and again. Unfortunately some children have very short attention spans so this can be difficult.
Reading the sentences in different voices and at different volumes is a great way to keep their attention.


Attaching hand gestures and movements to the words and grammar is another great way to help the kids remember and keep them moving. For example, instead of just say the actions words you can also act them out. The only troublesome thing is that you need to avoid using the same gesture for two different words or the children may become confused.


I highly recommend using songs to help drill English. By the time you teach them the song and sing it twice, they may have already said the same thing at least five times without realising it. Playing the song as background music while they do other activities is also a great way to help them remember, and it will save your voice for future activities. You can check out my great guide on how to teach songs here.

Stories and Storyboards

Reading stories is a great way to practice grammar and vocabulary. Showing them interesting pictures and making them repeat after you using the target grammar is another way to keep things exciting. There are lots of great online stories at this website called Starfall. You can check it out here.

You can also make presentations and picture boards using slideshows. You can then show them to your students via a projector, TV-screen, tablet, or printouts. If you don't have Microsoft PowerPoint you can use the free online version by Google called Google Slides. (Click here to check it out) You can also download the free app for your phone or tablet. It's great because you can store your files online and access them from anywhere in the world. You can even download the slides as a PDFs and give them to the students as print-outs.

Here is an example of a presentation that I made for a student to help explain 3rd person. Many Asian languages don't have this grammar so it was difficult for him to understand. You can click on the picture to grab a copy of the slideshow.


Using you own students (if it's not going to be a problem) or popular cartoon characters is also a great way to keep the student's attention. Here is an example of a slideshow that I made for a student with his favourite cartoon "One Piece."


You can even create small quizzes to help test their English.

Play Games

Games are a great way to reinforce the grammar points and test what they know. The children may be able to repeat the textbook correctly but it doesn't mean they can understand what they're saying or use it in context. It's also great to pair the students who are having trouble with the students who are good at English, and hopefully the higher level students will help the context.