Grouping Information

Sometimes as teachers, we become very focused on different topics, especially with grammar. This is good in some ways: we can isolate different skills and help our students learn specific things. However, sometimes each topic can seem disconnected, and that makes it feel less useful to students.

Here are some tips to avoid this problem so that your students can really see how each individual skill will help them with all of their English learning!

Basically, it is important to group information and relate what you are working on to real-life situations the students will face with their English. For example, what use are commas to students as a single isolated task? This can seem like a boring topic at first.

One way to keep your lessons useful and interesting is to group topics together and show connections between them. 

For example, as you review how to use commas, remind students that they must always use a comma before a tag question. Do they remember tag questions? Do they remember when these are useful in real-life situations?

Remind your students that tag questions are great for the following situations:
  • making polite conversation
  • checking information
  • keeping a conversation going
Ask them to think of situations where they might need tag questions. Then remind them that knowing how to use commas here will help them with the rhythm of these very important sentences.

So, there are really three steps:
  1. Introduce a new topic.
  2. Relate that topic to something your students already know how to do.
  3. Show the students how these skills are useful in real-life situations.
If you can, practice! Try grouping adjectives with introductions, questions with job vocabulary, and capitalization rules with short stories.

This will help your students feel that they are really developing their overall English skills and that what they do in class is useful for their real lives.

This will help keep your students motivated and working hard! Check out more tips in the English teaching center.