As I mostly teach adults who appreciate being offered possibly practical and personalised activities, I always try to make the grammar and the ways we revisit and review it highly practical.

 

And I usually appreciate opportunities that let students question, doubt and rethink what they already know - be it grammar or any other aspect of the language.

That's how I've come to love using "slashed" activities in order to encourage my student's grammar work.

Such activities can be great for refreshing some already known material, as well as for encouraging students to think about some new / old but challenging grammar points, plus, you can do it in a very personalised way!

They don't take too long to prepare, but, as I've already seen many times, they bring a lot of help, fresh perspective and a good impulse to make the students really think about the grammar.

1. For example, I use such activities very often when it comes to questions forms. A nice way to start a class is to ask students to recreate the questions based on their "slashed" versions, and then to answer these questions.

I do the same at the first class after my student's vacations, because just asking them how they spent it (again!) and if they used a lot of English seems a little too conventional. With "slashed" questions they manage to create a kind of dialogue even if it's a one-to-one class:

  • How/your vacation?
  • /you/speak Engish?
  • /you/ understand people around?
  • what/the best and worst experience?
  • what/the weather/ like?

etc......

2. I recently used the same technique for revising gerunds and infinitives, too:

  • Is there anything you'd suggest/ do to improve life in your city?
  • Is there anything you couldn't afford/ do 10 years ago but can aford/ do now?
  • What do you think there is no point/ do after the new regulations were introduced?
  • What do you wish you stopped/ do but can not?
  • What do you want your colleagues/ do this week?
  • do you mind/ talk about personal issues with your business partners?
  • What do you regret/ not do last weekend?

Which a) let us revisit the gerunds and infinitives and b) caused a nice casual discussion covering different areas of my student's life.

3. The same thing can be tapped into to highlight the differences between Present Simple and Present Continuous (or probably, other tenses, too):

  • I usually/ have/ a cheese toast for breakfast
  • But today/ I / have/ an omelette for breakfast
  • I think my husband/ work/ now
  • My sister/ work/ at television
  • In January we/ always/ fly/ to Mallorca
  • Listen, the baby/ cry!

(or even a shorter and more creative form, like:

usually, my family _________

this week, I ______________

every year, my company _____________

today, my boss _______________ )

 

 

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