Listed below are seven simple tips for helping students to develop an awareness of grammar in their speaking and writing.
1. Use lots of real writing. Authentic writing with feedback and response from classmates and teachers is most effective in developing grammar awareness. Feedback, versus just correct mistakes, makes the writing come alive.
2. Use worksheets judiciously. There’s nothing wrong with worksheets. They’re tools; however, like any tool, their effectiveness is determined by how they’re used. Whenever possible, have students work in pairs to complete these. That way they hear the thought process of others. Remember, the goal is learning and writing, not completing a worksheet and getting a score to record.
3. Keep skills instruction brief and quickly paced. Students need some explicit instruction related to grammar. That is, they need to be told exactly what a noun, or incomplete sentence is (see Appendix A for the basic grammar rules). But more of something doesn’t mean more learning. Grammar learning is most effective when it is brief and in the context of students'wrwr real writing.
4. Use posters and bulletin boards as reminders.
5. Find ways to get students talking about their writing (peer group editing is one way to do this).
6. Promote voluntary reading. Wide reading is the cure for almost everything literary.
7. Become aware of your own grammar as you are speaking and writing