- My students at the Elementary school, on 1st and 2nd grade won’t use grammar, because they’re still in a very visual and listening learning stage. But really little by little they start writing simple and single words, together with their drawings (We still don’t have a course book, only the notebook and the whiteboard).
In the other hand, students at the Learning center like grammar a lot, because it makes them feel “safe” from making mistakes, or because they have something to hold on to; this happens with adults and some teenagers. The course book Side by side from Longman is what we use, and it has a grammar introduction to each unit in a way students don’t hate it, because it contains an explanation with grammar, then oral exercises to use it, next it has reading comprehension to apply it on, answering opposites or true or false activities; everything with audio support.
- So if one introduces grammar together with visual, audio, easy exercises, and a final summary, students find it useful and it helps with their learning process.
Unit II Lexis
- I don’t think online translators help for learning a second language, because firstly they’re really not accurate; secondly, it breaks the “flow” students get as they advance in their levels and thirdly because they use all the attention into memorizing the translation and not into linking words to make sentences or perceive pronunciation or realizing the grammar type of the words in a more “loose” way.
- At the Learning Center we do have conferences made by the students themselves with the vocabulary on the walls as references all the school cycle. I’ve found it very usefull through my teaching experience.
Even with adults and teenagers I use these conferences with drawings or pictures to keep a visual-text help as a tool inside the classroom.
- After checking the links for teaching lexis online, I found that the Cambridge Dictionary link has a variety for different needs: bilingual, business, American, learner, idioms and phrasal verbs, in other dictionaries, did you mean, etc; so for specific usage it’s a great tool.
Then on the link from Macmillan, I found all the usages, categories, examples and explanations a word can have such as: definition, type of word, examples, collocations, phrases and metaphors; so, for writers, teachers and advanced students it is a very helpful tool.
I’d like to mention another webpage I’ve been using and find absolutely great, because of the forum, where you find help with translation from professional staff and users, plus all the word items: http://www.wordreference.com