MFL teaching aids: Asking effective questions - grammar building blocks (KS3)

Mastering grammar is essential for successful language learning, but teaching grammar can be difficult within the time constraints of a lesson.

As we learn in this short film, it is important to take the time to teach grammar well from the start, so that students learn to correctly recognise and reproduce grammar structures through understanding how the principles work, rather than simply work out the right answer to fill the gap in grammar exercises through contextual markers.

In this short film specialist languages teacher Joe Fincham explains what research has shown to be the most effective way of teaching grammar at KS3.

His tips include the most recent theories on how to initially introduce a topic, how to develop skills from recognition to formulation, and how to ensure the material is stored successfully in a student’s long term memory for retrieval in the future.

He explains the best way to structure your grammar teaching to ensure that the content is initially understood and is also stored in the student’s long term memory.

Through watching the film, you will learn:

  • What research has taught us about use of English versus the target language

  • How to simply and concisely introduce a new grammar point

  • How best to initially introduce new verbs and verb groups

  • How to avoid cognitive overload

  • How best to ensure that a student really has to actively use a grammar point by isolating the grammar point in a task

This film is part of a series of films designed to promote evidence-based best practice methods for languages teaching at KS2 and KS3.

For student resources that may help you integrate work on grammar into lessons or homework, please see:

More MFL teaching aids:

Making phonics an indispensable tool in language learning (KS3)
Promoting intrinsic motivation in students (KS3)
Foreign language acquisition through storytelling and story acting (KS2)