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Grammar book recommendations for Elementary
« on: August 12, 2019, 07:48:57 am »
I have this huge grammar class in my after school elementary program, the kids are really mixed level so I'm looking for something lowish level but interesting with a simple / clear layout.

Last year was an absolute shit show because of the mixed levels and a terrible book.  Any favorite grammar books?


Re: Grammar book recommendations for Elementary
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2019, 09:36:18 am »
Oh I agree
Because 'grammar' on its own is useless, I would recommend to either NOT teach grammar so explicitly with a book but if you must, then present it as a small 5-10 min. segment after which you give them differentiated assignments.

Very crudely put you could start with past simple -ed.
write talk  watch play on the board and ask sts. to add -ed.
Then you would have 3 or even 4 different exercises at beginner/intermediate/advanced and a past simple puzzle for people who are finished.
Mind you, a good teacher would switch activities after 20 min. so also consider other things like speaking or underlining past tenses in a text and writing a story.

Once again, I wouldn't teach grammar, but if I were to do one I'd do 5 min. explanation and 2 activities for 1 hour lesson. Also, I wouldn't be in front of the class for more than those 5 min. because I'd be coaching and scaffolding students with their work.

I'd use this book: found at Scribd but google is your friend or pm me.
195330799-Top-20-Great-Grammar-for-Great-Writing

or

National Geographic Life


Oh I agree I don't want to teach grammar by itself and, usually I don't. But this year I have been assigned the "Grammar" class and it requires a grammar textbook.
The text book used last time was horrible, so I wanted to see here if anyone has previously taught a book they found useful / enjoyed.


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Re: Grammar book recommendations for Elementary
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2019, 04:37:09 pm »
sidebyside is a good grammar book series for kids

HappyPlanetAbuser: Life is a book designed for adults, no? i used to use that book with an adult class


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Re: Grammar book recommendations for Elementary
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2019, 07:58:04 pm »
 I'm in Europe so most students already know a bit of English when I get them. But the A1 level is quite accessible and probably ok to use, but yeah, thinking again these sheets might need a very easy alternative for the lowest students.

http://www.ngllife.com/student-zone-grammar-practice-worksheets/beginner

Extra:
http://www.ngllife.com/student-zone/interactive-reading-practice

https://www.pdfdrive.com/top-20-great-grammar-for-great-writing-d18661076.html

« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 08:01:21 pm by HappyPlanetAbuser »
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Re: Grammar book recommendations for Elementary
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2019, 08:36:35 pm »
i remember we used Life at Upper Int level and pre-int level. both seemed ok (good listenings and readings, especially) but the grammar section lacked (especially upper int. ugh, had the worst explanations).

i reckon Cutting Edge or New English File beginner books would be even better


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Re: Grammar book recommendations for Elementary
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2019, 08:56:04 pm »
What makes Cutting Edge stand out to you?

I have shown it to some colleagues but they felt it was 'out-dated', but granted she was a bit of an inexperienced t wat. I'm probably going to be able to choose books next year for the entire dept. and I had been considering Life, but perhaps C.Edge might be interesting as well? I liked the TBA and the inductive grammar approach.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 08:57:54 pm by HappyPlanetAbuser »
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Re: Grammar book recommendations for Elementary
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2019, 09:22:01 pm »
there's a 3rd edition which is more up-to-date. yeah, the 2nd edition is a bit outdated (i think she meant themes/topics more than anything else). i like their grammar explanations and resource book though

speakout is probably my fave series overall though. have a look into that one


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Re: Grammar book recommendations for Elementary
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2019, 05:28:14 am »
https://www.pearson.com/english/sample/speakout-2e.html

so I've checked it out and it is highly reminiscent of other series I've used before. What is it that you like so much about this book?  I do not think the books are bad but I don't know how to make it more digestible for the students, especially at higher levels upper intermediate to advanced (Sixth form).
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 08:13:25 am by HappyPlanetAbuser »
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Re: Grammar book recommendations for Elementary
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2019, 07:33:13 am »
speakout has loads of good functional language sections, which others don't. for the listening activities, they often also use real radio segments, etc, which is more fun/useful than actors reading a script. it's also the most up to date book, and the teacher resource book has loads of good stuff in it

at least, when i taught a 5 hour class in australia, i'd just do one unit a week. so, 2 pages in the book over the course of 5 hours, and then supplement it with other stuff. that made it digestible and interesting, anyway

i regularly use the functional language sections for my adult classes here too. mostly well-structured and useful expressions

i generally like having a  "core" book and picking and choosing the bits i find are useful, then using other materials from other books (or made my myself) to expand/fill it out. but yeah, it ultimately depends on your students/goals of the course.


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Re: Grammar book recommendations for Elementary
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2019, 08:21:05 am »
Did your students actually  like the book?

It might simply have been the outdated topics in those old series that had my students agitated constantly, I'll have a second look, thanks!
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Re: Grammar book recommendations for Elementary
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2019, 11:08:23 am »
I think it's more interesting than cutting edge / NEF / face2face /headway /etc, but it still follows the same grammar structures and general layout as those books. There is a 2nd edition now (released in 2017 or something. Even the newest cutting edge was released way back in 2011(?) or something) so it's the newest book out of the popular esl books

I think the upper Int and elementary ones are the best ones too. Basically the ones written by Frances Eales.

But yeah, it ultimately depends on your students/course goals really I guess


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Re: Grammar book recommendations for Elementary
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2019, 10:45:47 pm »
Grammar

I dont know if the OP is still invested in this thread but I have just received my FedEx with the Grammar for Great Writing https://eltngl.com/search/productOverview.do?N=200+4294904735+4294918395&Ntk=P_EPI&Ntt=42383487612857831911974902534201351507&Ntx=mode%2Bmatchallpartial&homePage=false
Sentences for Great Writing
Paragraphs for Great Writing

I would totally recommend this. The annoying part of most regular grammar books is that they are catered to mainstream teachers who adore grammar class and demand that mind-numbing skills acquisition methodology. Old tarts in the team kept on yapping about how great the books were but I couldn't see the context or the real-life application in them, so I used to create my own materials, a mixed bag of stuff plucked left and right from grammar sites and then I had them use the grammar to write a text so it doesn't become an esoteric concept that only teachers are well-versed in.

Well colour me surprised, Grammar for Great Writing does it exactly right!
Exposure-Grammar-Application-Error Analysis-Feedback-Integration-Analysis-Evaluation and Producing original work. I mean it's like they took the canon of linguistic research and then created the unit accordingly. I might even be able to have some time left to drink some tea during class!  ;D

DEFINITELY TRY THIS, I chose level A because you wanted for low level right? The good thing about writing is that even the lowest levels can write something, anything, right?

https://eltngl.com/assets/downloads/ggw_pro0000000910/ggw_unit1.pdf

I'll keep Speakout on my list, but today I received a whole bunch of books from the publisher to browse through at home.

I've had a look at the Advanced level of Life and it is indeed as you said, similar setup as all the other books, which has got me leaning towards another series even though I like the concept, the impressive visuals and the linguistic content.


Perspectives has an integrated TED talk activity per lesson. And that is actually quite neat because I have used TED talks before in projects and to have this ready-made is just amazing.


The one thing I had not realised till now, is that National Geographic has got a mind-boggling wide range of study books, many more than I had expected, they're almost as prolific as Longman or Pearsons but their visuals and texts are second-to-none.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2019, 02:48:55 am by HappyPlanetAbuser »
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Re: Grammar book recommendations for Elementary
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2019, 07:33:34 pm »
oh, are those Perspective books good? National Geo also have a range called 21st Century Communication too. looks really good for TED talks. can't find a PDF copy online though ;)

yeah, from what I remember i'd use the reading and listening activities from Life, and skip the rest. they don't even have a teacher's resource book which is lame. but the readings were especially good (and interesting)


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Re: Grammar book recommendations for Elementary
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2019, 12:33:29 am »
@oglop Did your students have their own books or did you just use your own book and provided them with some photocopies? i Think I could manage that.

@op
On a different matter entirely, as you know I'm not a big fan of grammar instruction, and I have been looking at different options and I found a relatively old book named "timesaver".

I would recommend using Timesaver 50 mixed ability grammar lessons for you because then you can sign 3 levels per exercise to your students students. I however, might try my hands at Grammar Activities Intermediate, timesavers visual grammar. I'll leave the link up for a week.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2019, 09:08:05 pm by HappyPlanetAbuser »
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Re: Grammar book recommendations for Elementary
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2019, 10:11:20 am »
i just have loads of textbooks downloaded onto my computer, and i pick and choose what i want to use, and print it off for each lesson. more interesting for the students and better for me too. that's why i'm always after new books/materials to use


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Re: Grammar book recommendations for Elementary
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2019, 08:58:06 pm »
Perhaps this might tickle your fancy?

https://halandsteveenglish.com/pages/daily-free-lesson
incumbo studiis


Re: Grammar book recommendations for Elementary
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2019, 09:14:11 am »
I use these ones in afterschool classes with grades 5 and 6. Really useful since they have little explanations in Korean and the students seem to enjoy being able to fathom some order in the chaos that is English. I just have a master copy and make photocopies for the kids.
I personally think that learning grammar is an absolutely essential part of language learning and I wish there was more structured grammar integrated into the textbook curriculum.

My First Grammar 1 Workbook [Gmarket]
My First Grammar 2 Workbook - for higher-level students [Gmarket]
Grammar Writing Starter [Gmarket]