As a parent or a tutor, you may think that teaching English grammar is all about learning certain rules by heart, knowing exceptions to these grammar rules, and practicing them extensively.
At Talentnook, we’ve worked with hundreds of students on improving their grammar skills. And while getting their grammar skills right can be a long road of hard work, there are ways to include little teaching practices to make this journey fun and engaging for your child.
In this blog, we’ll highlight the 3 tested ways of grammar teaching that has worked wonders with our students. Later on in the blog, we’ll lay out the 10 most common grammar learning mistakes made by kids and the correct versions of each of them.
To begin with, here are 3 teaching techniques that’ll surely make grammar lessons fun and super-easy to grasp for your child:
1. Teach by giving visual examples
The fastest way to teach any lesson or any rule is to give rememberable examples. The more humor or an a visual element of interest you add to your examples, the more your child will retain those lessons. Learning by remembering examples or forming visual cues is the best way to build retention of rules and concepts of grammar.
2. Make them practice unknowingly through daily conversations
Work with your child to make conversations using meaningful sentences. Check on their sentence composition by asking them general questions. Their answers to day-to-day questions will not only add to your conversation time with them but will also help you check their grammar.
Then write their sentences on a piece of paper. Bring the sentence apart, mix up the words, and then challenge your child to ‘repair’ the sentence!
3. Make learning grammar a fun task they can look forward to
Turn grammar learning into a game,
Use grammar games or worksheets with a score in the end to make lessons fun. You can maintain a scoreboard or come up with an incentive for every right grammar answer.
Such activities motivate children to do better and keep their attention growing. An extra tip: pin up a colorful scoreboard with a theme of cartoons or movie characters or sports your child likes!
Most common grammar mistakes made by kids
In this list, we’ve wound up the most common grammar mistakes made by kids. To get started, identify and correct these most commonly made grammatical errors first. They are easy to spot, are frequently made until a concept is clarified and can be corrected easily.
1. Interchanging ‘their’, ‘there’ and ‘they’re’
It’s very easy to spot and correct this grammatical mistake. For example, writing ‘it is there school,’ instead of correctly writing, ‘it is their school.’
2. Using capital letters when not required
Using capitals when not required is an error arising out of not discerning between common and proper nouns. For example, “Jamie shopped at the Supermarket in Houston” instead of “Jamie shopped at the supermarket in Houston”. Correcting punctuation errors should come as a first for every parent
3. Using an apostrophe to signify a plural
For example, writing “The gifts had candles and lots of M&M’s” instead of writing correctly “The gift had candles and lots of M&Ms.”
4. Dangling or misplaced modifiers
It’s the most common error which is even made by adults. For example, saying or writing “At nine, I got two Christmas presents at the most” instead of “At the age of nine, I got two Christmas presents at the most.”
5. Skipping the use of ‘the’ because it seems too much to use every time
This is a slightly more difficult error to spot and correct. But with practice, you will be able to identify it when your kid speaks or writes. For example, “These are top 5 ways to deal with pollution” instead of “These are the top 5 ways to deal with pollution.”
6. Parallelism errors
They are one of the most common errors made even by adults all over the world. For the same reason, these errors are often tested extensively on various tests like SAT, GMAT, etc. For example, using “I learned to sew, dance and, cooking when I was barely ten years old,” instead of “I learned to sew, dance and, cook when I was barely ten years old.”
7. Its vs. it’s
One of the very frequently spotted mistakes in written communication is mixing up its and it’s. It is easy to correct it, just make your child remember that ‘it’s’ implies ‘it is’.
8. Changing tenses in the middle of a paragraph
This is again a common sentence construction asynchronicity. For example writing or saying, “we went to the supermarket. Then dad suddenly remembers that he forgot keys in the car.”
9. I vs. me usage error
Not knowing when to use ‘I’ and when to use ‘me’ is also fairly common. Teach your child to take the other person out of the sentence to check whether it sounds correct without them.
10. Confusing ‘then’ and ‘than’
This is the last mistake on our list that we find it to be very ubiquitous! Almost all of us have made this mistake at some point. To fix this, Start by asking your child to think whether they’re talking about time or are comparing things.
As you can see most of these errors stem from oversight of basic concepts. If not addressed at the root, they can continue to hound your child even when they grow up.
Still not fully there? Get some help!
You must never flinch from seeking professional help for your child. While some kids enjoy learning with their parents, others tend to do better with the guidance of an English tutor. You may also seek help from free online resources in the form of apps, tutorials, video lectures, animated games, GIFs, etc. to supplement your efforts.
At Talentnook, we connect thousands of tutors with students for the best and most effective after-school lessons. From piano to grammar to algebra, you will find professional help for your child on Talentnook without disappointments! Visit Talentnook to find an English tutor for your child