Grammar Reminder to Foreign Language Teachers

I was tutoring a student to help her with a French project for school. She had been sick for a few weeks so she missed some important grammatical concepts involved in her project. I was trying to give her a quick overview of some concepts, such as direct and indirect object pronouns, and other subject pronouns, but it was difficult to do it quickly.

I was again reminded of how important it is for students to understand first of all the grammatical vocabulary in English, and then the grammatical concept in English, before expecting them to understand it in a different language.

That’s something good FL teachers should remember and be sensitive to. I know that in public schools you cannot spend too much time going over grammar that should be taught in middle school level English, but sometimes you have to in order to avoid having to repeat it again and again for students who won’t get it.

I also don’t know the best methods of teaching them, but I guess that a lot of examples building on other material they know would be best. I will report back on these thoughts, findings, and in-the-classroom studying as a I find it. Until then- remember- make sure the kids know and understand the grammar in English first.

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