Teaching Grammar by @whatonomy

Name: Whatonomy
Twitter name: @whatonomy
Sector: Primary and Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English and EAL
Position: Head of English
What is your advice about? Teaching Grammar

1: Take the terminology seriously. Understand that rules change and language evolves, but that we depend upon consensus for a single, crucial reason: mutual understanding.

2: Use the terminology in the glossary of your given curriculum. Giving your students terminology endows them with a metalanguage to reflect upon authorial choices.

3: Present grammatical concepts in context. Find purposeful examples in literature and allow students to reflect on the purpose of the structure BEFORE giving a name to it.

4: Give the students progressively less scaffolded practice and provide ready access to modelled writing during the early stages.

5: Read Steven Pinker’s ‘A Sense of Style’: it will set you on the right path between grammarian diktat and postmodern linguistic relativism. Words are negotiated gospel.

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Helping Your EAL Students by @whatonomy

Name: Whatonomy
Twitter: @whatonomy
Sector:  Primary
Subject: EAL and Literacy
Position: Head of English
5 Bits of Advice About: Helping your EAL students

  1. Expect your EAL students to be quiet (near silent) for a while, but take time to go over and chat with them. Don’t allow that silence to become part of their character.
  2. Please try not to see EAL as some kind of impediment. In all likelihood, you could have a student with a rich linguistic architecture (just not English, yet).
  3. Look at the written outcomes expected from your lessons and try to break down precisely what you are expecting your EAL students to communicate.
  4. Use the above expectations to inform an additional language objective which will actually benefit all of your students.
  5. The language-rich display and resources you create for your EAL students will actually help all of your students.

Tutor Period by @whatonomy

Name: Whatonomy
Twitter: @whatonomy
Sector:  Primary
Subject: Literacy and EAL
Position: Head of English
5 Bits of Advice About: Tutor time

  1. Use it as if it matters. Don’t allow it to descend into routine ticks and reminders. It sets the tone for the day.
  2. Look at the news: resources like First News are great for sharing stories, holding news quizzes & building general knowledge.
  3. If you can, let one period be silent reading. At the end, ask random students to share something short about their book.
  4. Every once in a while toss a thought problem or a ‘thunk’ at your tutees. This sets an expectation at the start of the day that use of brains will be mandatory today.
  5. Let the students to have a say in something meaningful: circle time, choosing time, school council. You’re the boss, but you’re the best boss they’ve ever had.