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Should I buy English grammar in use for my 8-year-old son?

I think my son needs English grammar help despite English being part of his school curriculum. While reviewing his homework and extra exercises I give him at home, I have noticed he has difficulties in general sentence constructions, particularly tenses.

His class teacher has expressed the same concerns and asked me to help him at home. I am therefore seeking tips on how to improve English grammar of children. I would also like an honest review of English grammar in use for learning basic grammar.

Alexa Spicer

in Exams and Tests

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Tara Andrews on March 14, 2018

Children can learn new things pretty quickly. However, they often get distracted. Your son may be poor at grammar for some of the following reasons:

  • He has little interest or finds it boring.
  • He lacks motivation.
  • He may have the notion that learning grammar is too difficult: your child’s perception about grammar may negatively impact his performance in the subject.
  • Inefficient teaching methods: this may be in school, the extra teaching you give him at home or both.
  • Influence of mother tongue: this is assuming that English is the second language for him.
  • He may have learning disabilities: this should be the last consideration. A medical professional is can determine it.

Suggestions on how to improve his English grammar:

Find some interesting ways of teaching him sentence construction. For example, you can read a short story with him. Write down a few sentences for him to repeat then cut the paper into smaller pieces each with one word from the sentence. Arrange them randomly and ask him to put them back together to form the complete and correct sentence.

Improve his listening skills by dictating to him. This is the use of oral instructions to write or solve a quiz. Evaluate how much he is able to do to know his level of concentration.

Help him understand tenses by writing one sentence in a variety of ways. Use one sentence and help him write it in the past, present and future. Explain what each means as you go along.

Use flashcards: flashcards can provide plenty of help for English grammar. Create the flashcards together and use them to revise when he is distracted. You can also use them to help him spell difficult nouns.

Establish short but frequent English study sessions: children lose concentration fast. It is more productive to study in short scheduled session spaced in his day than conduct one long lesson.

Get him grammar and storybooks to read: if he likes comic books, encourage him to read more. Buy him reading materials that interest him as they will expose him to more English dialogues. I think the English language Grammar in Use is a good book for learning ESL and would recommend it to anyone who needs help in English. However, for your son’s needs, I would also recommend Grammar Tales: The No-Good, Rotten, Run-on Sentence and TIME For Kids Grammar Rules.


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