Grammar Workshop Lesson Plan

Part I: Grammar Diagnostic Test [Before Grammar Workshop Day]
Objectives: Students will be able to... 
  • Recognize how much explicit and implicit knowledge they have about common types of grammar errors (and help the teachers know how to give feedback for them). 
  • Recognize frequent types of errors they make in their essays so they can make an effective study plan.
  1. Give students "Grammar Diagnostic Test" to submit in a hard copy.    
  2. Score the test using the answer key. The result (sample p.1, 2) from this test will tell you how much explicit/implicit knowledge each student has about common types of grammar errors. Alternatively, you may have them score their own test result and record the result via Google Form (sample) so you can collect it easily (and your students can compare their own result to others by reviewing the statistics)
  3. Read your students’ essays (final or semi-final drafts) to identify their "performance" errors. Find the most prevalent types of errors (1~3 types) in their essays by referring to “Common ESL Grammar Errors” chart (also provided in the Grammar Diagnostic Test. Write down the names of the types either on their diagnostic test sheet or their essay drafts. Then, you may do one of the following depending on the level of your students: 
  • Option 1 (For advanced students): Do not point out where the grammar errors are. Simply write down the types of errors for students to identify and correct. See here for an example. Depending on the level of your class, you may ignore this option since it could be too indirect.
  • Option 2 (For high-intermediate students): In addition to option 1, highlight words, phrases, or sentences that have errors. See here for an example.
  • Option 3 (For low or low-intermediate students): In addition to option 2, highlight words, phrases, or sentences that have errors and provide clues for how to fix themSee here for an example.
Note: You may have difficulty determining the level of the students. Based on my personal experience, students who have more than 3-4 types of errors (especially sentence structure errors, type #9-11, 13) all throughout their essays are low level, those who have about 3-4 types of errors in some parts of their essays are intermediate, and those who have less than 3 that are mostly word choice or sentence structure errors are advanced. 

Part II: In-class Grammar Workshop [40 min]
Objectives: Students will be able to... 
  • Understand the importance of correcting their own grammar errors. 
  • Recognize which types of grammar errors can be particularly problematic in writing.
  • Locate resources they can use to improve their grammar.
1. Go over "Grammar Knowledge Questionnaire" part of the Grammar Diagnostic Test with your students. You may also discuss the following points:
  • Does grammar matter in academic writing? Why or why not?
  • Which types of grammar errors are particularly problematic in writing (i.e., which types of errors are important for you to avoid)? Why?
  • Do you think you can correct your own grammar errors through proofreading? If so, how?
You may use this PPT to aid your lecture/discussion.
2. Go over the “Common ESL Grammar Errors” chart and the quiz result (sample) as a class. Ask students if there were any particular types of errors that they had difficulty with. Based on my experience, students are usually familiar with common parts of speech (verb, noun, adjective, adverb, preposition) and different kinds of tenses, singular/plural nouns, count/non-count nouns, and articles. They are usually not familiar with terms like "independent/dependent clauses, pronouns, conjunctions, sentence fragments, run-on sentences, and punctuations". However, understanding of these terms may vary from student to student (direct them to Grammar Term Glossary). Give explanations accordingly.
    3. Provide helpful grammar resources students can use to work on particular grammar issues they have. If you are using Writer's Help eBook, you may provide Guide for Using WH Grammar Exercises.

    1. Ask students to proofread their essays to find and fix their grammar errors, focusing on the type(s) of errors that you identified for them. (Encourage them to find as many errors as they can.) Have them use “track changes” and “comments” so that you can see the changes they made easily. Have them refer to these homework samples (sample 123). Have them upload the proofread version in their Dropbox and name it as "student's name_diagnostic_grammar"

    2. For Writer's Help users: Have your students choose which grammar errors they want to work on this semester and find appropriate exercises from Guide for Using WH Grammar Exercises. Have them write down the titles of the exercises in a Writer's Help Report for you to check.   

    Part III: Follow-up 
    1. Check your students’ homework from Part II and give feedback on their corrections, identifying which types of errors the students could or could not self-correct successfully. You may give this feedback in a written form or face-to-face through individual conferences. You may also have students peer review each other’s grammar correction. Be sure to address the following points in your feedback (or in peer feedback) 
    • Did each correction contribute to the improvement of the writing? If the answer is “no”, briefly explain why the correction was not good and what will be a better correction.
    • Are there any important grammar error(s) that the student could not correct? If the answer is “yes”, highlight the errors and give more detailed guide with (or without) suggested correction.
    2. Provide further help on the grammar errors that students could not self-correct appropriately (hint: according to research, students have trouble correcting "sentence structure" and "word choice" errors) by choosing all or one of the following options.
    • Option 1: Recommend specific resources from helpful grammar resources that individual students can study by themselves or submit as homework. Check their work and give feedback accordingly. Writer's Help has many good tutorials on some common grammar problems.
    • Option 2: Choose a few grammar errors that most of students had trouble correcting on their own and design mini lesson(s) for those errors (refer to Jin's Word Choice Lesson as a sample).
    • Option 3: Make a learning contract with some struggling students on the most serious errors that they need to work on in order to hold them accountable. Give intensive, focused feedback on one or two errors they need to work on (meet with them if necessary). Make a contract with them stating that they will get points deducted for the same type of grammar mistakes in their subsequent drafts or in their following assignments. Encourage them to keep an error log

    Supplementary Materials
    Grammar Workshop PPT
    Grammar Diagnostic Test (Key)
    Grammar Diagnostic Test Self-scoring Sheet Sample
    Grammar Term Glossary
    Feedback Sample 1
    Feedback Sample 2
    Feedback Sample 3
    Self-editing Homework Sample 1
    Self-editing Homework Sample 2
    Self-editing Homework Sample 3
    Helpful Grammar Resources
    Guide for Using Writer's Help eBook Grammar Resources 
    Error Log Assignment

    If you are interested in learning how to use technology to help students self-correct their "word choice" errors in particular, check out this post.