After using text messages to try and get students to think in English (click here for the blog) and also to follow instructions outside class (click here to read that one) , I decided I could use the great power of the text to tackle grammar.
I used these texts as part of homework tasks, using an account at www.pageone.co.uk to send text messages to students’ own mobile phones.
1. Comparing two sentences. What’s the difference?
I sent these texts to students as part of their homework depending on what we were studying and asked them to come back with an answer next session. This gave them time to think about the problem, internalise it and come up with a solution. In class we could talk about possible answers. The following examples were very much applicable to my classes and you should use any sentences which are relevant to your students and lessons. I also haven’t included any answers to the questions below – that would take too long…
– Tell us the difference between:’ What is your brother like?’ and ‘What does your brother like?’
– Tell us the difference between ‘I am living in London’ and ‘I live in London’.
– Tell us the difference between ‘She is really depressed’ and ‘She is really depressing’
2. Fill in the missing word.
These are straight forward questions that I sent to students on their phones.
– ‘Which one word will fit into all spaces? 1. What’s it ___ in London? 2. Do you ___ football? 3. What would you ___ to drink? (the answer is ‘like’)
– ‘Which one word will fit into all spaces? 1. Where are you ___? 2. Who are you ___ out with? 3. The price of petrol is ___ up. (going)
– ‘Which one word will fit into all spaces? 1. Where are you ___? My country is different ___ the UK 3. Where did you buy that beautiful coat ___? (from)
3. Correct the mistakes
Always a favourite, students have to correct the three sentences you send them and say ‘why’ they are wrong.
– Please correct these sentences! 1. He is speaking English very well. 2. She living in a big house. 3. We all lives in the USA 4. She no like football. (present simple and present continuous problems)
– Please correct these sentences! 1. I came to the USA before three years. 2. He doesn’t come to class yesterday. 3. I did go to work last week. (past simple errors)
– Please correct these sentences! 1. You mustn’t come to work tomorrow it’s Saturday. 2. You don’t have to have a passport to travel. (incorrect use of modal verbs)