Communicative Activities for Teaching Grammar (and One Big Mistake to Avoid)

Communicative Activities for Teaching Grammar (and One Big Mistake to Avoid)

If you’re like most grammar teachers, you don’t have a lot of time to invent new

exercises. Here’s a set of 22 photocopiable activities for you to download and use in your next lesson, suggestions for using them, and one mistake to avoid.

The Activities

Click here for the activities. They include less controlled and free practice of
Present Simple and Present Progressive. …

The best time to use them is after students have had plenty of controlled practice and are ready for some fluency-building work.

Suggestions for Using Communicative Activities

  • Mix it up: Students will appreciate a variety of activity types. Doing
    a “Find someone who…” exercise one time is fun. Doing one every class
    is boring.
  • Get students moving: Even adults need physical activity while
    learning. Take every opportunity to rearrange groups, regularly switch
    partners, or send student around the classroom.
  • Take notes: Listen in to your students’ use of target grammar while
    they complete the activity, but only interrupt if a student is
    consistently making the same mistake over and over. You can give
    feedback to the whole class after the activity is over.

Big Mistake!!

Don’t run out of time! These activities include an estimate for how
long they take, but the estimates do not include time for set-up or
instructions. A great 20-minute role play can become a rushed and
unsuccessful exercise in frustration if you don’t budget enough time
for getting everyone going. How long will it take to put students in
groups? To distribute the materials? To go through instructions? Get
the most out of these activities by setting aside enough time for them.

Want Some More?

These activities come from Fun with Grammar, by Suzanne Woodward, and were designed for the Azar-Hagen Grammar Series. You can download the entire book for free from

Want Even More?

Talk to your Pearson ELL Specialist about the Azar-Hagen Grammar Series, or request a free copy using this form.