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How to teach basic english to children

Updated April 04, 2017

Teaching basic English grammar requires the balancing act of keeping children entertained while focused on the lesson. Teaching English is similar to teaching history in that both have a reputation of being boring. But language can be exciting and can be an engaging and interactive activity for children of all ages. Games and individual and group work help children understand the parts of the English language.

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  1. Plan an English lesson covering one concept rather than several aspects of grammar. This allows you to make sure that your students are grasping each area of basic grammar before moving on to the next. Changing focus too fast may cost time if you have to repeat previous lessons for students who are behind.

  2. Include visual examples in your English lesson. For younger children, draw on a board a noun-eating dog or a verb-hungry cat. Ask the students to feed the animals the correct part of speech. For older children, use a similar exercise but ask the students to go to the board and write the correct nouns or verbs for the class.

  3. Let the children verbalise their basic grammar lessons. Use a poem or song that they can repeat along with you. For younger children, use music that has simple rhymes and words they can remember. For older children, use poems with lines that explain an action taking place with machines or animals. "I am a car, and I can drive" or "I am a lion, and I can roar," for example.

  4. Use movement to teach basic English to children, if possible. Teach progressive verb tenses by playing a game of Simon Says. For example, tell the students, "Simon says to touch your head." Ask the students, "What are you doing?" The answer should be "We are touching our heads," in the progressive.

  5. Hand out a worksheet that covers the lesson you just taught for basic English rules. Cover the important points of basic grammar that the children have learnt. Ask the students to complete it alone in the classroom or assign it as homework to further help them retain the information.

  6. Tip

    Pay attention to the reactions of the children during your lessons. If they have a hard time paying attention, you may need to revise your strategy.


    Be patient. Each child learns differently and at a different speed.

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Things You'll Need

  • Lesson plan
  • Chalk and markers
  • Writing board
  • Poem or song
  • Worksheets for all students

About the Author

Mary Corbin began her career writing for online and print media in Indianapolis. Since 2004, she has covered subjects such as home and family, technology and legal issues. Working in the broadcast industry, Corbin created articles for marketing, public relations and business matters. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.

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