Archive for the ‘Grammar’ Category

Almost every semester one of my students asks about the difference between a crocodile and an alligator. The answer to this question is not really very simple. The fastest way to figure out if something is a crocodile or an alligator is to ask yourself where you are. If you are not at the zoo, and you are in Florida, it’s an alligator. If you are in Australia, it’s a crocodile. Unfortunately this method of determination didn’t help me at all with the lesson on comparatives that I was planning to write. Luckily I was able to find a few differences that fit nicely into the grammatical points I was hoping to teach.

The presentation can be found at


Sources for the photos:


Read Full Post »

A couple of years ago I used a very short PowerPoint presentation on The Eight Parts of Speech. I made the presentation available to my students so that those who were confused about nouns, verbs, etc. could refer to it. I then decided that an expanded interactive presentation might be more beneficial. I also did not want to be tied to the traditional categories used in grammar.

I have now “completed” the expanded interactive version; however, as you can see from the title of the presentation, after some exploration, I decided to organize the presentation in the old, traditional way. While the categorization is old and traditional, the presentation of the material is not. The presentation is an interactive PowerPoint that allows students to follow their curiostiy by clicking on buttons. The second page of the presentation is “home,” and from there students can click on the part of speech that they would like to learn more about. I have also included an index. The icon for the index is in the upper right hand corner. Buttons in the bottom middle of the pages allow students to go back to the sections within the presentation.

In the future, I plan to expand some of the sections of the presentation. For prepositions of orientation, in particular, I imagine that  photos demonstrating the meanings of the words would be very helpful.


Read Full Post »

I have been working on the eight parts of speech, and this presentation is one small part of that larger project. Enjoy. OK. That “enjoy” part was supposed to be funny. I can imagine you sitting down with a glass of something or other, having an appetizer, and oooohing and aaaaahing over correlative conjunctions. They are “enjoyable” but perhaps not in that way.

Correlative Conjunctions


Read Full Post »

Many of my grammar students are not aware that when it comes to modals, some of the same words have very different uses. Can, for example, is used for ability and also for requests. Could is used for past tense ability, but it is also used for slightly more formal requests. In an effort to increase my students’ awareness of these different uses for the same words, I made an interactive chart. Viewing the chart allows them to see the modals and their many uses. They can then follow their curiosity by clicking on the check marks to see examples (with photos) of how the words are used.

I used this with my class last week. I asked them what modals were and then showed them the chart, pointing out the different uses for the same words. I then asked them what they would like to know more about, and we clicked to our hearts content. I will also connect this to the course management system that I used for the class, so they can use the chart and the examples when they study independently.

The chart (Modals) is a work in progress, so if you have any suggestions I would greatly appreciate them.


Read Full Post »

A few months ago I started a nonlinear PowerPoint presentation on the parts of speech. After a lot of consideration, I decided to stick with the traditional eight parts of speech. I realize that this categorization is not without its disadvantages, but I felt that using the traditional eight would be most efficient for my students. This presentation, however, has turned into a bigger project than I had imagined, and as a result I have decided to post it in small bits. This first post is the one on the noun. It covers count nouns, noncount nouns, infinitives as nouns, and gerunds. The level targets the particular students that I teach. They are at the intermediate level. And here it is…


Read Full Post »

This little presentation allows students to categorize the uses of the simple present tense. It also demonstrates how movement in PowerPoint can be used to allow students to actively categorize. To add movement to PowerPoint, use animation.

Categorize the Uses of the Simple Present Tense

Read Full Post »

This is a  little presentation that I use to quickly review how to change singular count nouns into plural nouns. It covers

        – spelling rules

       – nouns that are always plural

       – irregular plural nouns

You can start this part of the lesson by asking your class what singular and plural mean, what count nouns and noncount nouns are, and what vowels and consonants are. Then ask them, “How do you change a singular count noun into a plural (count) noun?” Cajole them into giving you a more complex answer than, “Add an s” and you’re off.

The fun thing about this particular presentation is that is demonstrates how you can turn an image into the background for a slide. To do this in PowerPoint, go to Design > Background Styles > Format Background > Picture or Text Fill > Insert from — File > (Browse to choose the file.) > Close.

The link to the presentation is Plural Count Nouns

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »