Today I am excited to release a new resource to help address differentiation needs in our students. 2020 has been a very challenging year to say the least, and our students have coped with the changes and challenges in different ways. Unfortunately, this means that the learning gaps that occur naturally are more pronounced this year. The Grammar Patch Enrichment program aims to help “patch” up missed learning for those who need it, and extend others who are ready for more. It is also useful post-assessment as part of the feedback cycle.
The purpose of the grammar patch series
We know that teaching vibrant language lessons in a real context is current best practice. In this method, we teach students how to achieve a task, and the language and grammar they need to do this is embedded into the unit organically. Our programs are task-based and Manten Resources whole-heartedly embraces this direction in Languages education.
This resource is not designed as a lesson plan or programming tool. Instead I envisaged this tool being used in the following ways.
Sometimes when we have students complete a task, we notice that they have gaps in their understanding. They may have achieved the task, for example, of writing a diary about a visit to Japan. They successfully observed features of the text type, correctly used hiragana, katakana and kanji scripts and expressed their ideas in a logically structured manner. Your feedback to them may instead be around a misunderstanding in grammar. They may be consistently making errors in tenses or just not understanding how to inflect verbs into the て form. In this case, you may find this resource useful because you can prescribe to them some additional practice and follow-up on these weaker areas. This is explicit teaching for current misunderstandings. Often teacher comments fall into the trap of vague suggestions such as “You need to work on your tenses.” Or “Take care with the て form.” Unless we give the students explicit practice as part of their learning, feedback and reflection cycle, the opportunity to demonstrate growth and new understanding may be missed.
Just as a tennis coach knows practising volleys is not playing tennis, there is a place for drills when a specific skill needs to be strengthened.
Sarah Pavy’s research indicated that one of the reasons students struggle with motivation in language learning is the lack of obvious progress indicators. From a business perspective, you also hear the phrase “You manage what you measure”. Many students enjoy the sense of progress that comes from moving forward along a known pathway. Unfortunately, sometimes students feel this is hidden in language courses and that the teacher controls the pace, time on task and content of the program. This resource is useful for such students. They can be working on the task-based content of the class program but also work their own way through the grammar patterns that can be applied to the tasks they do in class.
3.Extension tool or catch-up program
In a perfect teaching world, all the students arrive in your class on day 1 of the course, turn up to your class every day and stay until the end of their schooling. The reality of teaching is very different, as we know. We regularly have students join the course midway, transfer from another subject or school, or miss chunks of schooling due to sporting competitions or family vacations. This resource can be used to extend students who have already mastered the content you are teaching or to help others catch-up on missed learning. Some students just love grammar and will find pleasure in working their way through the booklets, treating them like a giant to-do list for Japanese. I was one of these people as a student, and loved working my way through grammar dictionaries and trying out the new structures with my friends.
4.Verb vocabulary extender
Growth mindset research has taught us that students with a fixed mindset tend to play it safe and avoid taking risks in their learning for fear of making a mistake. This often results in students using the same familiar verbs, over and over again in their spoken and written texts.
The grammar patch aims to extend student confidence with a wide range of verbs by focusing on different verbs in each grammar level. There are flashcards with these verbs inflected for students to practice with, allowing them to develop both their knowledge of the structure and the meaning of these new verbs simultaneously. Students with a fixed mindset will feel comfortable though as the list is determined, allowing them to extend their knowledge in what they see as a “safe environment”.
How can I purchase it and what do I get in the package?
There are currently 4 Grammar Patches available for $50 each or $200 for all four sets. You can order these separately although we recommend having the series so you can prescribe as needed. We know teachers like to adjust things to suit their cohort so each resource includes the word document version and the PDF so that you can adjust things if you wish. The lists are supported on Education Perfect so your students can practice digitally as well. We also supply an Excel spreadsheet with the lists though so you can import the lists into your preferred on-line tool such as Quizlet or Quizizz.
Each set includes:
- A student workbook
- Teacher marking guidelines
- 4 quizzes per level and teacher marking guidelines
- Certificates for students who pass several levels
- An Excel spreadsheet with the terms listed and Education Perfect supported lists
The grammar covered in each book currently includes:
- Book 1: Polite form of verbs in all tenses; Polite form of adjectives in all tenses; たい form; inflecting the たい form in all tenses and noticing the correlation to い adjectives
- Book 2: the てform; てください、ています、てもいい、てはだめ、てみます、くて・で
- Book 3:ましょう、Masu base +にいきます（たべにいきます）、ながら、ませんか、たいとおもいます、いちばん + adjectives in relative clause statements, Adjectives + になる・くなる
- Book 4: Plain form of verbs in all tenses; Plain form of adjectives in all tenses; たあとで、たりたり；たことがあります
If you have questions regarding the task or how to implement it, please do not hesitate to contact me via my email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always to place an order just email me directly at email@example.com. This resource is suitable for both Junior and Senior high school students.