EFA GRAMMAR CURRICULUM
Prepared by Rachel Page and Mike Tosta, Summer 2005.
Updated by Jesse Strecker, Summer 2009.
Activities and ideas have been drawn from the following sources: the EFA 2002 Grammar Curriculum; documented EFA lesson plans from 2001 – 2005; and an assortment of textbooks that live in the English for Action office. This is a work in progress. It is up to YOU to add your ideas! You can do so by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grammar topics covered in this curriculum:
Verb “to be,” present tense with subject pronouns – p. 4
“To be” with yes/no questions and answers – p. 5
Adjectives – p. 6
Nouns: singular and plural – p. 7
Prepositions of place and movement – p. 8
Verb “to have” present tense – p. 10
Verbs: simple present (conjugation, use, negative statements, frequency adverbs) – p. 11
Asking questions (Who, what, when, where, why, “do”) – p. 13
The Simple Past of ‘To Be’: Was vs. Were – p. 16
Negative Form with Past Tense – p. 17
Would Like – p. 18
Verbs ‘To Go’ and ‘To Do’ – p. 19
Can / Can’t – p. 20
Present Progressive – p. 21
This, that, these, those – p. 23
Possessive Case and Adjectives – p. 24
Object pronouns – p. 26
Possessive Pronouns – p. 26
There Is / There Are – p. 23
Countable and Non-Countable Nouns – p. 31
How much/how many? – p. 32
Superlatives and Comparisons with Adjectives – p. 33
More Than, Less Than – p. 35
Used to (Imperfect Past) – p. 36
Present Perfect – p. 37
Past Progressive – p. 38
Reflexive Pronouns – p. 39
Simple Modals – p. 40
Present Perfect Progressive – p. 43
Verbs + Gerunds / Infinitives – p. 45
Future with ‘Going to’ – p. 47
Simple Future with ‘Will’ – p. 48
Future Continuous – p. 49
Very, Too, Enough – p. 50
Coordinating and Correlative Conjunctions – p. 51
Passive Voice – p. 52
The Conditional Tenses – p. 53
- For commands, see the ‘Prepositions of Place and Movement’ section, p. 8.
- For requests, see the ‘Simple Modals’ section, p. 40.
From here on, I suppose we should just explain what these structures mean, and at what level learners should grasp them.
Embedded statements and questions
Verb “to be” (Beginner Level Only)
Uses of TO BE:
Nationality (Mexican, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Guatemalan, American, Chinese)
Description (tall, short, beautiful, pretty, ugly, big, small, young, old, friendly, nice, mean, smart, intelligent, stupid; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, white, black, pink, gray)
Feelings or states (good, okay, happy, sad, tired, sleepy, angry, excited, nervous, scared, calm, tranquil, worried, sick, busy, bored)
Location (at home, at work, in Providence, in the car, on Manton Avenue)
Identity (teacher, farmer, doctor, waiter, singer, student, man, woman, teenager, child, baby)
Getting to know each other:
Where are we from?
- What is it like there?
Where are we now?
- What is it like there?
What are we like?
Finding locations on a map
- Remember that you don’t have to use the Spanish equivalent of it whenever you construct a sentence where everyone involved knows the subject.
Basic personal information:
Facilitator models: I am Rachel. I am a student. I am a woman. I am tired. I am in Providence. I am American.
Go around the classroom and encourage students to describe themselves.
Ser/Estar ’To Be’
Have learners generate sentences in Spanish using ser/estar and translate into English.
Learning Each Other’s Names, Nationalities and Experiences
Materials: world map, blank labels, colored pencils, index cards, drawing paper
Have learners create name stickers in pairs, with one person dictating to the other how their name is spelled (Useful to practice spelling).
Each learner comes up and places their name on the world map.
Facilitator asks, “Where are you from?” Learner answers, “I am from (country). I am (nationality).” Class repeats, “She is from (country). She is (nationality).”
Draw pictures about where we’re from and whatever is important to us about our homes (a special place we like, our houses, the flag, the national flower, etc.). Put them on the wall and share.
Have learners look in a newspaper/magazine to find names of at least five people from different countries. Describe where they are from and their nationalities,
Vincente Fox is from Mexico. He is Mexican.
Ball Toss Intros:
Toss a ball around in a circle – the person who starts with the ball asks a question and tosses the ball to someone else.
The recipient must answer and then ask a question before tossing the ball to the next person.
Possible pairs of questions and answers: Where are you from? / I am from…, How are you? / I am…, Where are you? / I am…
Verb ‘To Be’ with yes/no questions
To ask a question, put the appropriate form of the verb ‘To Be’ in front of the subject:
Are you okay? Are they Mexican? Is he from Providence?
To answer a question positively, we usually give a short answer with or without a contraction:
Yes, I am (okay). Yes, they are (Mexican). Yes, he’s (from Providence).
To answer a question negatively, we add not after the form of the verb ‘To Be’ and often use a contraction:
No, I’m not. No, they aren’t or No, they’re not. No, he isn’t or No, he’s not.
Worksheet: Drill the process of answering yes/no questions --
Are you tired? _________. Are you excited? __________. Are you nervous?________.
Worksheet: Make yes/no questions to practice their structure –
Marco is a mechanic. Is Marco a mechanic? Is he a mechanic?
Sara is a teacher. ___________________.
Sandra is Guatemalan. __________________.
Use a form and ask them to fill it out (e.g. with their name, nationality, class level) – practice answering in the affirmative first.
Using the form as a reference, have learners ask each other yes/no questions about one another:
Are you Guatemalan? Yes, I am. Are you a beginning student? Yes, I am. Are you from Guatemala? Yes, I am.
Once people have gotten to know these facts about one another, move on to is he/she?:
Is José from Guatemala? Is he Guatemalan? Is he a student?
Mix up the forms so that each person has someone else’s information.
Role play as above: Are you Guatemalan? No, I’m not.
Have learners ask and answer yes/no questions using IT
Is it yellow? Is it big? Is it expensive?
Introduce no more than five vocabulary words a day, or ten a week
Possible adjective categories: states of being, physical characteristics (people)