How to Improve Your Grammar

On this page: About Grammar; Steps for Studying Grammar; Tips for Checking Grammar; Materials

Related pages: Grammar.

About Grammar

There are so many areas to study grammar: tenses, subject-verb agreement, prepositions, etc. You need to select one or two grammatical structures to start.

Steps for Studying Grammar

  1. Test your grammar through the Oxford Grammar Test. Ask a CILL teacher for a copy of the test.
  2. Ask the CILL teacher if you cannot analyse the test by yourself.
  3. Having identified a difficult area of grammar select one of the materials listed on the back page.
  4. Firstly, read and understand the rules for the grammatical structure. Make a brief note of the rules in your diary.
  5. Next, complete one of the exercises. Refer to the rules while doing this and leave out any questions that you cannot answer.
  6. Check your answers in the Answer Key at the back of the book or in the Teacher’s Book. Refer to the rules for any incorrect answers. Try to work out why your answer is wrong. If you don’t understand, check with a teacher.
  7. Select a different type of exercise to practise the same grammatical Structure. Always refer back to the rules while working through the exercise.
  8. Write down any sentences that clearly demonstrate the use of the grammatical structure.
  9. Having gained an understanding of how the grammatical structure is used, refer to a reading text (book, magazine, newspaper) to find examples of the structure in a real piece of writing.
  10. Revise the grammatical structure frequently for 1-2 weeks. Try to use it in a piece of writing and ask the CILL teacher for comments.

Tips for Checking Grammar

Always be aware of your weaknesses in grammar. You cannot improve unless you know where the problem lies.

Try to proof-read every piece of writing to check for grammatical errors.

If you are confused by a particular grammatical rule, ask a CILL teacher for help.


Books (on the Grammar shelf)

Explanation of rules + exercises:

  • Essential Grammar in Use (EI) (I)
  • Longman English Grammar Practice (I)

Explanation of rules + examples:

  • An A-Z of English Grammar (I)
  • Practical English Usage (I)

Photocopiable Grammar Worksheets:

  • Elementary Grammar Worksheets (E)
  • Intermediate Grammar Worksheets (I)
  • Advanced Grammar Worksheets (UI)

Proof-reading & Editing:

  • Focus on Editing (UI)

Specific areas of Grammar:

  • Cobuilds Guide to: articles, determiners, prepositions, linking words


Last updated on: Monday, March 26, 2012