Grammar Chants to Learn English

Teacher in front of classroom
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The use of grammar chants to learn English are useful for learners of all ages. Chants can be used to learn vocabulary and grammar and are a lot of fun to use in classes. They are especially effective when used to help students learn problematic forms. These chants are also known as "jazz chants" and there are a number of great "jazz chants" books available by Carolyn Graham who has done a great job of introducing her jazz chants to English learners.

The chants on the site cover a wide range of simple grammar and vocabulary subjects for lower level English learners. 

English learning chants use repetition to engage the right side of the brain's 'musical' intelligence. The use of multiple intelligences can go a long way to helping students speak English 'automatically'. Here are a number of chants for some of the most common beginning level problem areas. Many of these chants are simple. However, remember that through the use of repetition and having fun together (be as crazy as you like) students will improve their 'automatic' use of the language.

Using a chant is pretty straight-forward. The teacher (or leader) stands up in front of the class and 'chants' the lines. It's important to be as rhythmical as possible because these rhythms help the brain during the learning process.

The main idea is to break up a learning objective into small, bite-sized pieces.

For example, to practice questions forms you can start with a question word, then on to the simple beginning of a question with the question word, auxiliary verb, followed by the main verb. In this way, students learn to group "chunks" of language that often come together. In this case, the pattern of auxiliary verb + subject + main verb i.e. do you do, did you go, has she done, etc. 

Example of the beginning of a chant

What

What do you do?

What do you do in the afternoon?

When 

When do you go...

When do you go to visit your mom? 

and so on...

Using this form of a chant could also work well for strong collocations such as 'make' and 'do'. Start with the subject, then 'make' or 'do' and then the collocating noun.

Example of 'make' and 'do' chant

She 

She makes 

She makes the bed.

We 

We do

We do our homework.

etc. 

Be creative, and you'll find your students having fun while learning important English basics.