I find myself using the internet once again to figure out how to study sixth grade English grammar. Some things are easier than others. Putting together online exercises for the grammar points of Unit 3 of Cornelsen English book:

First Conditional – Explanation in a video plus exercises with answers.

Averb vs. Adjective The point here is to find an exercise where the kids have to know whether it is an Adverb or an Adjective. Interesting here is whether they even know the difference. Did you know that some of what are called adverbs in English are actually adjectives in German? It would really help to clarify this point to the kids who are totally confused at the end of the day. (So, do YOU know your adverbs and adjectives in German??)

Will or Going to – Actually, I don’t get this one at all. There seem to be a bunch of contradicting rules as to what to use. Meanwhile, I have never had any problems with this concept. The rules don’t seem to match gut feeling. This is also supported by evidence when asking native speakers who disagree on which form to use. Why then, I ask, should a sixth grader be bothered about this or be graded on it? Here’s another explanation that seems clear to read. The question here is, can you ruin your perfectly good usage of language by thinking too much about rules?

In the end, what you would need, though, for any of this, is an infinite supply of exercises with answers and an intelligent system that will know automatically when you have grasped the material and you are ready to move on. I have not found this system yet for upper grade materials. Most importantly, you need to think about whether we aren’t missing the drill component (exercise until automation) in schools that we, as older generation, grew up with. Maybe we drilled ourselves to death, but at least we knew our stuff (even if the grades didn’t reflect hat äähem….).

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