Although we are mostly against worksheets in general, having some relevant ESL exercises in the classroom has got some benefits. Teachers use them to encourage students learning and engage their brain with meaningful content.
However English grammer practice worksheets aren't always the most effective way of teaching English according to experienced teachers. There is still some room in the teacher's bag for them. Mostly because the country we teach, measures the knowledge by results written on a piece of paper. Which is actually the worksheet itself. Or we may just need some silence while sipping our tea.
Different worksheets has different goals. First we have to define the purpose of the worksheet:
- 1. Summarize delivered content.
- 2. Practise freshly taught vocabulary.
- 3. Focus the attention on grammar questions.
- 4. Fill the gap between listening to the language and using it in written form.
- 5. Connect previous knowledge with freshly taught material.
- 6. Gap filling activity.
- 7. Extension for early finishers.
- 8. Assess students previous knowledge.
- 9. Assess what they remember or understand about new content.
One thing I don't like about worksheets. Their name! It should be fun-sheet. Worksheets mean you don't even want to look at them and neither your students. It makes a completely different outcome if you call them fun-sheets. Try to focus on having something that kids don't mind doing and not something that you can scare them with. Activities that they do happily would be remembered longer.
You can find here some tested exercises which can both please the parents, give you time to think but more importantly connect the different activities listed on the site. Thus creating an all-inclusive English lesson which only misses you as the teacher.
Even very young children can have worksheets to complete. Don't think about something difficult of course. It is rather a colouring page, picture dictation or match the pictures sheet that could be beneficial for them to complete as it builds a bridge between listening to the language and doing something with it. Hands on is very important in the early stages of language learning.
When children are at the age to start recognizing letters and words you have more possibilities to choose from. As spelling is a big part of teaching ESL, all kind of worksheets come handy to practise. Be careful and vary different types of worksheets otherwise it is going to be boring after a while.