Grammar (Syntax and Morphology)

Syntax is about how words are sequenced to convey meaning. This meaning can be changed by rearranging the same words in a different order ('I can run fast' can be changed to 'Can I run fast?').

Morphology refers to the grammar of words and how they are formed. A morpheme represents the smallest unit of meaning in a word. Some pupils with speech and language impairment have difficulties with using bound morphemes such as -ed, -ing- and -es at the ends of words.

Children with difficulties in this area may:

+ Use immature sentence construction (words may be in the wrong order, or missing).
+ Have difficulty using pronouns correctly.
+ Have difficulty using connectives and articles in both speech and writing
+ Use word endings (-ed, -ing) incorrectly
+ Have difficulty with understanding when to use conjunctions and prepositions
+ Often muddle verb tenses
+ Have kinaesthetic strengths and learn better through using concrete materials and practical experiences.
+ Have visual strengths and enjoy learning through using visual materials (charts, maps, DVDs, demonstrations).

Activities to develop grammar (syntax and morphology) skills:

Tell Me - describe objects/pictures orally for others to guess; must give sentence clues (it is black, it is made of wood etc.)

Sentence Completion - Orally complete open-ended sentences ('the dog ran to...')

Sort a Sentence - Reorganise given words into sentences.

Speech Bubbles - Write sentences for characters in a comic strip story, card or poster.

Reorganise Sentences - Devise a number of three-part sentences on cards (subject, verb and object) and place the separate parts face up on the table. ask pupils to work in pairs to select three parts that they can put together in the correct order, to make a sensible sentence. See how many sentences they can make.

Cloze - a) choice of nouns ('A bus/boy/boat was playing football.') b) open-ended (using spaces for verbs, adjectives, adverbs or topic/subject words).

Now and Then (verb tenses) - Match sentences to the past or present, link to the current topic/subject.

Did You Know? - Research then write interesting/amazing information or facts in clear sentences; these can relate to topic/subject areas.

Who Did That? - Match sentences (noun to pronoun) for example, 'The boy ran on the pavement. (He) went into the toy shop'.

Word Change - Change an over-used word in a passage (such as big or said); use a simple word bank or thesaurus.