15 Hacks to Help Kids Learn to Use Subject-Verb Agreement While Speaking

Are you looking for hacks to help kids learn to use subject-verb agreement? If so, keep reading.

1. Boost the learner’s understanding of the problem by recording the learner when speaking with another learner who exhibits appropriate subject-verb agreement. Play the recording for the learner to analyze and see if they can find correct/incorrect subject-verb forms.

2. Create a list of those verbs the learner most commonly uses incorrectly. This list will become the guide for learning activities in subject-verb agreement.

3. Get the learner’s hearing reviewed if it has not been recently reviewed.

4. Make sure the learner knows that sentences express thoughts about a subject and what that subject is or does.

5. Make sure the learner knows the concept of “subject” and “verb” by demonstrating through the use of objects, images, and/or written sentences (depending on the learner’s abilities).

6. Make sure the learner knows the concept of plurality (e.g., have the learner “point to an image of a cat” and “point to an image of cats”).

7. Give the learner correct examples of subject-verb agreement for those combinations they most commonly use incorrectly.

8. Praise the learner for appropriate use of subject-verb agreement: (a) give the learner a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the learner an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

9. Record the learner’s speech and point out errors in subject-verb agreement. With each successive recording, reinforce the learner as their use of grammar improves.

10. Converse with the learner to explain that they are using unacceptable subject-verb agreement and emphasize the importance of speaking in grammatically correct sentences.

11. Utilize a private signal (e.g., touching earlobe, raising index finger, etc.) to remind the learner to use correct subject-verb agreement.

12. On occasions where speaking privately with the learner, repeat their subject-verb error with a rising inflection (e.g., “He done it?”) to assess if the learner recognizes errors and spontaneously makes appropriate corrections.

13. Jot down specific subject-verb errors made by the learner during the day. Provide the written sentences to the learner and have them make appropriate corrections. (At first, mark the errors for the learner to correct. As the learner becomes more proficient with this task, have them find and correct the errors independently.)

14. Consider using a language arts app. Click here to view a list of recommended apps.

15. Consider using a language development app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

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