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How to Teach Subject Pronouns to ESL Students (With Examples)

Teaching subject pronouns is a fundamental aspect of language instruction, serving as the building blocks for effective communication. Subject pronouns replace nouns and allow for more fluid and concise expression in sentences. Mastering these pronouns is essential for learners to navigate the complexities of grammar and convey information accurately. In this instructional journey, we will explore engaging methodologies and activities to facilitate a comprehensive understanding of subject pronouns, empowering students to communicate with confidence and precision in their language acquisition journey. In this resource, we will review how to teach subject pronouns so you can help your English students learn more effectively.

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Start By Using What Your Students Already Know

Before you start introducing pronouns, talk to your students about what they already know. To measure what they understand, you can ask your students to give examples of nouns and verbs. Pronouns should only be introduced after your students can grasp the idea of the verb “to be” and other simple sentences have been learned.

Subject Pronoun Exercise

Once they can demonstrate their understanding of the verb “to be”, you can use an exercise like this one:

1) Write a few simple sentences on the board or on a piece of paper for your student(s), making sure to use names or objects, like this:

Bob is a scientist.
Michelle loves chocolate.
Bill and Peter are students.
The mountains are beautiful.
Peter likes to run.
The strawberries are ripe.

2) Next, write down the same sentences above but replace the proper names and objects with singular and plural subjects:

He is a scientist.
She loves chocolate.
They are students.
They are beautiful.
He likes to run.
They are ripe.

  • Ask your students to point out which words were replaced.
  • Explain that pronouns replace proper nouns like “Bob” and nouns like “the mountains”

3) Finally, write down more examples like the above. You can try examples going both ways:

  • Write sentences like #1 above with names or objects, and ask your students to replace proper names and objects with singular and plural subjects
  • Write sentences like #2 above with singular and plural subjects, and ask your students to replace them with proper names and objects.

After going through this exercise above, your students should be able to produce subject pronouns easily and without thinking too much.

Final Thoughts on How to Teach Subject Pronouns

We hope this resource was useful for you to effectively teach subject pronouns to your students. For your students, learning subject pronouns is an essential beginner level lesson on their road to becoming fluent in English. For English teachers, simplifying lesson plans such as the above subject pronouns exercise will greatly help your students learn quickly and effectively.

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John Bart
Author: John Bart

I am the co-owner of englishlearningbypro.com, a community built specifically for English teachers around the world trying to make a living teaching English. I have lived in Brazil for four years and had previously taught private English classes for three years. I am passionate about helping others, and making English teaching and learning easier.

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