Author: Deb Bullock | Published on 1 April 2023


Question: My learners keep using incorrect forms. What can I do?

Answer: Use a substitution table to support them when they speak and write. 

Many learners make mistakes with grammar forms, e.g. making questions. Using a substitution table helps them to use these correctly. An example is given below.

1. Create a substitution table

Draw a substitution table on the board. The learners know the vocabulary but make mistakes with the grammar forms, e.g.

Do you




playing football?



watching TV?



Yes, I do.

No, I don't

2. Model the activity

Elicit 1 or 2 questions and answers from the class. 

3. Controlled practice

Learners work in pairs to ask and answer the questions. The teacher monitors. 

4. Freer practice

Tell learners to copy the table but change the activities. Elicit 1 or 2 examples, e.g. riding a bike, bananas, etc. Learners ask and answer new questions in pairs. Monitor.

Learners write 5 sentences. Monitor and check the grammar.

You can use a substitution table to practise other verb forms with all ages and large classes. 

Which grammar will you practise using a substitution table?