The word “grammar” has a negative connotation for many people. It’s often seen as boring or tedious work. As we discussed in many posts, when you don’t enjoy doing something, it’s really hard to keep doing it consistently. However, it’s important to realize that grammar is only the structure of the language. We do need grammar in all languages, but it doesn’t need to be a burden. If grammar is a big challenge for you, you simply need to change your state of mind towards it. In this post, we will explain how to make grammar and sentence structure much easier to understand.
If you ask the greatest language learners in the world if grammar is necessary, you will likely get a variety of responses. Some language learners simply love grammar. They feel that it makes the language unique. They want to study grammar in depth, because they want to learn exactly how the language works. Their passion for language learning stems from learning these rules. However, many others will say that grammar is not really important to them. These people are more interested in other aspects of the language.
The truth is that both types of people are learning grammar, but the way they learn it is very different. There are basically two main ways of learning grammar. The first is learning from rules and explanations; this is the way most adults learn in a classroom. The second is through lots of exposure to the language; this is the way most of us learn our first language. Children are unaware of why they say things in a certain way. They don’t think about object pronouns or linking ideas with conjunctions and prepositions. They simply copy their parents and learn from hearing phrases in a certain way thousands of times over the course of many years. The problem with learning this way as adults is that we don’t listen to the language for 10 hours a day and we want to learn the language much faster than a baby does. That’s where grammar rules come in.
We believe that it’s best to use a combination of these two methods to learn the most efficiently. The right balance will depend on each person. The only thing you need to keep in mind, is that you should never hate grammar, you should always find it useful. The problem is that grammar rules were invented after languages already existed. Grammar is used to explain how a language works, but sometimes it can get way more complicated than it needs to be. We believe that it’s best to learn the general idea of a grammar rule, but to quickly move on and learn from context with lots of exposure. You can always come back to it when you are more advanced and if you are still having trouble. Knowing the general idea of a grammar rule will save you a lot of time and confusion when you read or hear something that is different from your own language. Once you know the rule, learning from context will be much easier. But there’s really no point in spending all your energy on pages and pages of a single grammar rule and manually learning all the exceptions (unless you love doing so). Everything will eventually make sense to you, even if it sounds confusing at first.
Many beginners make the mistake of trying too hard to understand complex grammar rules. This can prove disastrous, because they are slowly draining their passion and enjoyment for learning the language. Do learn those rules, but don’t spend too much time on them. Get out there in the world, watch movies, listen to music, read books and speak as much as you can. You shouldn’t worry about making mistakes. If you are still having trouble with a certain grammar rule when you are at a much higher level, simply go back to the rule and learn it more in depth. But in most cases, things will sort themselves out as you learn the language. Things will likely make a lot more sense when you have some experience under your belt. The next time you are confused with a grammar rule, just move on. Ask yourself if learning this rule in depth is the most important thing you can do to get closer to your goal. Unless you are quite advanced, or if your goal is passing an exam on this rule, it probably isn’t.
We believe that grammar is essential when learning a language, but that sometimes traditional grammar books and classes can make it more complicated than it needs to be. On the other hand, a lot of programs and apps out there do not teach any grammar and expect you to learn absolutely everything from context. It is best to create a nice balance between these two learning methods. Learn the general idea, then let repetition work its magic.
If you’re interested in learning a new language, we have combined everything we know from years of language acquisition and research to create an awesome program. Give it a try for free at OUINO.com.
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