Learning GrammarBeing a language student myself, I know how hard and frustrating learning the grammar of a foreign language can be. I have mastered the spanish
language and have now started learning Korean for my future teaching job. I did not learn these languages overnight. It took lots of practice, patience, and diligence. During my learning adventure I realized three important things that helped me to learn the grammar of these foreign languages. First I learned that learning grammar should be simple. Lots of resources make grammar hard, when in reality, learning grammar is easy. For me, I related the spanish grammar system to my native language english’s grammar system. When I saw those similarities, it gave me confidence and helped me to master the grammar faster. Second, learning grammar should be constantly built on. Systematically, you start with the present tense, and then you build on that by going to present progressive, and etc. You start with the easiest and move to the hardest, all the while using the vocabulary you have been learning to form sentences because thirdly, learned grammar should be used constantly. The only way you get better is by practice. The more you practice the faster you will understand the language and be able to produce the language. It has been said that while learning the vocabulary or grammar of a foreign language, you should use that skill at least 10 times in context for it to be committed to memory. Ten times is a lot, especially if you don’t want to practice. I remember being terrified of speaking spanish to anyone, even my friends. Then I finally realized that in order for me to learn this grammar I have to use it. Sure I am going to mess up, what’s the worst that will happen, they’ll laugh. So what. Is that going to kill me? No, so at least I can try using it with my friends because I know that they will be the nicest. So I started using it with them. I was messing up left and right, but every time they would correct me and tell my why. Then after I heard those explanations several times, the rules finally stuck into my head. Now I translate at hospitals for volunteer hours and I speak to my student’s parents in spanish because most of them don’t speak english very well.
Currently I am an ESL teacher. I have taken everything that I have learned as a foreign language student and have applied
it to the curriculum I teach my children
. I make sure that they have a safe learning environment so they can practice and make mistakes without being scared. I teach small simple mini lessons throughout the day, each one building on the other. So that by the end of the day they have learned the grammar that was intended for that day, and they have had ample time to practice it with their peers. Learning grammar is the cornerstone of any language. Without the grammar you can’t form sentences. So I will continue to encourage my students to use the grammar learned and also to never stop practicing.