3 Reasons We Can’t Learn Languages Without Grammar
2019-05-23 Elizaveta Pachina Alumni Experiences
Admittedly, learning grammar may not be the most appealing part when learning a new language. It usually connects with conjugations, tenses and in some languages, the position of the verbs, for example, German. Grammar itself can cause a huge problem for both the teacher and students to carry out the language class smoothly. People might argue that unconscious imitation is the best approach to learning a language since it is the most natural way. I would like to say this is the idealist method. Truth speaking, not many students are able to enjoy the bilingual or even multi-lingual background. Moreover, even with the mother tongue, people will encounter grammar courses in school. This essay focuses on the necessities and importance of learning grammar when acquiring a new language and aims to arouse students’ motivation in learning it.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Xuan T. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
The Rule of a Language
As the course book argues, if we compared the process of grammar learning to that of playing a game, then grammar functions as the synonym of the rules of the game. If we would like to achieve a decent result at the end of a game, fully understanding the rules is the top priority. So it is with grammar learning. Learning grammar well can not only help people comprehend others’ meanings, but it also conveys the speaker’s message in a clear way as well. Learning grammar ensures efficient communication. Also, learning grammar generates flexibility of the way of speaking a new language. That is to say, grammar enriches people’s choices in choosing the sentence structures. After all, the ability to speak accurately is important criteria in accessing the level of language.
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The Representation of Culture
Each language has its own rule, and each grammar of different languages represents the culture. Considering the originality and formation of grammar, we can see that no grammar comes out of the fantasy of some certain linguists. It is a highly condensed summary of the culture of the country. In fact, if we could learn the grammar well, it also provides us a key to access to the culture of the country, for example, Chinese tend to say” I and you”, instead of “you and me” as a subject, because putting the “I” first is the way of showing politeness and respect, which is quite different from English. Thus, next time when you are going to watch a gala with your Chinese friends, making sure to wait until the last program for it is normally the best part of the show. In fact, more than a communication tool, grammar influences people’s way of thinking in a subtle way. Learning grammar well is a way of establishing the logical thinking of the local people, thus it facilitates the learning process of language learners.
A Sense of Satisfaction
It is not a secret that grammar learning can be tedious and sometimes difficult. Thus, it provides a great sense of satisfaction if students realize how much they have achieved. Compared to listening or speaking, it is easier to witness the progress of grammar learning. Also, grammar lays a solid foundation for text writing and spoken English. What’s more, grammar learning also functions well in terms of reading, for example, we may not know the noun in a relative clause, however, with the assistance of grammar, we know that the subordinate clause explains the noun. In this way, we could have a reasonable guess what the noun means. This skill works well especially in the tests and academic materials.
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There is no denying that grammar learning is not as stimulating as acquiring other skills. Knowing it well would be a great booster in language learning for it provides accuracy, confidence and culture representation. Teachers should try their best to reduce the potential worries and anxieties of learning grammar. Knowing the importance of learning grammar does not mean that the teacher is entitled to correct grammar mistakes whenever it occurs. The importance varies in different stages. As the course book suggested, accuracy is of great significance in the study phase, however, fluency comes first in the activate stage. Thus, feedback is really necessary. To ensure the accuracy and confidence of the students, the teachers need to be delicate and be patient. Multiple approaches, like games and exercises or pair co-work, are highly recommended for grammar learning.
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