Methods of teaching foreign languages are constantly developing, offering more and more new ways to master a language quickly. And it is very common nowadays to see ads, videos, or learning apps that promise quick results without boring grammar exercises. Is it real? Is it possible to learn a language without grammar? In this article, I will tell you why it is important to study grammar and why students do not like it so much.
Too much grammar
The traditional method of teaching foreign languages was built around learning grammar rules and doing grammar exercises, including translation. This approach did not bring results, a student did not start speaking a target language, could not apply theoretical knowledge in real communication, quickly became disappointed and lost interest in the language. This method, which is called the grammar-translation method, has given to grammar a bad reputation. And now students very often ask teachers to minimize, if not completely abandon grammar exercises, keep believing that it is possible to speak a new language without it.
Grammar is the foundation of language
However, grammar is an important part of the language system, which is indispensable.
Grammar helps us:
– to form different forms of one word and understand their differences;
– to form words different in meaning from one, using different language tools;
– to build sentences correctly, choose word forms that express the meaning that we want to convey.
Therefore, grammar deserves not only our attention, but also a serious attitude. It is like a frame that impoverishes meanings and forms. I will give a simple example (relevant for those who study Russian as a foreign language): письмо друга – письмо другу. These two phrases differ only by one letter, but without understanding the grammatical rules behind these forms, it is impossible to understand these phrases or construct similar ones.
Learning a language is a complex task
Learning a new language must be approached comprehensively. It is wrong to work only with grammar or completely ignore grammar rules, focusing on spoken language. Any language is a very complex system, for the study of which you need to work on all its aspects. Grammar is only an auxiliary tool to be used in a certain communicative situation. Therefore, new vocabulary is introduced in close connection with grammatical constructions, allowing you to have a conversation on this topic. In addition, it is pleasant for native speakers of any language to communicate with a person who speaks competently and beautifully – this always causes respect and admiration. Therefore, I recommend you not to be afraid of grammar and not to avoid it, but make it the main assistant in learning foreign languages.