Top 10 Tips to Pick Up a New Language – #1 – GRAMMAR

By Manu Venditti | All Levels

Aug 24

 

This is the first lesson of a series called “Top 10 Tips to Pick Up a New Language”!

Today we look at whether you should be focusing on GRAMMAR, when learning a new language.

The answer is YES.

Grammar is a very important component of a language.

In an oversimplification, we can say that languages are made up of 3 things:

  • the WORDS (vocabulary)
  • The SOUNDS (pronunciation)
  • The ELEMENTS THAT GIVE MEANING (grammar: verbs, syntax, etc)

GRAMMAR should the the beginning of your language learning journey. Not your ultimate goal. 


The best way to do this is to spend the first two or three months really understanding and learning the grammar of the new language.
Pick up a good grammar book and study it from cover to cover.

Then move on to learning how to express yourself in and how to understand the language that you are studying.

Of course, you will go back to your grammar book a lot to check things and perhaps learn more advanced things, but overall you want to be done with grammar at a very early stage.


So, should you be learning the grammar of the foreign language IN THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE? 

Answer: ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

When you start learning a language you, obviously, don’t know much about it and struggle a lot to just even hear the words that you do know!
Why subject yourself to the excruciating pain of not only not understanding the words they are saying, but also, at the very same time, try to grasp difficult grammatical points?

Well, you shouldn’t. It’s pointless and kind of a waste of your time!

 


YOU SHOULD ALWAYS LEARN THE GRAMMAR OF A FOREIGN LANGUAGE IN YOUR OWN NATIVE TONGUE


But don’t children learn a language by simple IMMERSION?

They do. But only because they have no better option!

When babies start learning their mother tongue, they don’t have any knowledge of any language, nor do they know about social interactions or culture. They have no references and no context for pretty much anything. So yes, they have to just hear and imitate to pick up a language.

And after around 10 years they start being somehow eloquent and articulate.

Do you have that kind of time to get good at your foreign language?
Didn’t think so…!


THE TAKEAWAY
1. FOCUS ON GRAMMAR FOR THE FIRST TWO – THREE MONTHS
2. THEN START FOCUSING ON COMMUNICATION SKILLS
3. ALWAYS LEARN THE GRAMMAR IN YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE
4. THE “IMMERSION METHOD” IS A MARKETING PLOY AND IT WILL JUST WASTE YOUR TIME!

Looking for a Structured, Ongoing program to Learn Italian? Check out 'From Zero to Italian' then!

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