Woo hoo, welcome to part 2 of our Grammar ♥︎ Season here on Fluent. Previously, I gave you 3 ways to create a simple language learning routine without getting bored about grammar.
Today, let's turn our attention to the tools of the trade. Grammar can be learnt in so many different ways, and there are MILLIONS of tools out there. Some people love the pull out section in their dictionary (I'm so 90s). Others love automated study with tools like the rather excellent Reverso Conjugator.
What Makes A Grammar Resource Useful?
No matter what it is that you're going to use, your grammar resource should always fulfil the following key criteria.
Good Grammar Resources are:
- Easy to Use
- Easy to Access
- Focused on one specific purpose (like "explaining" or "memorizing")
- Designed to Be Used Instantly
I think the image of a grammar table as this horrific torture device that students must learn to recite by heart is DONE. In a modern, self-taught and independent study routine, grammar becomes your door to speaking to people.
The purpose is a particularly relevant point for me. Sometimes you'll just want to look up an ending, other times you need context and answers. Not everyone enjoys the idea that having a grammar book on the shelf can come in handy, so the trick is really to treat these like an ace that you have up your sleeve. I don't ever read up on things in grammar books at the start of a lesson, but man am I ever glad that they're around when I get stuck.
For Example, Here's How Duolingo Can Be Your Grammar Question Map
Imagine you're working on your target language by building up skill trees on Duolingo. Duolingo is a funny little language learning system. Millions of language learners are using it every day, filling in gaps, learning sentence structures, and listening to that computer voice.
Maybe you know that I have voiced criticisms of Duolingo before, but one thing I do like is the way it builds sentences using a technique of patterns is useful. The app doesn't explain a lot of stuff, though the website has improved a lot in that respect.
Think of the structures Duolingo generates as a signpost pointing you at exactly what it is that you can study.
Every time you ask yourself why your app did a thing, it's time to dive in and investigate. This may be odd at first because it puts the responsibility of learning on you, but it is guaranteed to give you the best high-speed learning journey.
So the question here is not "is Duolingo perfect and useful?", but "where can I look up the answer to this question?"
Come and Join Our Webinar
As I mentioned above, I'm teaming up with Shannon from Eurolinguiste to give you a complete guide to finding the right grammar resources so you can
- learn faster
- start speaking earlier, and
- avoid being tripped up by big gaps after an initial sprint.
To sign up, simply let me know your email address on my special Grammar ♥︎ Season page, and I'll reserve a spot for you right away.