Are you tired of learning Spanish grammar with boring exercises? Do you find filling-in-the-gap exercises tedious? Stop learning on your own and learn grammar with me!
Is grammar important when I’m learning Spanish?
Many a time my students have asked me the following question: Do we have to learn grammar in order to speak a language?
When you learn a foreign language, grammar is often a complicated matter. You can’t face memorizing all those verb forms and you ask yourself why on earth there are four past tenses in Spanish! Do I really have to learn them all?!
It seems so complicated to have to learn how to use each of the verbs and their tenses. Do the Spaniards really use the subjunctive? And boy is it confusing trying to understand all the different ways of expressing the past in Spanish!
Is this you perhaps?
Are you tired of doing boring grammar exercises?
Most students can’t face having to learn grammar because they either find it difficult or boring. If this is the case with you, then I have some solutions for you! Here’s how you can have fun learning Spanish grammar.
The grammatical structures in Spanish are often different than in English, and literal translations often just don’t work. For example, in English we only have one verb that means to be, but in Spanish there are two: ser and estar, and so you’ll have to understand the differences between them and when you use each of them.
What’s the solution?
You’ll have to understand Spanish grammar well in order to use it correctly. It isn’t enough just to do exercises filling in the gaps. You have to understand the mechanisms of how to use certain grammatical structures. A trained and experienced teacher can help you understand this step by step.
For some students it’s obvious that grammar should be part of the curriculum of any language. There are even students who want to do lots and lots of grammar exercises, even though they may seem repetitive and boring.
On the other hand, there are other students who get bored with exercises where you have to fill in the gaps, or where they have to write out the grammatical structures time after time.
Do I have to learn Spanish grammar in order to speak and write?
There aren’t many teachers who completely ignore grammar in their classes. However, even those who try to teach Spanish without grammatical explanations, still have to give some details about the grammar that students will need to memorize in order to communicate in Spanish.
Learning certain grammar structures and knowing when to use them will help to create a mental map in your head. This will make your use of the language more productive and you’ll be able to adapt to many different communicative situations.
What’s the perfect way of learning grammar without getting bored or discouraged?
Taking into account most of the Spanish teaching methods that are currently used, and based on my own experience as a teacher, what works best is to learn grammar in three different phases:
- First phase: The student, through examples (oral and written), must understand the structure and deduce its use (inductive grammar).
- Second phase: The student practices the form. (If you want, you can include more traditional exercises to learn the grammar).
- Third phase: It is essential to apply the grammar to real-life situations, and give life to the grammar. In this phase the student, through oral or written expression, has to use the grammatical structure he has learned and use it to communicate.
Although other intermediate phases can be added to these three phases, the fact is that you can summarize the learning of Spanish grammar using these three steps: First, understand the structure; second, memorize it and, thirdly, practice it.
Some advice to learn Spanish grammar more quickly and in a fun way
Choose a communiative method
Currently, most of the ELE teachers I know use the communicative method because it allows the student to apply the grammar in a practical way without having to use books. This method helps him to communicate in Spanish on a daily basis, in normal real-life situations.
I am convinced that learning grammar structures in isolation, without actually using them, and without having any communicative purpose, is boring and pretty much useless!
If you just memorize a grammatical structure, some verbs or a list of vocabulary without applying them, then, believe me, you’ll quickly forget what you have learned.
Using and expressing the grammar you learn is essential when trying to learn a new language. So, my advice to you is to write and speak non-stop, and to take advantage of each and every situation in order to put into practice the Spanish grammar you have learnt!
Do exercises that apply the inductive method
In traditional language teaching, what the teacher normally did was to introduce a grammatical structure or a verb at the beginning of the class, and then the students would practice using them by means of exercises.
These days, the communicative method uses a very different strategy to teach grammar: the student is the one who works out the grammar rules using different language examples.
With this inductive way of teaching and learning grammar, the student is the one who has to make an effort to work out the logic of the grammatical structure, and this allows him to memorize how to use it a lot better.
Having a teacher
If you find it boring practicing all those tedious exercises you find online on your own, then look for an online teacher who you’ll be able to learn Spanish grammar with in a fun and entertaining way. If there’s someone there for you to guide you, then it’s always easier to learn!
A teacher will help you to set up a plan, as you’ll need to create a list of all the topics that you should know, depending on your level. This is very important in order for you to be able to learn in an orderly, coherent and progressive fashion.
Get in touch with me for a free trial class and discover how to learn grammar in a fun and entertaining way!