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Why Smart Language Teachers Don’t Care Much About Students’ Grammar

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Why Smart Language Teachers Don’t Care Much About Students’ Grammar

Learning a language – especially a new one – can be daunting to people. Not only are they trying to comprehend how to communicate effectively, they are worried about doing it in the right way as well.

In a certain sense, understanding the grammar that underlies the language can be extremely important, because it makes an individual sound intelligent enough to be using the language, but focusing too much on the grammar aspect while learning can be arduous and disturbing. Grammar is important and teaches one to properly utilize the new language, but individuals learn differently and grammar can be done in moderation as the newer language is shaped in the brain.

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Learning grammar as a side product

I’d argue that while I was younger and learning the English language of course grammar was taught. There were all of those videos that helped me learn it, but it was not all at once that I found out how to effectively use it. I never thought when I was young that I would be writing articles almost every day of my life that require putting together sentences with proper structure and flow that do not butcher the english language.

While I was diving through high school and college and my courses required more and more writing, I had an understanding of grammar. Did I ever take classes that just taught grammar? No. I did the usual course work where it was beaten into our heads how to talk and discuss and write.

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Knowing only grammar won’t get you far

I dabbled in two foreign language classes before; Spanish and Arabic. I did not become a prolific user of both, but as I stepped away from the classes I mainly remember certain words that mean particular things. With Spanish, which I took four years of, I mainly remember verbs and the pronouns (that being said my last Spanish class was over six years ago) but it could be enough to help me walk through the country if I was ever in a rut.

If I were to pick back up the studies I think I could figure out the grammar as I go. There is a unique thought to how to teach grammar from a top-down approach, basically asserting the fact that if you only studied grammar you would be useless without knowing the words to fill in everything else.

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Grammar won’t make you fall in love with a language

My first arabic class I had was strictly vocabulary, and my teacher only spoke in Arabic. It was a unique way of figuring out how to hear the language being used and dissecting what things meant while also learning how to use words (in second grade form) and form broken sentences. From that point on for six weeks in one of my classes I was only allowed to speak in that language for those two or three hour periods.

It was important to learn the basic state of grammar in the language while also focusing on the early words that help people function on a day to basis. Then came the simple expressions like how to order a coffee or beans or find the train station. From there on, the more words I knew the easier it would be to exchange them in the expressions and piece together how the grammar works.

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In multiple studies done in different time spans, over teaching grammar was not seen as the best way to fall in love with a language. Instead, researchers believe that just letting people write is a better option.

As a language teacher, it’s important to focus on grammar, but it’s not essential when it is taught the wrong way or forced too hard upon students. While English has been my language for over two decades, I taught myself more about grammar as I started finding it more useful in my day to day life.

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Language is only going to become more and more easy to use as time goes on, especially as my intelligence (hopefully) raises along with my knowledge of what words mean and how to use them to make an argument such as this. After writing this, I think I want to re-download that Duo Lingo app and work with Spanish again to see how much grammar is taught there. From what I remember it was a great combination of vocabulary and expressions that helped start formulating the rest of the content to become fluid, we will see.

Featured photo credit: sebastiansantanam8qnfs via cdn.morguefile.com

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Last Updated on January 5, 2022

How to Help Your Child to Get Better Grades

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How to Help Your Child to Get Better Grades

Children are most likely to say that they want to just lounge around or rest for a while after spending hours listening to lecture after lecture from their teachers. There is nothing wrong with this if they had a rough day.

What’s disturbing, is if they deliberately stay away from schoolwork or procrastinate when it comes to reviewing for their tests or completing an important science project.

When it seems that it is becoming a habit for your child to put off school work, it’s time for you to step in and help your child develop good study habits to get better grades. It is important for you to emphasize to your child the importance of setting priorities early in life. Don’t wait for them to flunk their tests, or worse, fail in their subjects before you talk to them about it.

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You can help your children hurdle their tests with these 7 tips:

1. Help them set targets

Ask your child what they want to achieve for that particular school year. Tell them to set a specific goal or target. If they say, “I want to get better grades,” tell them to be more specific. It will be better if they say they want to get a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Having a definite target will make it easier for them to undertake a series of actions to achieve their goals, instead of just “shooting for the moon.”

2. Preparation is key

At the start of the school year, teachers provide an outline of a subject’s scope along with a reading list and other course requirements. Make sure that your child has all the materials they need for these course requirements. Having these materials on hand will make sure that your child will have no reason to procrastinate and give them the opportunity to study in advance.

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3. Teach them to mark important dates

You may opt to give them a small notebook where they can jot down important dates or a planner that has dates where they can list their schedule. Ask them to show this to you so you can give them “gentle reminders” to block off the whole week before the dates of an exam. During this week, advise your child to not schedule any social activity so they can concentrate on studying.

4. Schedule regular study time

Encourage your child to set aside at least two hours every day to go through their lessons. This will help them remember the lectures for the day and understand the concepts they were taught. They should be encouraged to spend more time on subjects or concepts that they do not understand.

5. Get help

Some kids find it hard to digest or absorb mathematical or scientific concepts. Ask your child if they are having difficulties with their subjects and if they would like to seek the help of a tutor. There is nothing wrong in asking for the assistance of a tutor who can explain complex subjects.

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6. Schedule some “downtime”

Your child needs to relax from time to time. During his break, you can consider bringing your child to the nearest mall or grocery store and get them a treat. You may play board games with them during their downtime. The idea is to take his mind off studying for a limited period of time.

7. Reward your child

If your child achieves their goals for the school year, you may give them a reward such as buying them the gadget they have always wanted or allowing them to vacation wherever they want. By doing this, you are telling your child that hard work does pay off.

Conclusion

You need to take the time to monitor your child’s performance in school. Your guidance is essential to helping your child realize the need to prioritize their school activities. As a parent, your ultimate goal is to expose your child to habits that will lay down the groundwork for their future success.

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Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

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