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There is no denying the fact that learning grammar is the most challenging part of learning a foreign language. However, as much as it is challenging, it is essential. It stands to reason that there is a multitude of academic approaches and different ways of learning grammar. In any case the staples of learning grammar are self-motivation and practice. New knowledge does not come easily, but there is no need to get discouraged. If taken step by step, learning grammar will be not only rewarding but also fun.

Starting with the Basics

The general rule for learning grammar is starting with the basics. In order to alleviate the stress that might build up while concentrating on a certain grammatical rule for a long time and struggling with understanding and memorizing it, it might be helpful to change the focus for a while and shift attention to a totally different grammatical category. For instance, if a foreign language learner is overwhelmed by the Usage of Tenses, s/he should give him or herself a little break and switch to a topic not so challenging as, for instance, The Plural of Nouns.

Effective Methods of Learning

It is common knowledge that there are major ways of foreign language learning: auditory, kinesthetic and visual. However, none of them is universal. Indeed, each foreign language learner should choose the one method of learning that works best for him/ her. For instance, if visual memory plays a crucial part in memorizing, learning grammar would be most efficient if rules are presented in the form of tables and diagrams. Another visual approach to learning grammar that has proven its efficiency is brain mapping. Mind maps are very helpful as they show relationships between various categories and help avoid confusion. Speed-reading is another helpful technique in learning grammar. The essence of it lies in the fact that the learner is encouraged to skim the theory on a certain grammar rule, retaining in his memory the most important facts such as, for instance, formation and major cases of usage. This approach makes the basics of the grammatical rules fully entrenched in the memory. The learner can then move to reading more thoroughly and attentively, noting every detail. The ultimate stage of learning grammar is practice; and the last but not least is revision.

Mention must be made of the fact that while learning grammatical categories, it could be extremely helpful for the foreign language learner to draw associations with the mother tongue. It is almost always the case that similar grammatical rules under scrutiny also exist in the learner’s native language; and adequate comparison is sure to help the learner to better understand the meaning of the rule in question.