GrammarCamp makes learning English grammar fun
English is a tricky language, full of complex rules and contradictions, and learning English grammar can seem overwhelming. Despite this, English is a global language used by politicians, business leaders, and entertainers worldwide. With the growing importance of English has come an increase in the number of people wanting to learn the language, many of whom struggle with English grammar.
Learning any language involves four main aspects: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Some of these things are easy to practice on your own, but others require at least one other person for the practice to be useful. The following are some easy ways to improve your English grammar skills and increase your confidence.
You may find that working on your reading skills is the easiest way to begin learning English grammar. Newspapers, novels, and the Internet provide endless sources of material written in English, and reading practice can be done practically anywhere. Reading provides learners with a great starting point from which to build a working vocabulary and become familiar with the structure of English grammar. If you are not a native English speaker, be sure to have a bilingual dictionary handy to help in your reading practice. This resource will be invaluable.
Many web sites suggest that you begin with reading newspapers and other similar material. The drawback to this is that the text is often filled with difficult words that may cause frustration. Instead, try starting with children’s books that feature repetition of ideas, words, and phrases.
As you progress and encounter new words, try to use context clues—the words or sentences surrounding the unknown word—to determine what meaning would make most sense. Then use your dictionary to confirm your translation of those words. Keep notes to help you remember words and phrases.
Listening to native English speakers is another way to build your vocabulary and help you learn English grammar. English TV shows and movies can expose you to the cadence, pitch, and pronunciation of native speakers. Watch videos or DVDs over and over. The first time, simply try to determine the overall ideas. Then, work on picking up details and noting any new vocabulary words. Something else that can help when you’re learning English grammar, in addition to listening to recorded material, is to meet with and listen to native speakers in person. Find a regular conversation partner with whom you can practice on a weekly or biweekly basis.
One of the best ways to learn proper English grammar is to converse with other English speakers. If possible, take a class that allows you to interact with others who are either learning English or are native speakers. Conversations with others will allow you to practice both your speaking and listening skills, substantially improving your fluency. In addition to speaking with others, learn to think in English rather than translating from your native language. This skill will increase the speed of your responses and will allow you to fully immerse yourself in conversation. You may also find it helpful to record yourself speaking in English.
Finally, writing practice will help you improve your English grammar skills. In the beginning, you may find writing to be tedious and challenging, but being able to look back on your written text is invaluable. Write something every day, no matter how simple or short. You could keep a journal, or you may prefer visiting chat rooms, forums, or blogs—or even exchanging messages with a pen pal. Reviewing or editing your previous writings can also be helpful. As you progress, search your earlier work for mistakes. This will help reinforce your progress and help you learn to revise your own work.
Learning a new language is difficult, and you will undoubtedly make mistakes. Don’t be embarrassed, but rather view these mistakes for what they are—learning opportunities. Embrace these mistakes and learn from them. Before you know it, you will have mastered the skills that are currently causing you problems. Then you can move on to more complex English grammar issues. A good place to start learning English grammar is GrammarCamp, a comprehensive and fun online grammar course offered by Scribendi.com, the world’s leading online editing and proofreading company.