30-Day Challenge: Day #12 – The best way to learn grammar is to USE it

Inspiration

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txQsysvnZ_g
Learning the grammar of a target language may be daunting. More so because the grammar rules of the language you are learning may be very different from those of your mother tongue... Regardless of what experts tell you, you will not be fluent in your target language in 6 months. You will need to be realistic about the challenges that come from learning a foreign language.
The following are the 7 strategies for mastering foreign grammar as presented by Dr. Vakunta in the video:
  1. Master the writing conventions of your target language
  2. Simulate grammar test conditions
  3. Combine vocabulary review with grammar practice
  4. Recycle your knowledge of grammar
  5. Combine grammar review with listening comprehension
  6. Relate grammar to text typology
  7. Distinguish colloquial from conventional usage

Details about each strategy

1: Master the writing conventions of your target language
Writing = governed by set rules. Learn the rules:
  1. Conjugation rules
  2. Punctuation
  3. Spelling conventions
2: Simulate grammar test conditions
Work at home using online resources. Increase the intensity of home grammar practice to better prepare for the stress and frustration of actual tests (like TOPIK). Good online resources (and smartphone apps) for TOPIK include:
  1. Little by Little TOPIK apps for iPhone/iPad
  2. TOPIK One for Android
  3. National Institute for International Education (NIIED)'s website
3: Combine vocabulary review with grammar practice
Reviewing vocab = opportunity to review grammar rules as well. For example, review words from a previous study by making sentences with them using different verbal tenses.
4: Recycle your knowledge of grammar
Recycle = reuse. Recall and apply what you've previously learned. Use what you've previously learned in real-life situations.
5: Combine grammar review with listening comprehension
While listening to an audio passage, take notes:
  1. Write down what they say word for word (as much as you can)
  2. Take notes about the grammar tenses used
  3. Try to find justification for the speaker's choice of that verbal tense
6:Relate grammar to text typology
Form the habit of reviewing grammar related to different types of texts:
  1. Start with simple, compound, complex sentences in the dialogue
  2. Work into longer passages that use a combination of 1) imperative, 2) interrogative, and 3) declarative sentences
7: Distinguish colloquial from conventional usage
Colloquialisms = spoken language not bound by strict grammatical rules. Be mindful of the fact that, yes, colloquialisms are an acceptable form of communication, BUT they are not acceptable in written communication.

More about Grammar Learning

It should be noted:
  1. Knowledge of grammar rules will do you very little good without a relatively large vocabulary (of a few hundred words at least).
  2. Grammar rules are what fluent speakers use to describe what they already know.
  3. You will need someone or something knowledgable about grammar rules to help you (this is where language exchange partners generally fall short).
That being said, the best places you can look for help with grammar rules are:
  1. A Grammar-focused textbook (these are the best grammar books I've found yet: Beginner | Intermediate)
  2. A Grammar-focused website (this is the most comprehensive Korean grammar list online yet)
  3. A trained tutor/teacher

Challenge

Today's Challenge focuses on grammar review through writing. But, be sure you have a rich enough vocabulary first before trying this:

#12: Choose 5-10 grammar rules you've previously studied and don't yet know well. Write 10 sentences using each rule in your notebook.

Note: For me, I'd like to make this an ongoing Challenge. It's important to me to learn good grammar (because I already have a fairly big vocabulary). It's my ultimate goal to write 10 sentences for EVERY grammar rule I study in my notebook to be sure that I've got them all down (writing and repetition are good teachers). Hashtags today are:

#k2k3012 #writingmygrammar

Resources

Here are is a complete list of grammar rules from the Beginner Korean grammar book in 2 formats:
  1. A2 Poster
  2. 5-page PDF
Good online resources (and smartphone apps) for TOPIK include:
  1. Little by Little TOPIK apps for iPhone/iPad
  2. TOPIK One for Android
  3. National Institute for International Education (NIIED)'s website
And the following is the most comprehensive list of Korean grammar online:
  1. Talk To Me in Korean Grammar Lessons
And here's a website where you can get writing help:
  1. Haru Korean

Do you like studying grammar? Do you think it's important? Have any other resources?

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