Whether you are a native speaker or a foreign student, your English grammar skills can always be improved. Grammar is the set of rules that govern the use of the language. A strong grasp of English grammar is an essential tool in effective speaking and writing.
There are many tried and true tips for how to learn English grammar. The following nine tips are often recommended to foreign language speakers studying English. They can also be useful for native English speakers trying to improve their grammar skills.
1. Learn how you learn
Recent research has shown that most of us have a preferred way of learning. Understanding this is a crucial step when deciding how to learn English grammar. If you are a visual learner, you can link language to pictures and images, watch films with subtitles, or try to visualize yourself in imaginary situations speaking English. If you are an auditory learner, you have a “good ear” for language and should listen to as much English music as possible and watch movies in English. If you have an analytic style, spend time studying grammar and comparing your native language with English. A learner with an interactive style needs to spend as much time as possible speaking with others and discussing the English language and the conventions of grammar. The most effective learners try to combine all these styles.
2. Learn memory techniques
Learning English grammar involves a lot of memory work. A myriad of books are available on how to improve your memory. This is a skill that successful learners take very seriously.
One of the most effective tips when you are learning English grammar is to read. Read a book, newspaper, or journal in English that is just above your current reading level. Use a dictionary to help you learn new vocabulary words. Reading can help you understand the building blocks of grammar, such as nouns, pronouns, articles, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections, as well as sentence construction. Even 15 minutes of reading per day can drastically improve your English grammar skills.
Listen to speeches or watch movies or documentaries about subjects you aren’t familiar with to help improve both your vocabulary and English grammar skills. Again, pay attention to how sentences are constructed.
Keeping a diary allows you to use all your English skills: reading, writing, and grammar. You can regularly review your recorded entries, and note areas that require improvement.
6. Practice, practice, practice
Surround yourself with people who speak and write English well. This is the one tip that will force you to exercise all your skills. As an English learner, it is extremely important for you to take every opportunity to speak in English. Many English language learners have improved their grammar by working with a mentor or friend with a strong command of the English language. Ask your mentor to point out your mistakes. Such real-time feedback can be very beneficial.
Another good way to get in some practice is to teach. Perhaps you can mentor someone who is working on their basic English grammar at a level or two below your own abilities.
Helping them sort out their issues and answering their questions will force you to use your own grammar skills and will reinforce your confidence.
7. Relax and enjoy speaking
When you use English, don’t worry about making mistakes. The important thing is to learn from the errors you make. No one learns to walk without falling over a lot!
8. Get connected
The Internet is a valuable resource when deciding how to learn English grammar. There are great online tools for learning vocabulary and practicing grammar, listening, pronunciation, and speaking. And many online resource actually teach you how to learn English grammar.
9. Get motivated
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. And after all your hard work, don’t forget to reward yourself. Learning something new and different is not always easy, but with these tips on how to learn English grammar, you are definitely heading in the right direction!