Lesson 5

How to Learn Grammar

After school, I go to the café where my job training starts. I don’t know what to expect. I have no experience. I am not sure if I can do this job.

When I come to the café, I am very surprised. It is a modern café which sells coffee, tea and also chocolate cakes and sandwiches. And my boss is only 25 years old. She started to work at the café more 2 years ago. She has a lot of experience and she knows everything perfectly. She shows me how to prepare coffee, how to wash the dishes and how to deal with customers.

It is all new for me. I remember only about 20 percent of what she tells me. But then she lets me do the work and she corrects me when I make a mistake. She is very friendly and I learn fast.

After the first day at work, I am very tired. But I am happy that I have a job.

The next day is Friday and I go to school again. One student asks an interesting question, “Sometimes when I speak I am not sure if I speak correctly. I am not sure if I use correct grammar. Can you help me what to do if I want to learn grammar?”

Our teacher says, “Thank you for your question. There are two groups of students. Some students study English because they want to be able to speak. Some students study English because they want to pass an exam. For each group the situation is different.

First, I will speak about the students who need English for speaking. If this is you, you don’t have to study grammar a lot. When you learnt your native language, you also learnt it without studying grammar. You can learn English grammar naturally by using the language. The best way to learn grammar naturally is by reading a lot. Books are written in good grammar. When you read, you will learn grammar in the context of the whole sentence. I also recommend shadowing. When you do shadowing, you practise the correct grammar. you do it naturally. You don’t have to try to remember anything. You only copy sentences with correct grammar.

If you need English for speaking but also want to study grammar, you can visit www.grammarinlevels.com. This website shows what grammar is important for the different levels of English. You can find the most important grammar rules for speaking there.

The second group of students are those who study English for passing an exam. If you are one of these students, I recommend studying specifically for this exam. It can take the versions of this exam from the past years if it is possible and train with them.

Of course, your exam will be a little different, but the structure is usually the same or very similar. From my point of view, the versions of the exam from the past years are good training materials. Then I recommend going to the exam only when your results in the training materials are such that you can pass the exam successfully. Did I answer your question?”

“Yes, thank you,” says the student.

This is good news. I don’t like studying grammar. I learn English because I want to be able to speak. I don’t need to pass any exam. I am happy that I don’t have to study grammar much. I like reading and I am happy that I can learn grammar by reading books. After the lesson, I go to the website www.grammarinlevels.com. It is really a nice website. There are grammar rules with examples for each level. They have three levels. These levels are 1000, 2000 and 3000 words.

In the afternoon, I go to my work. It is my second day and I can already do a lot of things by myself. But my boss helps me when I need it. I see that my work is not very difficult. Also, I can practise English when I speak to our customers.

When you want to have good grammar, read a lot.