Grammar rules, how best to learn them

I like the grazing approach, nibble on a bit of grammar rules, then read and listen, and then go back to a bit of grammar. Work with examples, in the grammar book and then from real meaningful context, and above all avoid drills and exercises. Here is a video on the subject.

3 comments on “Grammar rules, how best to learn them


I have a similar approach when it comes to grammar. I think that it’s important to create this meaningul context because then the rules will somehow stick to mind.


Language instructors and materials should introduce grammar from the perspective of “function” instead of simply offering a formular/pattern. To describe a function, it would be especially helpful to put the target sentence in a highly contextualized interaction. Highly contextualized drills and application exercises would be helpful too.

Btw, I have watched one of your Chinese speech on learning foreign language. I really agree with you. Not sure if you have read James Zull, who says learning is the art of changing the brain. I am also wondering if you have ever been influenced by Jerome Bruner. Anyway, I really like your thought on learning foreign language and admire your attitude toward your own language learning. I am a Chinese student studying Chinese pedagogy in US. I am also learning Japanese and found your website very helpful. Thank you for your contribution.

I think that more than anything else, patterns are helpful for learning grammar; patterns that we see repeatedly in our reading or come across in our listing, or many examples sentences of different patterns.

I don’t know the authors you referred to but I do agree that learning is a matter of changing our brains and it is a process that continues right into old age.

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