Friday, 16 April 2021

Should I learn English grammar first, or should I learn the language?

The grammar of a language is the nature of the wording structure based on which something is written in that language, and the matter is also noticed when speaking correctly. The rules of grammar have to be followed in writing and speaking a language. The importance of learning another language is to use it in our daily lives to meet our daily needs. Now the question is when learning English, will we first learn grammar or use English words? As seen in most cases in our country, we start learning English with English grammar. We seldom think about how practical and scientific the matter is.

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Bengali is also a language like English. When a child starts speaking in Bengali, does he not begin chatting in terms of terms, verbs, conjunctions, suffixes, etc., and starts using the language directly? The reality is that the child does not know any of this. He starts using the language directly, which is normal. He mastered the tongue by listening to those around him. Throughout his life, he could use the Bengali language well without knowing grammar. What does that mean? We can learn Bengali without learning grammar.

Similarly, if an uneducated boy or girl is sent to an English-speaking country, it will happen after a couple of years that the boy or girl is fluent in English. He does not know which master and which action point he has learned to speak English to meet his needs from the environment around him. Here, besides grammar, the English language can also be mastered and used by a person. The question is, will we learn grammar at all to learn English, or will we master the English language directly from stories, essays? 

I have seen and still see in teaching life (some children come to read English). Many students learn English first and say, Sir, I am fragile in grammar. Teach me the first grammar. The rest I will learn slowly later. The student's parents also say, 'He is a little weak in grammar, explain the grammar first so that he can get good results in the test.' To know a language, one has to practice that language. Students and parents do not want to understand that the English language cannot be learned just by knowing a few grammar rules. The actual proof that English cannot use in real life just by learning grammar is that almost all the graduates and master's degree holders in our country have studied English as a compulsory subject up to higher secondary level. What percentage can speak and write English? How many people can hear and understand English and read and understand anything written in English? If you can't talk about a language, if you can't write something in that language by yourself, and if you can't read anything written in that language, it means we haven't learned that language. We have all learned a lot of grammar rules, and still, our teachers are memorizing a lot of grammar rules for our students and are being labeled as outstanding English teachers in society, but are our students able to use English in real life? We all know the answer to this question. If a Bangladeshi boy or girl competes for a job with an Indian or a Sri Lankan boy or girl, the Bangladeshi candidate is far behind. And the main reason for this backwardness is the backwardness in English.

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Yes, grammar is lost in our learning, but its application in learning first, not just rules. Many of us know the different types and exceptions of English grammar but do not know the application of English in real life. Teachers and students at the secondary and higher secondary levels in our country are more concerned about grammar than those who research the English language. Knowing English for so long has meant having a thorough idea of ​​the different types of grammar. We didn't think about why we were learning English.

Another thing was being able to write in English. It was also a condition of knowing English to be able to spell correctly. No one has ever thought that speaking English and reading an article or book written in English is a significant condition and feature of knowing English. That is, to see a language effectively means to have four skills in that language. Able to understand that language by listening, speaking, writing, and understanding that language. And mastering four things is not possible just by learning grammar. Somewhat, only the concept of grammar limits the ability to use language. Spontaneity is needed to use language effectively. And this spontaneity can achieve through a lot of practice, not by knowing grammar.

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The environment needed to know a language. We don't have that environment to learn English, not even to stay. Because our mother tongue is Bengali, we will hear Bengali all around. That is normal. If those of us who are learning English can appropriately use the time of the class, then we can do a lot of practice in the classroom. We have to do it in practice class to learn English. The more the teacher can do this practice, the more the students will benefit.

English grammar has to be learned from 'situation' or factual situation. Learning grammar in isolation does not effectively apply it to real needs but rather limits language. Many students have memorized many rules on different grammar items as advised by some teachers. Those are the students when to do any practice.



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