How to learn English grammar WITHOUT exercise. Creative approach - introducing units into chapters of your book
The fact that grammatical exercises are boring is another quarter of the trouble. The main problem is that by performing them, you will not learn how to use constructions in your texts. But if you immediately use them, then why do we need these artificial tests? Maybe you should develop an approach to learning, in which you memorize the whole theory through practice and use your creative potential?
I conducted an experiment - I took one of the most difficult groups of units (Prepositions) in the famous English Grammar in Use textbook. For two weeks, I didn’t decide ANY ONE exercise, but I wrote a small book (6000 words), into which I drove the whole theory completely from 16 unitsand connected it with invented scenes. Also, as I wrote new chapters, I repeated the old and the theory that is embedded in them.
The results of the experiment were just fantastic! In addition to the tremendous growth of writing skills and an increase in the active stock, I watched some constructions become habitual and I want to use them again and again . After passing the units, I decided to get rid of the tests for verification and got 94%. Those. The letter teaches you to pass tests, but not vice versa!
The famous English Grammar in Use textbook is considered the best for studying intermediate grammar, but two popular misconceptions are associated with it. First, he does not teach you the letter. He should not do it. His main task is to present the theory , and he copes with it normally. And as we will already use it - this is our problem. It should also be noted that Murphy is a directory. If you take a closer look, many constructions or even rules are practiced with just one or two exercises, and these are exercises like “insert a set of words into a set of sentences”.
The second delusion is much more profound, and I resolved the whole Red Murphy and 30% of Blue before I understood it.Tests, by their nature, are intended for CHECKS of knowledge, and not for their strengthening and use . If you use theory only while solving tests, you will forget it as soon as you stop solving them. You will not be constantly tested?
Yes, you can try to practice writing in parallel with the solution of the tests and use those constructions that fit the head well during the exercises. But this is not effective! Let the best you remember them during the application in the real text.
In tests, you do NOT use your creativity, which can bring a lot of pleasure from learning . Just think how ugly and limited these grammar exercises are! You can and should throw them away.
I spent about 100 hours and spent about 10 different experiments on different units. Without going into the details of the process, I will say that the final FPR (Full Practice + Review) methodology was developed . Its essence is that you need to use 100% of the theory in practice in some creative project (book), and each next day re-read your text from yesterday and repeat the theory with tracking of connections.
For example, you repeat the sentence you wrote and saw the construction of "pay by credit card". It should be remembered that similar structures “pay by check” and “pay in cash” are associated with it, and the latter is an exception. You read your text further, see the “pay in cash” construct and recall the “pay by credit card” construct that you used at the beginning of the text. If you have a good memory, you can then close the paragraph and try to remember what designs were there.
Is a single repetition enough to master the theory? Should I re-read your study book again (in a week or two)? I wanted but scored. So everything is perfectly remembered. When I read fiction, on each page I meet 1-2 constructions that I recently completed, and repeat the theory connected with them.
What to write a book about? The best option is fiction based on the real world. For example, I wrote a story about how the Russian military returned to St. Petersburg after serving in the 90s, in the same area where I live, visited my school and places I know. And on all this many, many, many grammatical structures and rules were implanted.
Fictional scenes very much help to memorize grammatical structures. For example, I remember very well the difference between on / at / in the corner from a made-up scene. Here and the replenishment of the active vocabulary word dishwasher, and grammatical construction of a new, and its actual use.
The main character sits in the dining room with his friend, she shows him on the dishwasher in the corner (in). Then he remembers how he himself washed the dishes at his dacha, where the house is located at the corner of the street (at). And on the other corner of the street (on) - the house of his best friend.
It may seem to you that the abundance of similar constructions in one paragraph will be ugly, but in practice you can contrive and make a memorable interweaving of these constructions. And when rereading the text, you can remember what's what, without looking at the textbook.
It should be added that the skill of “bending” of a certain construction under the context of the book requires some time to work out (about a week). But it's worth it, believe me. The grammar is so flexible that you can contrive and insert into each subsequent sentence each new construction (or even several), only occasionally inserting intermediate sentences. The text should be consistent, competent and logical for you. Too much work it is not worth it.
I highly recommend you write your book inside Grammarly - this is the best web service for checking and improving writing! He corrected tons of my mistakes and made the letter much better.
Now about the time. I spent 21 hours on 16 units and spent most of my time correcting mistakes (indicated by Grammarly) and translating words from Russian to English, because my writing skills and active reserves were shamefully low (with a total reading of 6 books and a passive margin of 10,000). But if at first I spent 1.5 hours on a unit, then in the end everything accelerated very strongly, and it only took about 30 minutes for the last units for each one! It's just awesome! The time I spend on a letter with 1 unit is almost equivalent to the time spent on solving tasks and exercises. At the same time, it is much nicer and in parallel develops other aspects of writing, and memorization is many times better.
The golden advantage of the FPR technique is the incorporation of structures into the habit. Approximately 25% of the designs I wanted to use again in the same book (and I did it). In the cap of the article, the “on the whole” construction is highlighted in green for a reason. Another 25% of related structures are waiting in the wings.
Further, I wondered how testable the knowledge obtained by the new method was. The English Grammar in Use tutorial has an application that allows you to cut tests into groups of units. I took 70 questions for 4 per unit and checked myself. And it was a success. For some designs, I even remembered how I applied them in my book!
In general, tests should know their place. Be a creative person, enjoy learning, and knowledge will flow inside you.
I would be very interested to know your opinion about this technique, your assumptions about its improvement, and so on, so comments are welcome.
By the way, have any of you tried freelancing on writing articles \ texts or correcting someone’s mistakes? How profitable and where? I think to try this thing, as I finish English Grammar in Use. It would be great to find a mentor in this direction, write to the post office ( email@example.com ).