While it might seem like there is a lot of grammar to get your head around, the core grammar of a language forms a kind of “hump” that, once you get past it, opens the language up and enables progression with greater ease. Once you’re done with the core grammar, you will probably never have to approach it as systematically again.
Your initial grammar learning comes from your beginner course. This can be supplemented by exercises such as sentence flashcards and exercises; however, this should not be the majority of your time. Most of the grammar you will learn over time with input.1
Avoid spending all your time on grammar. While the noticeable progress feels good, you will learn faster overall with the help of input and context supplementing your learning. Languages are much more than grammar rules and you will not learn by studying grammar in isolation. Therefore, its better to focus less on grammar until you have a good base of vocabulary. Then, once you begin to study grammar more, you will have the ability to read and hear it in context.
Key tip: Do not rely on memorising grammar rules
In general, memorising rules is a poor way to acquire a language. Learning only happens when you use the language. Rules and other aides such as conjugation tables should be used as a stepping stone to help you understand meaning in context.
Flashcard phrases for grammar
Learners commonly experience difficulty remembering how to use grammar when first speaking, or simply struggle to remember how the rule works in context. For this, memorising phrases can be very powerful. If you haven’t read it yet, check out the Flashcard section for guidance on this aspect.
There are some learners who go mostly without studying grammar. This is done by compensating with lots of input, making sure to notice grammatical forms as you encounter them. It is best not to go without studying grammar until you are more experienced. Further discussion of the debate on the efficacy of grammar instruction can be found in the appendix. ↩