If you just remember one piece of grammar advice from Nasma Of NY, make it this:

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To learn a foreign language, you don’t need to study grammar.

It’s a reality that defies a slew of failed classroom approaches about grammar for foreign language training. Also, it promotes widespread misunderstandings among students about how we learn languages.

There are folks who are adamant that grammar study is required, which as a matter of fact, learning a language without grammar study is absurd.

Continue reading and give us a chance to speak.

Focus on grammar consistently results in a failure to produce proficient speakers


The great emphasis on learning grammar as a basis for speaking is one of the key reasons why so many education systems are failing to produce students who can correctly speak a foreign language.


Your accent, fluency, and confidence in speaking the language outperform 99 per cent of students who have studied the language for at least twelve years. This is not an exaggeration. It demonstrates both the potential of what someone can achieve with the internet and a little effort, as well as how dysfunctional our educational system is.


When pupils have been learning a language for years but still can’t communicate in it, it’s safe to assume that something is seriously wrong with their approach and that of their professors (motivation must also be taken into consideration too of course).


Fluent speakers utilise grammar rules to convey what they already know


You didn’t learn your own language’s grammar to become a fluent speaker.


You were a fluent speaker of your native language well before the age of five. Before you even knew what a verb was, you knew how to use it in various tenses. Without ever receiving explicit teaching or mastering grammar principles, toddlers begin to use sophisticated sentences on their own.

The primary reason we learn our own language’s grammar at school is to improve our literacy skills, not to become better speakers.

Beginning with single-word utterances/naming and progressively progressing to brief sentences, children learn grammar by listening to and repeating the sound patterns they hear others speak.


The New Approach

What’s to stop adults from doing the same or something close if children can acquire a language and its grammar in this way?


Languages are learned in chunks – words, collocations, and phrases that we hear over and over again. This is why, much to their parents’ surprise, children transition from babbling to speech practically overnight.

For instance, the phrase “I desire” is a chunk. You’ve probably used those two words together in that sequence many times in your life.

It’s a single statement that you heard and memorised in its entirety. You can make an endless number of variations by adding another piece to it (a name or an action).


We’d even go so far as to claim that you learnt every verb tense you know as a prepackaged piece. You didn’t learn the verb write and then learn how to conjugate it. For example, you learnt that I write, she writes, they write, and so on as whole objects. You developed an ear for what sounds good and what doesn’t over time.


When you hear anything that doesn’t sound quite right, you quickly recognise the mistake. This is not because you’re knowledgeable of grammar, but because you’re so used to the proper, preset forms that anything else doesn’t sound right. Imagine hearing music that you are quite familiar with. Even if a single note is performed wrong, you will notice it even if you’re not musically inclined.


The finest investments are books and genuine discussion

We frequently discuss the value of enriching books and reading material.


You’ll find books and other materials with a lot of realistic, real-life dialogues to be considerably more beneficial than anything with a strong grammatical focus.


For Arabic, Nasma of NY’s Levantine Arabic book series (for Adults and Children) is quite helpful. It’s geared at both basic and advanced level students. It’s an ideal learning tool.


A learner should focus on one sentence for a whole day, saying it, writing it, making new sentences by adding new words, and Googling to discover articles where that sentence has been used elsewhere.


By concentrating on a single sentence like this, you’ll unintentionally learn a new area of grammar and vocabulary while having fun.


We dare you to put grammar aside until you’ve reached the point where you need to concentrate on your reading abilities.

Concentrate on recognising and memorising complete chunks that you can use in discussions right away.


Make sure to check out Nasma Of NY’s Adults Group Conversational Classes to boost your conversational skills. The highlight of these classes is that we do not focus on learning the practicalities of grammar but more on how you converse with others in Arabic.