Whatever questions you might have about language learning, we are happy to answer them in our blog. In today’s post we would like to focus on a topic which has surfaced a number of times recently, and namely, if it is possible to learn grammar with WordDive, and how this should be done.
Let’s start with a short overview of what WordDive is about. As the name of our service suggests, WordDive is primarily about “diving” into language through its vocabulary. The method’s major focus is on helping you learn to understand and communicate in the language of your choice within the shortest possible amount of time. In order to do that we employ a number of highly efficient techniques, including individually optimized repetition and use of multiple senses. These techniques are incorporated in the algorithm which tailors the WordDive service for every user.
Yet you might argue that communication is hardly possible if you know little or no grammar – and we’re not going to contradict you here. Grammar is certainly a crucial aspect of any language acquisition.
Having said that, we argue that there are numerous ways of learning grammar, and not all of them serve the purpose of understanding and communicating in a foreign language equally well. When developing our service we strive to choose only what really works. So, in WordDive you will not see any traditional grammar “formulas”, e.g. a listing of all the 16 tenses of the English language (oh, not those tenses again, please!).
We opt for a practical approach instead. It is largely inspired by the way children learn languages from the moment they are born, i.e. naturally, through numerous repetitions and imitation. When studying with WordDive, you are exposed to grammar structures integrally in the course of the learning process. You see them all over in the examples provided for each of the vocabulary items you learn.
Let’s look at a few cases taken from our new American English Sports course:
Defender – The blue team plays with only two defenders.
In this example you can see the use of the Present Simple for third person singular (users can notice the ending –s with the verb play) as well as the use of plural for the noun defender, i.e. defenders.
Goalkeeper – The ball was shot toward the goalkeeper.
Here you notice how Passive Voice (was shot) is formed for the Past Simple. Another grammar aspect to pay attention to is the use of irregular verbs in Past Participle (shoot – shot).
Trophy – Jake lifted the trophy in triumph after winning.
This sentence provides a good example of the use of regular verbs in the Past Simple tense (lift – lifted). Here you can also see the use of Gerund as adverbial modifier of time (after winning).
Red card – The referee sternly showed the player the red card.
Here you can see how most adverbs are formed (adjective + ly: sternly).
By paying attention to the examples during your training sessions you will get familiar with grammar structures and gradually start using them. You will learn to see the grammar patterns of the language even before you choose to focus on the grammar rules and try to understand them through logic.
Here comes the obvious but still very important part. You will only be able to learn grammar this way if you pay attention to the examples while studying. Clicking to get past them just won’t do the trick!
We encourage you to focus increasingly on the examples as your language skills develop. For instance, if you have just started learning Swedish, it is best to concentrate on learning some words and just repeat the examples aloud while trying to at least locate the word in the example.
However, as you proceed, shift your focus increasingly to the examples. In addition to reading and repeating aloud, look at how the study items are used in the sentences, see the translation, and how things are expressed in general. Make this a part of your training routine, and soon you will surprise yourself by being able to produce grammatically correct language.
Oh, and don’t forget to share your achievements with us! We would love to know how you are progressing and what challenges you are facing along the way.
A mighty mix of language learning professionals, engineers, designers, user interface developers, gamers and psychologists.