Nowadays foreign languages are so popular, but, actually, what is more important while we learn them - perfect knowledge of grammar, phonetics and language structure or just fantastic communication skills?
As for me, I prefer combining these two things since if I don’t know grammar or some simple rules, nobody will understand me. I believe that if you learn a foreign language, you should try to know almost everything about it, otherwise, in some difficult situations, your fabulous conversation skills will never save you.
So, what do you think? Communication or grammar? What is the most important thing here? Maybe you have your own methods?
I'm very interested in your opinions! Thank you for your answers!
I guess it depends on what you want to do with the language. If you're just learning it because you want to live in that country or you just want to be able to converse in that language, then conversation skills are most important, but if you want to be a translator then perfect grammar is vital. Communication becomes so much easier when you have good grammar knowledge anyway so I think the two go hand in hand.
I think conversation because you don't end up using most of the grammar you learn in normal convos anyway.
I am learning a foreign language and I focus on looking at complete sentences and words rather than focusing too much grammar. I read very simple texts with grammar notes and occasionally look at the notes. I find it much easier to understand how grammar works when I figure it out by myself and check my grammar book to make sure I'm correct. Rather than forcing myself to learn 100's of rules, I prefer to assimilate grammar naturally.
I think that FIRST you need to build up conversation skills (2000 words) with intuitive grammar (basic building block assimilation). IMO Assimil does a very good job on this (at least the original assimil courses used to). I guess Michel Thomas is similar in end product. At this stage conversation is much more important than grammar, although it's not an "either/or" - you will naturally assimilate basic grammar by listening and speaking - it's just a trial and error approach rather than the traditional "rule memorisation" approach.
THEN you need to learn at least another 3000 words so you can have and listen to fairly sophisticated conversations and read more complex material. At this point I would also start to teach grammar in its pure form, so that you can also produce sophisticated written texts if you want to.
I disagree with people saying British schools teach too much grammar. We don't learn any.
We just learn how to say silly phrases to pass the exam and it's ****.
So I decided to form a grammar Base and now I can speak a lot better than what I ever would have with just phrases.