When you are preparing for the IELTS, learning grammar is one short road to making sure your foundation is in place. Grammar is what defines the structure and system of a language. When you are speaking, writing, reading or speaking there is a sequence followed to give a sentence its meaning.
Grammar is also used to standardize how the language is spoken or understood throughout the world. While one can learn a language without understanding its grammar, it can help you immensely when preparing for the IELTS. In this article we tell you how to get over the stress of learning a new language by dedicating time to understanding its grammar.
Exploring each of these will tell you what goes into a constructing a complete, meaningful sentence. To be able to understand and reinforce all of the above, try doing the following.
1. Get Lost in magazines and Blogs
Reading is the best way to cement your learning into permanent lessons. When preparing for the IELTS, read each sentence keeping grammar in mind.
This means that a 5-minute read can take you close to 25 minutes but it is worth the practice. Moreover, you could read it aloud with pauses and pronunciations to not just get the grammar right but also help in your pronunciations and intonations.
Since we know that the articles in IELTS are related to technology, research and academics, reading blogs and magazines is recommended to keep yourself surrounded with relevant content. You can even find podcasts on these topics online.
2. Don’t just read, write
Putting pen to paper on a topic that interests you can help you gain speed and agility when writing your thoughts. Writing is like a litmus test that one has to take when feeling super confident about their abilities.
Analyse your thoughts to know if your grammar is on point or shaky in places. When you find a mistake try and pick out under which category the grammatical mistake falls.
Once you know which part of sentences you tend to make a mistake in, you will look out for them in order to correct them. Be conscious and the rest will be easy.
3. Find yourself a grammar Nazi
Although we do not support the ideology behind Nazism, we recommend that you find yourself someone who is ready to listen to you and correct you wherever possible.
Someone who is fluent in the language and knows grammar by heart. If needed get yourself a personal coach online to help you practice.
He or she should know the categories under which words fall and should be able to tell you why it is the way it is. Once you are able to understand the logic used behind each sentence construction, consider your battle half won.
4. Don’t forget to punctuate
Wrong punctuation can completely change the meaning of a sentence. For example – ‘Let’s eat Grandma’ and ‘Let’s eat, Grandma’ can mean two very different things.
Punctuate sentences well to give each sentence the right meaning. Know when to use a comma or a semi colon. Know the use of quotation marks and the use of apostrophes for creating contraction or showing possession.
Punctuation helps a reader make sense of what you are trying to communicate, so treat this like a big part of your grammar practice. More than one exclamation mark is never needed to express surprise.
If you are referring to texts that you exchange with friends or Facebook posts to learn about English, then you are likely to be a victim to slangs and mistakes which are widely accepted. Be wary of the right sources to learn more about punctuation’s.
5. Build a synonym bank
Synonyms are words that have similar meaning to a particular word. For example – ‘I like studying at night’ can be replaced with ‘I prefer studying at night’.
It means more or less the same but you can judge for yourself which one sounds or looks better. Some words are more appropriate than others, they fit better.
Build a bank of synonyms to sound smarter or fluent when you are writing or speaking during the exam. Work towards finding better words that can help you shorten sentences and convey meaning in a crisper manner.
For example – ‘I like spending time with friends and family’ can be replaced with ‘I am a socially active person’ or ‘I enjoy social interactions with friends and family’.
6. Find entertaining ways to learn
Whether it is with the help of games, videos or by listening to the radio, turn this mundane task into play by using various means available to you.
Keep the dictionary and the thesaurus handy, you should download the app if you have a smart phone. If you find your reading material boring, pick up a genre that interests you but with the intention of studying its style of writing and the grammar involved.
You may even watch British television or movies but only when you start finding the regular content unbearably boring.
Switch on the subtitles when watching because in all likelihood you will not understand what they are saying because of the speed at which they speak.
7. Try and keep a journal
When you start preparing for the IELTS, we recommend you keep a personal journal. Why, you ask? Simply because it can help you speed up your learning process by making you want to express your personal feelings every day.
The journal could be about things that you experience everyday or it could be about your lessons. Whatever topic you choose for the journal, the habit will make you want to develop a wider vocabulary to be able to express yourself better.
The journal should be written in everyday preferably but you may choose the frequency. Whatever you choose remember to stick to the habit and make an entry night before you sleep.
Keep these things in mind and you should get a head-start in your IELTS journey.