I’ve said a lot of crazy things in my life. Like, “Let’s eat super clean for 30 days!” and, “We can totally sleep train our baby at two months old!”
*painful tears mixed with laughter*
But when I say, “If you want to learn a foreign language, forget grammar!” I’m like super serious, and it works.
Rachel thought I was crazy! Just about as crazy as my husband says I am when I say we don’t need any white flour in our diet.
She couldn’t believe that TalkBox.Mom doesn’t start with grammar. What are we doing in our language program if it isn’t grammar?
Well, we’re teaching your family to use full phrases with each other from day one.
It’s the same way you learned your first language.
First, you were talked to, read to, and sung to. Then you started talking, singing, and watching videos. Then you started telling stories. Then after you could talk really well, you started learning reading, writing, and grammar.
So because you’re capable of listening and talking, we have you listening and talking from day one— unless your baby is joining you. Your baby can just listen for now.
As you learn more phrases, your brain starts to see patterns because it was literally BORN to learn a language this way.
The more phrases you’re using, the more patterns your brain is able to pick up on and build meaning based on context.
And that’s fluency. Fluency is being able to hear something and see the meaning in your brain without translating.
Fluency is not being the fastest verb conjugator; checking every grammar rule in your brain before you say a sentence; or translating from the foreign language to English back to the foreign language. We want you to achieve fluency instead of speaking very slowly with a native speaker as you try to conjugate verbs and translate what’s being said.
Well, Rachel was listening to some of the FB Lives that we do each week in our private Facebook Group for TalkBox.Mom families, and she suddenly realized why grammar should come later and that we need to hear the patterns of the language first.
She had her aha moment!
Then over the next couple of days, she realized that she can actually hear when something sounds off grammatically when her family is speaking. If someone’s article or adjective doesn’t agree in gender or plural to the noun or if they conjugate imperfectly, she can stop and think, “Wait, that didn’t quite sound right. Let me try it again.”
Instead of thinking so hard about all the rules before she speaks, she can just speak, and she can hear if it has awkwardness to it and adjust. And as she corrects her mistakes naturally, she gets better at speaking and more confident!
She was blown away that she could finally HEAR it herself without having to run everything she said past a series of checks in her brain, which slows her way down when she is speaking.
After Rachel and her family can speak Spanish with it simply falling out of their mouth constantly, then it’s time to go back and do grammar. And guess what?! For every rule they learn, they’ll have a ton of examples of that rule because they naturally use that rule in phrases every single day.
Grammar will be a breeze because they built a strong foundation of listening and talking.
If you’re ready to forget about grammar and actually talk in a foreign language, start adding tons of phrases to your family’s daily life, so your brain can naturally pick up on all those grammar patterns!
Our free, weekly Phrase of the Day calendars are a great place to start. This week’s theme is Reading Together! You can request this week’s calendar on Facebook here or reply to this email with the language you would like it in to get your copy.
Founder of TalkBox.Mom