Which is more important to teach, grammar or vocabulary?

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11 Responses

  1. Great article!
    While most will agree with the notion that vocabulary is crucial for any language, the obstacle is to find truly effective ways to teach it. It’s been our mission for the last eight years at LearnThat Foundation, and it’s a never-ending journey.

  2. Manjusha says:

    I entirely agree with you. Every aspect of the language must be taught and learned. However, grammar is still more important than vocabulary. That is because we need only a limited number of words to communicate in our day-to-day life. Grammar, on the other hand, is absolutely essential. Actually, you should have a decent understanding of all grammar rules to speak or write properly, but you don’t need to know all the words in the dictionary.

  3. hi,

    I would say the opposite is true. With grammar rules only you cannot communicate but with enough vocabulary items you can get your message through.

  4. jayesh says:

    Grammar and Vocab are like 2 wheels of a cycle. One pushes you forward and the other directs you to the right path.

    To some extent Manjusha is right in telling that one is required to know all grammar but not essentially the large vocab to communicate. To me knowing ‘all grammar’ is in itself brings along the need to know a large bank of words because otherwise the use of advanced grammar will be toothless and meaningless.

    Efficient way/s to build vocab varies from person to person. The common factor to learn fast is the need to use the newly learnt words repeatedly till it becomes natural part of your communication. When you learn new English word, you must first read atleast 3 sentences using that word WITH EACH VARIATION of the word. Eg: Green has multiple variations – Green as color, Green as envy , Green as vegetation, Green as eco-friendly etc.

    You must use the newly learnt word thrice a day for next seven days, twice a day in the next week, once a day in the week there after, and then once in every week for the next four weeks. The word becomes the permanent resident in both your conscious/sub-conscious minds.

    Use different dictionaries and resources to understand the unknown words. Don’t rely on one source. Its not to imply that source might have wrong info, but this need is to understand the word in depth and from all angles. I generally used 2 English dictionaries, 2 local language dictionaries, and browsing for the word from random google search. It solidified my understanding of the word and then immediately I used to use the word to write down my own sentence from the events/memories of my life. It worked well.

    Also, I used to voice record the word- its definition and a sentence or two employing that word. then whenever i sat behind the wheel i plug my phone to the accessory socket so that car speakers relayed the sound play that recording/s and enjoyed my driving with my personalized ‘wordopedia’. The key aspect is to remain in contact with the new word for first few weeks of its introduction to us.

  5. Rajnikant kokate says:

    I am agree opinion of jayesh and manjusha. I am vernacular Medium student. When I started to learning english I would learn only vocabulary. It is totally waste of my time 8 months . Then I joined english speaking class and I started learning grammar. Resulting I can write Speak/understand english if you are beginner I think student should start first learn grammar first then learn vocabulary

  6. sunita dube says:

    I am totally agree that grammar play vital role while writing speaking ,if u don’t know proper formation of words and line how can u express the vocabulary.vocabulary needs when u want to express yourself differently in a different manner .if u have good knowledge of grammar and vo can bu u surely impressed the people and the best presentation u can give .people will mesmerized and fall in a heap and u will b in seventh sky..Sunita dube

  7. Vikas says:

    If you see at the age of 4 we all were aware of our mother tongue without any learning any grammer.
    The main focus was adding new words to our vocabulary.
    We learn second language with grammer first and we learn writing and reading first and we struggle more.

  8. Michelle says:

    I disagree that grammar is traditionally taught before vocabulary. I was in grade school in the 80s and home schooled my own daughter in the 90s. I can tell you that vocabulary comes first, until about 4th grade, when grammar is really focused on, but in conjunction with vocabulary. Ideally, you will never stop learning either one, but will grow progressively knowledgeable at both.

    However, you are learning vocabulary and grammar from the moment you are born. Especially if people read to you. For example, having no grammar training at all, my 4-year-old granddaughter would say, “Grandma, pick up it.” Now, that is a small thing to most people, and it sounds funny to most people because we tend to reverse the “up” and “it” in such sentences. But, as an editor and lover of grammar, it thrilled me that she has learned to use the preposition and its object correctly just by listening to proper speech and our reading to her.

    You state that grammar and vocabulary are related. You are correct. But, for one to learn that, one must be exposed to the proper use of both. If not in the formal classroom, then in everyday life.

  9. Donna says:

    We begin learning vocabulary and grammar tha day that we are born. A persons vocabulary is, by definition, all of the words that he or she knows and understands. Good grammar is using our vocabulary correctly. I believe that they go hand in hand and should be taught together, but grammar should be emphasized because our vocabulary grows throughout our lives. While we are in the classroom, having a conversation, reading a book or watching a movie we learn new words without realizing it. We should also teach our children that some words are not acceptable and should not be used.

  10. vetsk says:

    Vocabulary is/are the words with which Grammar is made up of. Grammar is the written and spoken language with which we use vocabulary to communicate with. You cannot have one without the other. The dictionary is full of vocabulary, but it is meaningless without the grammar with which to communicate. Grammar should be taught first and one’s vocabulary increases with one’s experiences and wisdom.

  11. Tony says:

    Vikas, sunita and Rajnikant your English grammar is incorrect in your post “I am agree” I am totally agree” If you see at”

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