Is keeping many words much better than focusing on grammar in learning any languages or the reverse?
opinions may vary on this point, but I guess most of us would prefer acquiring new words to studying grammar per se. Some people benefit greatly from deliberate studying grammar (I do), but others don’t, so there’s really no one-size-fits-all approach. I would recommend a healthy combination of both with a heavy dose of reading and listening to material which is easy enough to follow.
I don’t think it is a matter of either or. We need both. I find that grammar explanations and rules are hard to grasp until I have enough exposure. I like learning grammar from patterns. These may be patterns that I noticed, but can also be concentrated patterns of certain types of usage. It helps if I know a lot of words. It helps if I recognize the patterns as ones that I have already come across. I get these eureka moments.
I have been thinking of creating lessons with just certain structural patterns for LingQ. If there are words we don’t know we can look them up. If we don’t understand we can ask the lesson creator. Sort of like content that is focused on a limited number of patterns.
I agree with Steve - this is a classic case of ‘both-and’, in my opinion.
Nobody ever learned a language through study of grammar alone. But I believe it is equally true that very few people have ever learned to speak and write a foreign language really elegantly without having studied the grammar at some stage.
Saying that…it may be better to study the grammar after reaching some kind of basic conversational fluency?
I really contentedly quite agree with all of your attitudes, on the other hand, would like to say that some people have been learning grammar since a long period of time, then they don’t find another person who has the same efficiency to practice with. As a result, they will be forgetting their efficiency in grammar over time, especially, those people who live in an environment where a language is so rarely spoken.
I have found that if I am too passive in grammar studies, the results are not the greatest. However, for me, if I stay disciplined and have regular grammar study…albeit, sometimes it is very difficult and tedious, I have much better progress in my overall language retention / usage. Daily listening, reading, writing…with daily dosages of grammar, and I find myself having many “lightbulb” moments and things really begin to make sense. Studying Russian for me without a consistent approach to grammar saw very little and slow improvement. There were way, way too many variables in the Russian language for me to learn passively in a timely manner. Some people seem to be able perhaps, but my progress was much, much faster with consistent grammar study. Vocabulary, on the other hand, is easily learned through much listening and reading. Again, this is from my perspective.