Deutsch lernen mit Spaß und Fantasie

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Deutsch lernen mit Spaß und Fantasie

Grammar exercises: Better than their reputation

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Copyright: Jeshoots on unsplash

In my language courses, I am sometimes filled with admiration for learners from all over the world who make it their goal to learn German. How can anyone learn this language, I secretly think. No sooner have I taught my students that it’s called „der See“ than the question comes: why is it called „I swim across den See?“ and then, when I’ve explained this question in so many words, someone states, „The fish swims in dem See.“ Any more questions?
The fact that children in Germany learn to speak such a complicated language with ease in just a few years is always a miracle to me. When it comes once again to resolving an apparent contradiction as a native speaker, I get quite rowdy from time to time.
My German learners like to join in the moaning about German grammar. Do the complexities make sense? they ask, and I try to defend the meaningfulness, but this defense often remains pale.
It is all the more astonishing for me to observe the playful joy with which many learners approach grammar tasks. Like in a sporting competition, the tasks are approached and solved with shining eyes. They are a challenge and a pleasure at the same time. And if the tasks are not too difficult, such exercises are more like fiddling and puzzling than desperation.
No one asks for grammar exercises (unless out of desperation over the many seemingly insurmountable „mistakes“ in language use), and yet I’ve seen classes where learners couldn’t get enough grammar exercises.
Playing with language is fun. And I notice more and more that grammar exercises do not „only“ practice the language and consolidate it, but the struggle for the right words makes happy and motivates to dive into the language more and more.
And I, who can now intuitively distinguish an „n“ at the end of an adjective from an „m,“ also learn the reasoning behind it. A new cosmos opens up.

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