11 June, 2010

Why is that word where it is??

A couple of weeks ago I had a small melt down in one of my lessons.  We were set a task to re-write sentences using different tenses and I just couldn't do it.  Maybe it's because I'm a native English speaker (or just a bit slow haha) but switching the words around in a sentence is completely strange to me.

I discussed it with my teacher and we came up with a new plan.  Clearly the level that I have been placed in is slightly above me.  I don't struggle to understand, just struggle to answer using correct grammar.  I think it's great that the level is difficult - better than the opposite, right?  The problem really is though that the course I'm in assumes that I already know the basics.  That I have been studying to get to A2 already, not just taking an entrance exam and being put into a class when I hadn't done anymore than just try to pick Dutch up as I went along.  Because that was how my Dutch was (who am I kidding, is), making sentences and knowing the grammar was way over my head.  I just don't understand why there is some times a random zijn or is at the end of a sentence.  I find it so frustrating not knowing the rules!  I'm here waiting for that light to go on, you know?  Then I'll just have gone over the hump and everything will be much easier (you can see I'm something of an instant gratification type person).

We decided together that aside from our regular course work, I needed to do some extra work to pick up the grammar and be able to make a damned sentence properly.  The Lovely Teacher loaned me one of her books, Eenvoudige Basisgrammatica NT2 and I need to complete 3 or 4 lessons from the book each week as home work.  There are 40 lessons in the book, so if I complete 4 lessons per week I'll be fluent and ready to take on the world in 10 weeks (I kid, obviously)!

The thing is, this book might really do the trick for me.  It's teaching me how to do it all, right from the very basics of how to put a sentence together, i.e.wie / doet / (wat, waar, hoe).  I'm loving it!  If you're like me and have been struggling along with Pigeon Dutch for a long time, this is truly the book for you.  Loads of practice tasks, loads of verbs and their tenses, plus a long list of words with their prefixes and suffixes (haven't used those terms since about grade 4 at school!).  Obviously I'm only a few lessons in, and I expect the grammar to get much more difficult, but I'm excited about completing it.  After borrowing it from my teacher I went out and bought it.
Take a look.  It will help make learning less of a chore.  I promise.

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