Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Learning English to Learn Spanish

Mackenzie Yaksic
PUCV (Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile)

As I have delved into greater depths of learning the ins and outs of the Spanish language, I have realized how grateful I am to know English grammar. I feel, as an enthusiast of the English language and a beginner of the Spanish language, that it is extremely important to know a basic foundation of English grammar before you embark on a journey of learning a new language. This is why:
          Yesterday in class we began to learn (or review) el prĂ©terito perfecto in our grammar class. When the professor, who speaks little English, began to explain the tense, many people were lost almost immediately if they had not already learned the tense. The professor knows that I love English grammar, because of a past conversation, and requested that I explain the subject in English before we all progressed in Spanish. I was slightly taken aback when I realized many people in the class did not have a basic understanding of the verb tenses in English. It made it much more difficult for them to progress quickly and efficiently in Spanish.
          I don't write this post to shame people who do not know English grammar, because to many people, English grammar is the definition of a snooze fest. Nor do I write this post to gloat about my little English grammar knowledge or that I acted as the teacher's pet for a day. I write this post to inform anyone who plans to learn another language. Get familiar with your native language before you set off to become bilingual; it will help tremendously, and you'll be amazed at how quickly you are able to relate new Spanish concepts to ones in English. It has helped me progress in the language and translate between the two languages, and I greatly advise it for anyone who is serious about mastering a new language.