English Grammar In Use (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am stuck! I committed myself to doing two university level units of study in the current semester. I downloaded all the course outlines, readings, and assignments! I set up Outlook appointments for study times and my part-time job. I actively engaged in the online community, but then something happened…
I sat in front of my computer and froze. Logically I had it all worked out – after all, it was just 12-13 weeks of study – surely I can commit myself to that! It was interesting stuff about communication, publishing, editing and design. In my mind I was back to being 15-16 years old. I didn’t complete my last year at High School for fear of failing. It was an awful place to be, but all these years later, the same fears and emotions returned.
As a result of my “freeze” I decided to defer my studies until 2013 – fortunately it was approved.
My biggest stumbling block was GRAMMAR! It may well have been a prehistoric language. I know the basic stuff about nouns, verbs, adjectives etc. and I mostly understand passive voice. There is so much more to it and I was torn with annoyance about not knowing something and the question “do I really need to know this stuff?”
Prior to deferring my studies I ordered a book from Amazon called English Grammar in Use - a self-study reference and practice book for intermediate learners of English and it is written by Raymond Murphy. It comes with a CD and it provides answers to all the exercises in the book. I was a little put off with INTERMEDIATE as I have used English as a first language all my life! When do I graduate to the next level!!!
So, there it is – do we really need to know grammar THAT well? What do you think? Are there parts of grammar that still confuse you?
There was another lesson for me in this experience and it took another book to regain some confidence. It is called The Confidence Gap – from fear to freedom, written by Dr Russ Harris. His approach in new in psychology (to the best of my knowledge) but has been known by many cultures for centuries – mindfulness and allowing our thoughts to come and go without getting “fused” (Harris’s word) with our thoughts, negative or positive. I would recommend the book to anyone struggling with self-confidence.
As for the GRAMMAR book – I haven’t decided if I really want to improve my skills in this area. It would be great to gain some skills and overcome past fears in this area. I will think about it (in a diffused sort of way)