I love this quote by Steven Kaufman. It perfectly encapsulates what I try to do with my students as we navigated the stormy waters of Spanish grammar.
We don’t just learn the subjunctive. First, I mention it to you once. You don’t understand. That’s completely ok, but I’ve just planted a little seed in your mind.
Later we see the subjunctive in a set phrase and I mention it to you again with a little explanation. You still don’t understand, which is totally fine, but I’ve just watered the seed.
Then once we’re there we’ll start with the subjunctive in a dialogue or recording. It won’t be the first time you’ve seen it. It’s still confusing, but you’re not in a panic. The seed is growing.
Little by little, we’ll see the subjunctive integrated into conversations, texts, recordings and we’ll dive into the grammar rules.
The more you see it, practice it, use it, the more and more the fog will lift until one day you just get it!
How can you do this on your own?
My best suggestion is by choosing a couple (not more than 3) resources – an app, a book, a podcast, a video course – and go through each of them entirely. All the developers and the teachers will have a slightly different perspective on how to teach Spanish, but it shouldn’t be entirely different.
So, that means maybe you come across a ser vs estar exercise in your textbook, then you take Beginner’s Spanish: The Integrated Method and you hit Units 4 & 5 and the ser vs. estar bit becomes super clear because you’ve seen it before. Then once you see it again on Duolingo or another app, you’re ser vs. estar seed has been planted, watered and is growing rapidly so you can zoom through those exercises the third time you see them.
Leave a comment if you have any questions and let me know if you’ve had a lift-the-fog experience in your learning so far!