Read the following sentence:
I walks to the store.
If you’re a native English speaker, the mistake probably jumped right out at you. If you’re not, you may have not even noticed the mistake. When you learn pronouns as a kid, you have lots of chances to practice and make mistakes. The key to learning them as an adult is to go back to being a kid.
We often think that little things like pronouns are pretty simple and should be easy to master. They’re not. If you have non-native speaking friends, you may be used to them switching “he” and “she” even after years of practicing in Arabic. Pronouns are one of the last things to really stick when you’re studying a new language.
You might look at the list of pronouns in Arabic and feel a bit overwhelmed. But there’s no reason that you have to learn them all at once. A better approach is to group them and just practice them one at a time.
Pronouns are all short words that sound very similar. They seem simple, but they are easy to confuse. If you’re a native English speaker, getting used to adding pronouns directly to the beginnings and ends of words can make the situation even more complicated.
Kids don’t think about the rules when speaking, they just practice and stay consistent.
Do yourself a favor and just go slow. Take one set of pronouns at a time and master them. Don’t worry about how long it takes, just focus.
A lot of Arabic students become overwhelmed with writing out lists of verbs and matching pronouns. If you go slower, you’re more likely to stick with it. In the end, your steady persistence will probably bring success faster than trying to attack all of the pronouns head on.
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn new vocabulary as you practice each pronoun. While you’re going through the pronouns, it might see like it takes forever to get them mastered, but the great thing about learning a new language is that you only have to do it once.
In our house, we are currently focusing on First Person in our Arabic studies. My five year old is kind of having a tough go at using pronouns correctly. More accurately, I’m having a tough go at not constantly correcting her. She’s pretty happy with her completely grammatically incorrect Arabic.
Next week, I’ll share a complete guide to First Person in Arabic along with some fun ways to make sure you get plenty of Arabic speaking practice.
In the meantime, let me know in the comments how you study pronouns. Help another mom out with your ideas!