Has it ever happened to you that someone is speaking in another language (that you know nothing about) but understand it anyway? Well, that’s because communication isn’t necessarily the literal translation of words. Communication is everything: from your voice tone, to your hand and face gestures, your posture or even clothing; whereas grammar is more strict; it comes from the Greek word grammatikē which means “the art of letters” so it seems serious business.

Now, talking to natives speakers gives you a chance to reprogram your brain because you need to connect directly the grammar you know to the people’s ways of communicating ideas. For instance, it isn’t the same speaking to a Canadian than to a Trinitarian because their accent, expressions and gestures are completely different; but if you know English grammar, is fair to say that you will be able to engage in conversations because grammar is the core of language. Learning grammar in today’s world is very important because it’s the best way to beat colloquialism or mistakes and assure effective communication with others.

Grammar allows you to immerse in a language by following the rules, but communication does to a cultural exchange. We believe in balance, that’s why we, in Centro para el Desarrollo de Lenguas Extranjeras (CDLE), are committed with our ucabistas to teach them not only the rules, but the experience of fluently speaking a language. For instance, in our conversation groups we focus on the very fact of talking to others and also on how you make up sentences or pronounce words.

There’s also the fact that grammar makes and preserves a language. But it’s not absolute: Take for example the Real Academia de la Lengua Española, they add new words and colloquialisms quite often to their dictionary just to keep up with spoken Spanish. This Grammar vs. Communication subject can be controversial if we sink deeper into it, but we just want you to take notice of the fact that it’s possible to communicate in other languages without knowing all the rules. And it’s important to do so if you want to gain confidence in what you already know, try to speak, make mistakes and then learn from them.

If you want to practice or enhance your fluency we invite you to come over to our headquarters in Módulo 1, 5th floor of classroom building, to join us in our Limitless program where we offer tools for your professional and personal development of English and other languages. A

Also, we will be having the UCAB English Camp this summer (August), and if you’re beginning or want to begin your learning process we can give you information about our partners here at the UCAB. Don’t forget to check that information, and so much more, out in our social media (Instagram and Twitter) @cdle_ucab

♦ Grace Lafontant/CDLE Intern

*This article is available in spanish. You can read it by clicking here: Gramática versus Comunicación