Often, this can stem from disappointing language learning experiences at school, when the grammar may have been an aspect that seemed particularly complex. It’s a widely acknowledged fact, though, that in Britain, we are not taught in depth about the grammar of our own language, which goes some way to explaining why learning the grammar of another language might prove hard!
Whilst a French or German student would most likely be familiar with terms like ‘verb’, ‘noun’ and ‘tenses’ from lessons in their own language, there are still a fair amount of British people who aren’t exactly sure what these mean.
Whilst on a day to day level this may not pose too much of a problem (profession permitting!), when it comes to learning foreign languages, not knowing the basic terminology associated with grammar can cause confusion and dejectedness, which can so easily be avoided.
Before learning a language therefore, it’s advisable to get to grips with the meaning of terms such as ‘verb’, ‘noun’, ‘adjective’ and ‘adverb’, just so you know what the teacher is referring to when they ask, for example, that you conjugate the verb ‘to be’.
There are lots of online glossaries that you can use to read up on these, including one on the Cactus site, but if you want to do some more in depth study there’s also an online English Language Awareness course that you consider. Originally developed for people who are interested in training to teach English as a Foreign Language, it’s a great way to learn all the grammatical terms and what they mean.