SPECIAL REPORT #6

The Missing Link Between Drills and Reality

Not All Practice is Created Equal

In our previous report, we saw that one of the main reasons why students find the Spanish subjunctive so hard is because the materials that are supposed to explain it to them have serious structural deficiencies in at least one of these areas:

1) Good Explanations
2) Detailed List of Phrases that trigger the Subjunctive
3) Plenty of Examples for each  of those phrases
4)  Comprehensive Practice.  

And out of the four areas, “practice” is probably the most neglected of them all. This is the topic of today’s report.

 

KEY REASON #6
WHY THE SUBJUNCTIVE IS MAKING YOUR LIFE MISERABLE
The Missing Link Between Drills and Reality

The Spanish Subjunctive is obviously a grammar term. It is jargon used to describe a specific point from the Spanish language but it is not a term you will find people discussing in real life situations. You will never find any native Spanish speaker talking to a friend saying “Hey, how is your Spanish subjunctive doing these days?” Of course not. But in any single conversation people will be using it, even without being consciously aware of the process or processes involved.

Being part of grammar, both students and teachers tend to assume that the best way to master the Spanish subjunctive is through drills, which is a good starting point of course. The problem is when drills become the only measure of  accuracy and mastery. Mind you, there is definitely a good place for drills in the teaching and learning of second languages.

Remember, Spanish drills are a journey, not a destination!

Remember, Spanish drills are a journey, not a destination!

True, drills could be a bit boring at times, but they are the fastest way to acquire certain structures or patterns and use them effectively. That is why all of the exercises in grammar books have drills. There could be more fun activities to do, but if you are pressed for time, drills deliver results fast!

As I mentioned in our previous report, a key problem of most grammar books is that they do not offer enough exercises for students to test their understanding of the Subjunctive in a large number of scenarios. Usually all they offer are phrases which are almost identical to the examples given before and that is it. And in most cases, all of the sentences require the use of the subjunctive anyways, so automatically the student knows that the subjunctive is required, so the true challenge for him (or her) is to just choose a tense put the verb in the right form and that is it!

In the real world, whenever you speak Spanish, you need to use the subjunctive or you don’t. This is a constant every time you open your mouth. Unfortunately, unlike some grammar drills, you won’t have anyone saying “hey, from now on you need to speak using the subjunctive all the time. Keep using it until I tell you to stop.”

Stop using the Indicative ! From now on it's time to use the subjunctive!

Stop using the Indicative ! From now on it’s time to use the subjunctive!

 

If all the training you have is based on sentences that tell you in advance: “Hey, from now on, use the subjunctive,”  even if all of your materials and explanations were very good, you would still find yourself in trouble when faced with a real situation. Drills are important, but a solid program also needs to provide you with a bridge between those drills and the real world. This is the main problem with 100% of the grammar books that teach the subjunctive. People expect them to give you drills because of the fact that they are grammar books. They give you some drills and that is it.  Everyone seems happy. Period.  But where is the link between those drills and  to real-world situations?  That brings us to REASON #5 WHY THE SPANISH SUBJUNCTIVE IS MAKING YOUR LIFE MISERABLE.

 

Spanish Subjunctive Quotation MaksKEY REASON #5  WHY THE SUBJUNCTIVE IS MAKING YOUR LIFE MISERABLE:
GRAMMAR BOOKS ARE MISSING THE LINK BETWEEN DRILLS AND REALITY. When it comes to the Spanish subjunctive, drills are a good starting point to set you on your path to success, but they are only a part of the journey, not the destination.

 

The key problem is that it is assumed that drills are the ultimate goal to decide whether you are proficient on the subjunctive or not. That is flawed. Drills are never the destination or the end-goal of what you want to achieve. Drills are the tools through which you will connect all of the theory to the real world. Just stopping at the drills is as ridiculous as if you stopped running whenever you start to see the finish line.

A solid program should be able to offer you comprehensive practice in the form of drills, but also real life situations in which you could see how the Spanish subjunctive works in different contexts and situations, and enable you to see it in the wild, to develop a deeper feel of when it is required and when it is not.

 

[Analyzing the Spanish subjunctive in authentic materials provides a much deeper understanding of all the theory]

Analyzing authentic conversational  situations provides a much deeper insight into how the Spanish subjunctive really works and provides the perfect link between theory and the real world.

Adding this new dimension to your training will challenge all of the perceptions you may have or may have acquired throughout the program, and it will also shake them to the point in which you will have to go back to the theory to make sense of , and try to explain what is going on and in the process of doing that, you will become rock-solid at understanding the core and the logic behind the Spanish Subjunctive. This is what makes or breaks the deal, and even if it seems like common sense, no Spanish grammar book has ever done this. When you start to see the finish line they all seem to say: “Okay, well done, boy!”

That is the reason why very few advanced learners ever master this  elusive topic. Granted, the topic is challenging like no other, but with the right tools, it is possible to tame this beast.

 

 

All you need is a program with…

 

  • … solid, clear  and concise explanations and…
  • … a complete list of phrases that trigger the subjunctive with…
  • … examples of each of those phrases / triggers in action and also…
  • … comprehensive practice in the form of drills and real life applications.

 

I know what you may be thinking “easier said than done”. And I agree with you. For over 20 years I had been trying to find a program with those characteristics with no luck. But I have some groundbreaking news for you! That program is now a reality. And even if you are still learning how this project came to life, you can already start to reap its benefits!

 

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This article is part of our FREE SPECIAL VIDEO REPORT SERIES: “THE 5 KEY REASONS WHY THE SUBJUNCTIVE IS MAKING YOUR LIFE MISERABLE AND HOW TO TURN THE TABLES IN JUST 30 DAYS!”

This report is only available for those who have signed up for it. If you have stumbled upon it by accident and would like to have access to the rest of the reports, sign up here.