How to make headway in language learning?
The key is Consistent Daily Practice (CDP).
Taking your linguistic skills one level up is like trying to go one floor up on an escalator which is moving downward. If you stop on it, you end up going down. If you make a mediocre effort, you may stay at one point without much progress. Only when you redouble your efforts, you can make your way to the next level, and this escalator journey continues.
To get to the next level, the key is CDP.
A new habit needs to be made. When regular intensive practice schedules are adhered to, language skills can develop and flourish.
Grammar Construction and Consolidation
You are first exposed a new grammar construct. If you are mindful of the authentic materials you read and/or listen to, you notice immediately that it is something which is not in your domain of active knowledge. By asking or reading about it, you understand it. You would next like to try it out in your own discourse. If you are in a safe learning milieu, you have the advantage of receiving more controlled practice before venturing into more authentic and freer tries. This cycle continues for further consolidation.
Vocabulary is small grammar (Thornbury, 2004).
Words and collocations are, in effect, the building blocks of grammar.
Grammar is big vocabulary (Thornbury, 2004).
The grammatically sound constructs are, indeed, made of smaller constituents called lexical items and collocations.
Why vocabulary enhancement?
These are words that represent the concepts in our mind; therefore, the wider the scope of vocabulary, the easier and more precise the message we wish to communicate.
Why grammar improvement?
Grammar is to vocabulary what rules of landscape gardening is to plants and trees. Without such grammatical principles the landscape of words and collocations would not look and sound pleasing to the eye and ear.