As much as I dont like it I realise it is very necessary, having a knowledge of English grammar would help me to understand French grammar and sentence construction, because its taught in a formal structured way not knowing the basics in English holds me back, its like teaching someone say car words in French and saying the word for windscreen is pare brise except the student is Polish and doesnt speak English. I think my real yearning to understand it is to teach English one day.
I did an intensive immersion course in Spanish, we did very little grammar etc and learnt like children, we did do conjugation and some tenses though.
Then initially in France I did a 2 week intensive course with a newly qualified (native speaker) French teacher, she had the latest and most up to date (for france anyway) teaching methods and we did very little grammar but lots and lots of work on conjugaison of the basic tenses, present, passé composé, imparfait, futur, conditionell IIRC. We never got involved with the compound tenses, active/passive voice, subjonctifs etc, it was really all about communication and was excellent.
Then it took me nearly 18 months to find a French teacher around here despite me being very persistant and driven (gives you some idea of what its like), she was much more formal and I got I suppose the education that most French kids do (she teaches English and French at une lycée professionelle) I found it a hard slog and not as rewarding as with the first teacher but then learning follows the law of diminishing returns. What I didnt realise then was just how valuable the hard graft was going to prove to be.
We only had 18 months of lessons together and that was 5 years ago but I have made the greatest strides during that time by being able to apply the theory that I learnt to what I read and hear.
Without the slog at the very least I would not be able to write letters like I do with only the 5 basic tenses, I know a guy who has been out here for years, speaks very good French, is confidant and articulate, he is regional sales manager for a French company but when I hear him give a presentation I hear errors and I realise that he is restricted in what tenses he can use, he is however supremely competent with what he does have, his real weakness is that he cannot write a business letter, he composes them in English and his wife translates them.