Grammar again

We have a comment from Chris advocating a strong commitment to grammar study as the basic framework for language learning.

I disagree. My view is that we first need to get used to the language through intense and continuous exposure. Any effort to learn the rules of grammar, whether by logic or by rote, will be doomed to failure until the learner has had enough exposure to the language through listening and reading.

In theory it seems like a good idea to gain a theoretical understanding of the principles of the structure of the language. In fact grammar rules were mostly written by and for people who already were familiar with the language. So begin with gaining that familiarity, learn the words and phrases, then you can review the grammar rules to put the finishing touches on your language.

Whenever I correct the writing of our learners, I observe that it is the improper knowledge of vocabulary that is the greatest cause of difficulty, not the details of verb agreement, preposition use or other grammatical points. Vocabulary study should include the deliberate acquisition of the natural lexical phrases of the language. These phrases embody normal usage and represent the grammar. If you learn to use phrases in an appropriate way, your language will be natural, persuasive and correct. The Linguist is set up to make that learning process easier and more effective than any other approach I am aware of.

What is more, a lot of listening and reading, when combined with The Linguist’s “language learning engine” is not only effective, it is enjoyable. That is why so many of our learners tend to study on our system almost every day.Our members are not full time students, and in fact have other jobs including parental and household management duties to perfom. There are no classes to attend or assignments to do or other direct pressure on them, and yet they study with our system most days. That is certainly not the case with many other language learning programs I have seen, especially where company employees are concerned.

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