Study Reveals People Obsessed

Grammar Study

Grammar Language LearningIf there’s one piece of advice you take away from this site, let it be this:

You don’t need to study grammar to learn to speak a foreign language.

It’s a fact that flies in the face of a whole world of failed classroom methodologies for foreign language instruction and misconceptions among learners about the way in which we acquire language.

I’ve seen this topic cause arguments with people who are adamant that grammar study is necessary and I’ve had fellow co-teachers argue with me when I’ve approached the subject as if the idea of learning a language without grammar study is ludicrous.

Well, before you start chucking a tanny (Australian for tantrum), read on and hear me out for a moment.

One of the main reasons why so many education systems around the world are failing to produce students who can speak a foreign language properly (even at an elementary level) is their strong emphasis on learning grammar as a foundation to speaking.

When I posted my 6 month progress video for Gaeilge (which in my opinion wasn’t anything extraordinary) I received lots of comments and messages like this:

I just want to say you just completely blew me away. Your accent, fluidity and confidence speaking the language completely outdoes 99% of any student whose been learning the language for at least twelve years, and that’s seriously no exaggeration. Speaks wonders for the power of a what someone can do with the internet and a little motivation, and also for just how broken our system of teaching is.

As you can see my level at the 6 month mark is nothing incredible but it’s enough for people who spent 12 years learning in school and graduated as non-speakers to reflect on the way they were taught:

Up until this point, I’ve never studied grammar for this language. No verb tables, conjugations or syntax. Nor have I memorized vocabulary lists.

My intention is to take an exam around the middle of next year at to get my level certified according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) which I’m hoping, if I continue at the pace I’m at now, will be quite high by then.

When you see students who have been learning a language for years yet still can’t communicate with that language it’s safe to say that there’s something seriously wrong with the approach they and their instructors have taken (motivation must also be taken into consideration too of course).

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