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should we end the grammatically-based language learning?

In “learning” method, we focus our students to the the grammar rules and vocabulary. In this method, we train out students to build their conscious knowledge about the grammar rules and vocabulary and use them as the building block to construct sentences.

But, problem is, even the best in our class might not even remember all the rules they have learned, and they can’t always use the rules they do remember.

The fact is that many rules are too complex to apply while at the same time engaging in conversation. Indeed, it is very difficult and to keep every grammar checked while engaging in a conversation!

That’s when someone who learn English primarily through the study of grammar rules and vocabulary memorization do not produce fluent and accurate English. Because they basically develop their cognitive knowledge of the English, they thus don’t have the tacit knowledge or the “intuition” of English that enables them to fluently and accurately produce the output.

In this way, when they want to speak accurately, they cognitively translating their thoughts from the native language into the target language with the grammatical rules they learned. This means they are cognitively and constantly juggling between their native language and the target language. This process of producing language is not only very difficult to do, but also painful to listen. In learning method, accuracy is thus at the cost of fluency.

And vice versa is true: fluency is at the cost of accuracy. If we want to speak out target language fluently, it’s usually at the cost of accuracy. We produce grammatically inaccurate (broken) target language (broken English).


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