Mixing it up! | China232.com Blog can you take percocet and phentermine together which diet pills have phentermine in them amisulpride improved debilitating clozapine induced sialorrhea what over the counter medicine is the same as hydrocodone how long does it take for propecia side effects to start

Mixing it up!

April 18th, 2013


I almost NEVER teach grammar explicitly (directly).  I believe that MOST of the time, but not all the time, you can learn most grammar rules through being exposed to proper grammar.

I remember when I was studying “how humans learn language” when I was in university.   It was a 4th year psychology course.  The thing is that humans have a special part of the brain that can learn grammar rules automatically, without having to study them directly.  That is why native speakers who never went to school can usually speak in a way that that is mostly “grammatically correct”.  It’s not always true, but it’s true most of the time.

I don’t even “know” all the grammar rules.  I don’t think about it.  I just know what “feels right”.  That’s from me being a native speaker and from listening to millions of proper sentences and “getting a feel for what is right and what is wrong”.  When I learned Chinese as a second language, I found the same thing.  Of course it isn’t as good as my English, but I still have a feel for what sounds right and what sounds wrong.  We all have that feeling, we just need to pay attention to it.  Studying “verbs, nouns, adjectives, pronouns… is fine sometimes, and sometimes it’s necessary, but there is certainly no need to go overboard”.   Not only is it boring to study that stuff too much, but it’s so hard to remember when it’s talked about in that way, AND it’s slow for the brain to use when speaking.

If I always had to think, “I need to do this with a noun and that with an adverb, except in this and that case, it would take FOREVER to write or speak a simple sentence”.  I think you get my point.

BUT… Sometimes it can be necessary.  I’ve been noticing that many people who write me questions have a really difficult time understanding the differences between “IS and DOES” at the beginning of a question.  Native speakers NEVER make this mistake, so it’s important to learn the difference so you don’t look “uneducated”.  I don’t mean to sound unkind, but when someone reads that mistake, it looks really really bad.

So here I’m going to explain the difference here:  Grammar Lesson – Important Difference Between IS and DOES

Big tip:  Besides using the lessons at China232, I highly recommend getting in the habit of going to LearnEnglish232.com literally EVERY DAY.  We are making new free lessons on there every single day!  It’s a lot of work, but we want to build it into the best English learning site in the world BY FAR for helping serious people take their English to the next level.  Please tell your friends, teachers, and students to get in the habit and join this new exciting site!  And don’t forget about china232.com  We’re still making the best podcasts we can and teaching everything through conversation.

The combination of using BOTh  China232.com and Learnenglish232.com everyday should be INSANE.  Please help us spread the word to the whole world!  Share you success stories with us.

And by the way, Add and I have a special plan for the milestone VIP lesson # 200 next week.  It’s gonna be SICK!  Get ready!

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12 Responses to “Mixing it up!”

  1. Maribel Says:

    April 18th, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    I totally agree with you that we can learn most grammar rules through being exposed to language and practicing. I remember 1000 times I learned and repeat grammars related to different tense of verbs in high school and later on, but I never could remember them in speaking and kept forgetting the, easily. Now, after I improved my speaking and conversation and got exposed to language and listened a lot, I didn’t even notice when but I’ve learned them right and use them in my speaking automatically. That’s why I love your lesson so much, it’s different from all the ways I used to study language before.
    I think we dont need to study grammar directly, but some times for understanding our mistakes and solving them may not be bad.
    here you said “Not only is it boring to study…”
    why “is it”? is that for more emphasize?
    Thank you so much

  2. Ivan kolev Says:

    April 18th, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Hi…Andy ! I liked this topic because when I started learning English, I wander around the many teachers and teaching methods. One of the teachers said, studying grammar, this is the most important thing to learn English. I had no idea what to do and what is good for me. After 3-5 months of learning hardly i learned anything from this old method that is taught in schools. They taught me to think every time i need to talk.I almost believe that it’s so hard and I started to lose hope a little bit every day.Then I met an American on the internet who claimed that 6 months you will be able to speak some English.
    Of course at first I did not believe, but I had to try. He sent me 8 free email and then I knew that this is how. He said that any American or any English speaking does not teach grammar and that it kills speaking. And that they learned with their ears as a child learns , and that no matter how old, you have not lost the ability to learn, you
    just learn the wrong way.
    By Dr. J. Marvin Brown
    In 1984, the American University Language Center in Bangkok started using a new approach to
    teach the Thai language. The method is called ‘The Listening Approach’. In more recent years it’s
    become known as ‘Automatic Language Growth’.
    The method says that any attempt to speak (or even think about language), before automatic
    speaking comes, will cause damage and limit final results! In other words, the method uses a
    very long “silent period”.
    During the “silent period”, students focus only on listening. After 6 – 12 months of intensive listening,
    students begin to speak spontaneously and naturally– without effort and without thinking!
    Everyone knows that when people move to a new country the children will eventually speak the
    language natively and the adults won’t. The normal explanation is that children have a special
    ‘talent’ that they lose as they grow up.Teachers said that for adults, languages should be taught and studied instead of learned naturally.
    But are we any better with present language teaching? Why, for example, do adults in Central Africa
    do better when they move to a new language community than our modern students do? Could it be
    that early teachers were mistaken? Maybe adults can do what children do. Maybe it’s just adult
    behavior (not lack of talent) that prevents them from succeeding.
    THE MISTAKE – Children can do something that adults cannot. THE UNASKED QUESTION – What would happen if an adult were to just listen for a year without
    OUR ANSWER – Both adults and children can do it right, but only adults can do it wrong.
    Imagine a 4 year-old child and an adult reacting to somebody talking to them in a foreign language.
    The child most often just listens, while the adult usually tries to talk back.
    Now imagine that ‘not trying to speak’ was the child’s secret. It makes sense that listening to
    things that are always right would build the language right, while saying things that are always wrong
    would build it wrong. What would happen if adults were to do the same thing children do, (that is, just listen for a year
    without trying to say anything).
    In 1984, the AUA language center in Bangkok started doing exactly this in its Thai classes. The
    students just listened for as much as a year without speaking at all. We found that adults get
    almost the same results that children do. If adults understand natural talk, in real situations, without
    trying to say anything, for a whole year, then fluent speaking with clear pronunciation will
    come automatically.
    It seems that the difference between adults and children is not that adults have lost the ability to do it
    right– but that children haven’t yet gained the ability to do it wrong (that is, to destroy it with forced
    Forced speaking damages adults. Consciously thinking of one’s sentences – with translations,
    rules, substitutions, or any other kind of thinking prevents you from speaking like a native.
    Natural speaking (speaking that comes automatically) won’t cause damage (not even when it’s
    wrong). The damage doesn’t come from being wrong; it comes from thinking about the language.
    What we’re suggesting is this. The reason that children always end up as native speakers is
    because they learn to speak by listening. And the reason that adults don’t is because they learn
    to speak by speaking.
    Adults talk too much.
    The formula is this: ‘Listen’, ‘Don’t speak’, and ‘Be patient’. And now it appears that this is not
    only the child’s secret. It’s everybody’s secret. And while children do it more faithfully, adults can
    do it faster.TWO – HOW ALG WORKS
    Most language teachers are constantly telling their students to try to speak as much as they can,
    and to think carefully before they say anything, so they’ll get it right. And now I’m saying that this
    kind of speaking and thinking is the exact thing that prevents adults from learning languages well.
    We look at children who have moved to a new country, and we see them ‘listen, laugh, and stare’.
    The child’s secret; ears open, mouths shut, no tests. They become near-native within two years.
    Then we look into language classrooms around the world, and we see just the opposite; ears
    practically closed (the students use their eyes instead), mouths open, and a lot of tests. Very
    few of these students become near-native. Two things are needed for modern students.
    First, they need experiences in the language that are so interesting (fun, exciting, suspenseful,
    etc.), that the students forget that a new language is being used.
    And second, the students understanding must be high enough to learn – and this means 80-100%
    from the very first day!
    It takes a lot of work to train teachers to be both interesting and understandable. But it is the
    secret to success! Interesting and understandable listening, and a long “silent period”, is the key
    to speaking like a native.
    It is a sentence with Is or Does

    Andy is a good teacher because he does his job very well.

  3. sung Says:

    April 19th, 2013 at 12:16 am

    nice topic!!
    that’s right, in speaking language,
    we should get language subconsciously, naturally and intuitively.
    just like we get habits which we get through long time practice.
    through a lot of time exposure to certain words or phrase
    we could get it intuitively.
    the point is how much fun and interesting we have in certain language
    to become natural !!
    in that view,a lot of your mp3 is very helpful to those learning english…thanks!! keep going as it is!!! ////////////// sung

  4. Mahrous Hegazy Says:

    April 19th, 2013 at 4:51 am

    Thank you for your nice topic . As we have to listen to native speakers in learning and teaching English or any language .I am so sorry To say that we face a problem in Egypt as every thing in the language is measured or checked by writing skills in an exam . you can say that we neglect listening skills and the other skills
    As a result we depend on teaching and learning English grammar using the old method
    thank you Mahrous

  5. hazem Says:

    April 19th, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Hey Andy and add.
    Is this a typo or a grammatically mistake that you as a native have made?!!
    “Share you success stories with us”

  6. ASAD,Pakistan Says:

    April 19th, 2013 at 8:19 am

    A little bit of grammar study is a necessary evil if you are just starting out in your target language. Once you get the basics down, you should move to focusing much of your time on input based learning activities for example, listening and reading. Why did I say necessary evil? Well, if you can not understand simple sentences and enough words in your target language, then the language is just a noise. Language is more about imitation than theoretical dissection.

  7. andrzej Says:

    April 19th, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Hi there,
    I think that more and more people are getting to the idea that speaking language is a skill and not knowledge. To drive a car you must simply take a seat behind the wheel and drive and not talk about the engine, trans and stuff. Saying that I should also state that listening along is not enough. If it was it would suffice to watch TV all the time or sit in the movie theater. To get the proper feeling of the language we must arise those feelings by using our imagination and pretending that we take part in a given linguistic situation. That way activates our right part of the brain responsible for long term memory (imaginative memory). In this way the language you are exposed to sticks with you forever.

  8. Lina Says:

    April 19th, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Hi guys! Thanks for this topic and all job which you do. It’s obvious you work hard for us because every day we get something new. Both of your sites are great and help a lot. Thinking about grammar I can say that it depends from person. It is important to know some grammar for me, because I learn faster and understand better if I know the rules. I assume each of us has own way to learn English but anyway we have to work really hard if we want to know this language well.

  9. Hamid Reza Says:

    April 19th, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    I am definitely agree with you guys. It is very tough to remember all grammatical rules when you wanna speak and most of the time you forget all the stuffs and this sounds boring particularly for the guy who is peaking to us. You know the problem is all new beginners or even those guys who have high level of english, first make a sentences in their own language and then do try to change it into English. Maybe you guys did similar work in the past..Anyway.. In my point of view what makes English easy to learn is to communicate with native speaker and use all the new sentence and slang you learnt. It will also improve our confidence..hey I am speaking I am speaking..I like your method of learning English and just keep going…
    best wishes,

  10. Jonny Algaranaz Says:

    April 19th, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Hey guys,

    I just want to thank you for posting something that every person who is learning English should know. When learning a new language, in this case English, we all have to learn it in the same we learnt and achieved our first language. And how was that? By listening to others who already spoke the language very well.

    Listening and reading are the key to learning and achieving a new language. Why? In order for you to speak or say sth, for example a word or a sentence, you must have listened to it many times by someone else. You don’t even know how you did it. It just came out of your mouth because you listened to that phrase or sentence before. The same happens with writing.

    I’m not saying that grammar is not important. It is, for example, when you want to know how a language works and all that stuff. However, if we just want to speak the language we just have to listen to others, and also listen to podcasts, radio, etc., read magazines, newspaper and on and on and on.

    See you

    Santa Cruz, Bolivia

  11. memesh Says:

    April 21st, 2013 at 5:36 am

    Hi guy,

    as u say I’m agree with u we know grammar it’s hard to learn alone without any sentences not just sentences it must have a dialog that contain any kind of grammar and her we can learn grammar very easily ;)

    I’m the who have a problem 4 so long SO I’d better like to learn it by dialog not alone with stand alone sentence so I start to listen to podcast to improve my language becuz when u listen to a native speaker several times the word will come out of ur mouth easily ;)

    thanks ANDY 4 ur topic it’s really interesting

  12. Negar, Iran Says:

    July 18th, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    I totally agree with u.
    very useful topic.

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