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vijay raj

vijay raj


December 25, 2011


This paper aims at emphasizing the importance of nature of language learning. In order to obtain English fluency for students, studying grammar can slow our progress down significantly. Basic grammar is a necessity, but focusing on grammar will prevent students from being able to speak English fluently in a reasonable time frame. Grammar is most effective to improve communication and writing skills, but this only pertains to those who have a solid foundation in English fluency. If we are studying for an exam or want to learn the details of all the grammar rules, then we should read many books that are available for this purpose. One commonality among everyone in the whole world is that they learned to speak before they learned grammar. Speaking is the first step for any English learner. So if we are a novice at English, we have to focus on our speaking and listening skills prior to studying grammar. After being able to speak English fluently, we will realize how much easier grammar is. But it does not work the other way around. Being fluent in English speaking will help us with our grammar studies, but studying grammar will not help us with our speaking. The best language learners are children. In fact, it’s because they don’t study grammar and they don’t learn from textbooks. We must learn grammar intuitively.  We must learn grammar subconsciously.  We must learn grammar naturally. But Students sit passively memorizing information through boring rote. They listen passively to lectures and take notes. Anyone who understands the brain and how we learn knows that this education system is extremely ineffective. Learning in school is totally unnatural. We are taught this way because the central role of school is not to feed our minds but to teach us to follow the rules and train us to be obedient employees. In fact, in some countries, some education officials in the government openly admit that they do not care if students develop English fluency. In India, for example, many school officials say that the purpose of English class is not to learn English but to train students to write in the examinations. In other words, these officials believe that students become stronger by forcing themselves to memorize useless and boring information. It is no surprise that few India students become fluent English speakers unless they learn English outside of the school system. Noticeably, some private English conversation schools are strongly influenced by the government school systems. As a result, in these private conversation schools, they still use textbooks, drills, and grammar memorization as their primary methods. To learn English or any other language naturally, we must leave some of the school education system completely and become a natural way of learner. We must choose a listen-first method and focus most of our energy and time on listening to understandable English. Listening is the foundation of natural English learning. It is the core skill, and we must master it before We focus on anything else. This is the natural way to learn easily, effortlessly, socially, and independently. This is the way children naturally learn before they enter school. This is the way our brains are naturally designed for fastest and best learning.


Almost all human beings acquire a language (and sometimes more than one), to the level of native competency, before age 5. Most researchers agree that children acquire language through interplay of biology and environmental factors. A challenge for linguists is to figure out how nature and nurture come together to influence language learning. Some researchers theorize that children are born with an innate biological “device” for understanding the principles and organization common to all languages. According to this theory, the brain’s “language module” gets programmed to follow the specific grammar of the language a child is exposed to early in life. In fact, childhood may be a critical period for the acquisition of language capabilities. Some scientists claim that if a person does not acquire any language before the teen-aged years, they will never do so in a functional sense. Children may also have a heightened ability, compared to adults, to learn second languages--especially in natural settings. Adults, however, may have some advantages and disadvantages in the conscious study of a second language in a classroom setting.

Emphasis on Experience and Usage

Not all linguists believe that the innate capacities are most important in language learning. Some researchers place greater emphasis on the influence of usage and experience in language acquisition. They argue that adults play an important role in language acquisition by speaking to children—often in a slow, grammatical and repetitious way. In turn, children discern patterns in the language and experiment with speech gradually—uttering single words at first and eventually stringing them together to construct abstract expressions. At first glance, this may seem reminiscent of how language is traditionally taught in classrooms. But most scientists think children and adults learn language differently. While they may not do it as quickly and easily as children seem to, adults can learn to speak new languages proficiently. However, few would be mistaken for a native speaker of the non-native tongue. Childhood may be a critical period for mastering certain aspects of language such as proper pronunciation. What factors account for the different language learning capabilities of adults and children? Researchers suggest accumulated experience and knowledge could change the brain over time, altering the way language information is organized and/or processed. One thing babies must learn about language is where words begin and end in a fluid stream of speech. This isn’t an easy task because the spaces we perceive between words in sentences are obvious only if we are familiar with the language being spoken. It is difficult to recognize word boundaries in foreign speech.
Being able to speak a language is not related to how smart we are. Anyone can learn how to speak any language. This is a proven fact by everyone in the world. Everyone can speak at least one language. Whether we are intelligent, or lacking some brain power, we are able to speak one language. This was achieved by being around that language at all times. In our country, we hear and speak our language constantly. We will notice that many people who are good English speakers are the ones who studied in an English speaking school. They can speak English not because they went to an English speaking school, but because they had an environment where they can be around English speaking people constantly. There are also some people who study abroad and learn very little. That is because they went to an English speaking school, but found friends from their own country and didn't practice English. We don't have to go anywhere to become a fluent English speaker. We only need to surround ourself with English. We can do this by making rules with our existing friends that we will only speak English. As we can see, we can achieve results by changing what your surroundings are. We have to submerge ourself in English and we will learn several times faster.

Many students learn vocabulary and try to put many words together to create a proper sentence. It amazes us how many words some of my students know, but they cannot create a proper sentence. The reason is because they didn't study phrases. When children learn a language, they learn both words and phrases together. Likewise, we need to study and learn phrases. If we know 1000 words, we might not be able to say one correct sentence. But if we know 1 phrase, we can make hundreds of correct sentences. If we know 100 phrases, we will be surprised at how many correct sentences we will be able to say. Finally, when we know only a 1000 phrases, we will be almost a fluent English speaker. When we want to create an English sentence, we should not translate the words from our Mother tongue. The order of words is probably completely different and we will be both slow and incorrect by doing this. Instead, learn phrases and sentences so we don't have to think about the words we are saying. It should be automatic. Another problem with translating is that we will be trying to incorporate grammar rules that we have learned. Translating and thinking about the grammar to create English sentences is incorrect and should be avoided. A common phrase that is incorrect is, "Practice makes perfect."

   This is far from the truth. Practice only makes what we are practicing permanent. If we practice the incorrect sentence, we will have perfected saying the sentence incorrectly. Therefore, it is important that we study material that is commonly used by most people. Another problem we see is that many students study the news. However, the language they speak is more formal and the content they use is more political and not used in regular life. if you want to become fluent in English, then you should try to learn English without studying the grammar. Studying grammar will only slow we down and confuse us. We will think about the rules when creating sentences instead of naturally saying a sentence like a native. We should remember that only a small fraction of English speakers know more than 20% of all the grammar rules. Many students know more grammar than native speakers. We can confidently say this with experience. If  a student  who majored in English Literature, and have been studying  English with grammar  for more than 3 years, the student may not speak English fluently. If we ask any native English friends some grammar questions, and only a few of them know the correct answer. However, they are fluent in English and can read, speak, listen, and communicate effectively.


Listening, Speaking, Reading, and writing are the most important aspects of any language. The same is true for English. However, speaking is the only requirement to be fluent. It is normal for babies and children to learn speaking first, become fluent, then start reading, then writing. So the natural order is listening, speaking, reading, and then writing. It is strange that schools across the world teach reading first, then writing, then listening, and finally speaking. Although it is different, the main reason is because when we learn a second language, we need to read material to understand and learn it. So even though the natural order is listening, speaking, reading, then writing, the order for students is reading, writing, listening, and then speaking. The reason many people can read and listen is because that's all they practice. But in order to speak English fluently, we need to practice speaking.  We should not stop at the listening portion, and when we study, we should not just listen. We must speak out loud the material we are listening to and practice what we hear. Practice speaking out loud until our mouth and brain can do it without any effort. By doing so, we will be able to speak English fluently.

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