Monthly Archives: December 2004

Phrases, the key to natural learning

Native speakers of any language know naturally which words belong together. They have heard their own language so often and in so many situations that they can naturally put words together in a way that sounds effective. The foreign learner cannot… Continue reading

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Why learning grammar is harmful

Many language learners have been conditioned to think that they need to learn grammar to learn a language. This is wrong, wrong, wrong! When I go to learn a new language I avoid explanations of grammar and avoid all questions or exercises based on… Continue reading

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Some myths of language learning

Along with the false friends of language learning, there are myths. These also hold people back. Here I will mention just a few. “You have to have a talent for languages in order to learn.” Is it likely that this talent for languages exists only w… Continue reading

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The false friends of language learning

There must be millions if not hundreds of millions of people who study languages. Most of them are frustrated and do not achieve fluency. I believe it is the false friends of language learning that let them down. These false friends are: the class… Continue reading

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Anyone can be a linguist

When I say linguist I do not mean someone who studies complicated theories about language. I just mean someone who can speak more than one language and who enjoys doing it. Usually the two go hand in hand. Native speakers of English are at a big d… Continue reading

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Oh it is so difficult

I had a chat today with a lady who lives in Vancouver. She was complaining about how difficult it is for adults to learn English in Vancouver. But her problem is that her whole life is caught up with her own ethnic group. She has contacts with Eng… Continue reading

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