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Somehow I disagree to place too much emphasis on grammar to improve English. It can serve as an obstacle for those who are too self-conscious about making mistakes. So thinking too much about the correctness in grammar before making a speech would hinder one's progress.

In my opinion, copy good sentences and practice through a drill to get used to it. It comes as automatic reflexes once it is needed. Agreed ?

Any comments ?
I agree most with whl626. Some students (or learners) are so worried about making mistakes that they "clam up".
I believe immersion is best. Listen, read, write, immitate, study and speak.
Remember that as a non-native speaker you are blessed with a license to make mistakes, but try not to become a serial offender.
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See, that annoys me. Sure, it's important to immerse yourself in a language and not get too freaked out about being correct, but some people use the line that grammar scares students as an excuse not to teach it. And how can you possibly allow yourself to say something if you don't understand how it is constructed? I hate that! I mean, sure, we do that with our native tongues, since we just talk without thinking -- part of the thing I find so interesting about this forum is that it forces me to look at English from the point of view of someone who doesn't understand its constructions, and so, in the process, I understand my own speech better -- but ick, I don't want to do that in another language too! I can't stand things that haven't been explained with as much exactness as possible.
So sure, immerse people in the language so they get comfortable with it, but explain the grammar first! Besides, that's the most interesting part, anyway. Why else would anyone want to learn a language?Emotion: wink
To communicate...
Meh, communication is highly overrated. I hate people anyway.Emotion: wink
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The passion for learning comes from its practical usage in day to day human interaction. Grammar is supposed to be at the later stage in the learning process. It makes one feel that years of efforts is gone down the drain if he can't even utter some simple sentences in response to people's question but with tons of rules of the language as a mental torture in his brainEmotion: smile.

For your info, our Ministry of Education implemented a proposal that high school students had to pass the English Oral Exam to move up when the majority only knew ' 2 words ' and ' 1 phrase '.

YES, NO, I DON'T KNOWEmotion: smile
Later stage. See, I hate that! Why not teach it all at once so that you can speak and understand at the same time?? In a foreign language, where you have so little experience, grammar is all you can cling to, really. You don't know the specific instances, so you need to cling to general grammatical rules to understand anything at all.
I also think it's kind of an insult to the student to assume he will be "confused" and "tortured" by a little bit of grammar. People aren't so stupid as that. They'll deal.
Sure, you need the oral stuff too — I strongly agree with you there, because you need to get used to the rhythm of a language — but you need the understanding, the exactness, the theory behind the application, with languages as with all other things. There's nothing that enrages me more than people who claim that the theory is all just silly and useless. Sure, it's not the only thing, but it's REALLY important and makes the student feel MUCH more secure. I don't know about you, but I am driven CRAZY in a class where the teacher refuses to teach me the theory behind what I'm doing. I can't allow myself to do something blindly by rote, do something I don't understand. Shudder. That, to me, is not what constitutes learning.
I also disagree when you say, "The passion for learning comes from its practical usage in day to day human interaction." Why must things always be practical? Am I a bad person, a useless member of society, for being interested in things not for any practical purpose by merely for their own sake? It's this kind of thinking, this assuming that students only want to learn so that they can communicate, or so that they can pass a test, or so that they can "get a job," or whatever else bull people put out there, that I just cannot and will not stand for. Such an assumption is condescending, glib, and often inaccurate. This is what's wrong with our world.
Half our new-fangled, state-of-the-art teaching methods, the stuff that people make studies of, are in reality just *** that distracts from the actual subject. Same as all that crap about making learning "fun." Learning is fun; how better can you make someone enjoy learning than by getting into a subject in detail, rather than just glossing over it in order to make it more "pallatable"?
Grrr. Yeah, I'm ranting, and yeah, I've gone way off topic. And I suspect a lot of you will disagree with me on all this. But grrrr, this really hits a nerve: there's nothing that makes me more irate than encountering this in a classroom. So I'm venting YEARS and YEARS of EXTREME FRUSTRATION!
Let us all remember that the original thread was about how to improve one's vocabulary and literary knowledge.
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Erm, right. Sorry there. Ranting is a rather nasty habit of mine. Especially off-topic ranting.
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