Hi. I thought I would introduce a subject for discussion. As most of you are aware, acquiring a second language is a lengthy and difficult process. Language theory in this area indicates we learn a second language either through Language Learning, the study of rules, grammer, and vocabulary, and Language Acquisition, the learning of language through communication in real situations.

The discussion question is, which method do you think works best?
This is what I think:

Of the two, language acquisition certainly works better, because it's the only right way leading to the right reslt, the way we've all learned our mother tongue. It may seemingly take longer for people to feel that they have gained any improvement, but the time and efforts are ultimately worth while. Spend 1 day, and you may get a piece of glass; Spend 10 days, and you get a diamond.

Unfortunately, not all people have the "real situations" for them to learn the language in. Then I think language learning is an alternative. Not all people in the world have the need to speak a foreign language; of those who have the need, not all of them need to speak it fluently. For some of them, some basic reading and speaking ability are enough. That is what one can achieve through language learning by studying grammer and vocabulary. If some of them have the need some day, say they move to a English speaking country, they can naturally pick up the acquisition way.
I definitely agree with Anonymous.

I think that learning weighs more than people think even in our mother tongue. Unless studying reading and writing, we remain illiterate. A lot of reading from a child surely builds up linguistic ability.

[edit: I need time to regain my mental stability.]
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In my experience, the most efficient way is "acquisition" as a primary means with "learning" as a support. Placing one's self in an authentic situation leads to learning only the most necessary vocabulary, develop sentence structures, and shape pronunciation, while the additional learning aids in ironing out the subtle details of languages that may not be noticed.