No Downside, Part 3: More Self-Evident Truth

More self-evident stuff:

When you speak a second language, would you say you “know what you’re doing”?

Would you say that you speak as well as or better than a six-year-old native-speaker?

Does the six-year-old (who, be honest now, speaks much better than you) “know what he’s doing”?

Who worked harder to learn the language: you, or the six-year-old?

Who works harder to produce language: you, or the six-year-old?

So, the best language speakers don’t work at learning the language, don’t work at speaking the language, don’t know what they’re doing, and speak better than those of us who have worked hard and know what we’re doing. Hmm.

In light of all this, is it preferable to pour all of our energy into an effort to help our students learn rules that  are predictably and consistently ignored (even by students who “know” them on tests) in real-life contexts (because we’re not wired to consciously process grammar as we speak)? Or is it preferable to pour our efforts into helping students know what “sounds right”, so they have a chance at the mindless fluency of the blissfully ignorant six-year-old language master?

 

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