How They Teach You English Is Wrong
your brain is missing something to learn English in record time
Watch part 1
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How did you learn Spanish?
With grammar rules?
If I ask you how and when to use the Spanish subjunctive, can you?
If you are like my mother with the grammar rules of English, you can’t.
This is not how you learned Spanish. You learned Spanish with questions from your parents, stories from your uncles and by answering their basic questions.
You learned naturally.
And this DOESN'T MATTER if you’re an adult or a child.
Bailey, Madden & Krashen (1974) Pica (1983)
Adults learn languages like children
In the 1980s, the researchers Bailey, Madden, Krashen, and Pica found that adults learn like children. In the same way that your 1-year-old cousin learns Spanish right now, that’s how you have learned English.
Now some know-it-alls are going to tell you that is not true.
Do they know better than the experts?
Instruction didn't alter the development stages
Another study by a researcher in the 1980s found that no matter how teachers taught adults (with vocabulary lists, lots of grammar, role-playing games), adults followed the same stages of development as children.
Grammar correction didn't improve precision and created evasion
Another study found that consistently correcting grammatical errors did not help students, it frustrated them, and created evasion to speak.
Are you afraid to speak up when you think someone is going to scold you? The same thing will happen when an English teacher will scold you because you’ll say something wrong the first time you learn it.
Morgan-Short, Finger, Grey & Ullman (2012)
It only takes 10 minutes of grammar instruction to prevent native-like brain activity when communicating
And to finish, another study found that it only took 10 minutes of grammatical instruction for the human brain to lose the ability to use this aspect of language naturally.
Are you learning English to speak it like a shy robot or to speak it like a confident native?
I learn languages to speak them like the native speakers.
Unfortunately, I didn't learn Spanish this way. I learned in the beginning with a methodology that focused on grammar and conjugation.
If you notice that I can speak with pauses often, that's my mind thinking of grammar, treating Spanish like some kind of mathematics.
Do you want to speak with pauses like me?
No. You don't want to and neither do my students.
I teach my students how to speak like natives.
I avoid grammar and avoid correcting too much, like your parents did when you were growing up.
I’ll show you what I do in my pre-intermediate classes and my stories with this sentence. Obviously, you’re intermediate, but this will give you a better idea of what I am talking about.
I'm going to ask you a few questions. I want you to answer me based on the information in the sentence.
Emiliano Zapata talked to his students online.
Did you talk to his students?
Who talked to their students?
Did Superman talk to his students?
Where did he talk to his students?
Did he talk to his students at a school?
What did he do?
How many repetitions was that?
Around 20 with just 6 questions. 1 repetition for each question. 1 repetition for each one of your answers. 1 repetition for each time I repeated the correct answer back to you.
From my experience, and the experience of other teachers who use a similar methodology, beginners and pre-intermediates need 40-70 repetitions to learn new vocabulary.
Luckily, you’re intermediate! You don’t even need that many repetitions. You have so much English vocabulary in your head that you can memorize new vocabulary by connecting it to vocabulary you already know.
After experiencing this style of learning, my students realize that they are not going to master something with just 5 repetitions. They need much more, but once they get enough, it becomes automatic.
Your brain needs these repetitions to assimilate new things, otherwise it will end up exhausted.
Many students do not understand this and end up frustrated. They end up thinking that they are idiots and that only special people can learn English. That is far from the truth.
In the past few weeks I have learned andar por las ramas y atascado.
How did I do it?
My students introduced them to me and after seeing them repeatedly, they are now stuck in my mind.
How to do this at home?
Read a lot
Watch a lot of movies, TV shows, and videos
Write a lot
Talk whenever you get the chance
It’ll be a little frustrating without a teacher to guide you and to control the difficulty of the materiales, but it works the same with enough patience.
Learning fluent English is possible if you give your brain enough repetitions of the language. Can you see this now?
Tomorrow in the next training, you will learn why your Spanish is not your enemy, but your friend when you are learning English.
The link for the next training you will receive in your email.
See you tomorrow,