This newsletter tells you all about English! Start your FREE email English course now!

Find penpals and make new friends today!
pertaining to the world and nature around us
full quiz correct answer

ESL Article: Language is a Cycle

How to prepare for the TOEIC test?
How to learn English
TOEFL Description
How to Score High Marks on the TOEFL? (1)
How to Score High Marks on the TOEFL? (2)
How to Score High Marks on the TOEFL? (3)
Language is a Cycle
Learn English with Babylon Pro
Characteristics of English
Watching my son learn to speak
British vs. American English (1)
British vs. American English (2)
British vs. American English (3)
An American-Russian Dialogue (1)
An American-Russian Dialogue (2)
An American-Russian Dialogue (3)
A Russian View on Culture (1)
A Russian View on Culture (2)
A Russian View on Culture (3)
The connections between language and culture
How I learned English
"Englishes" on CNN
The Cyber Renaissance of EFL, ESL and TESOL
Open versus Closed School Policy
New Trends in Our Daily Lives
Start or begin?
Culture Shock (1)
Culture Shock (2)
Culture Shock (3)
The Nature of the Beast (1)
The Nature of the Beast (2)
Broadband Boom
The Consumer Society: The Business of Gluttony
An American in Leipzig
Using the Internet
Virtual Classroom
Americans and the "Oberfest"
How I read Irving''s Novel
One Ordeal of the ESL Profession
English Language Exercises 2206 English Exercises
This English grammar test package will help you learn new phrases, idioms, expressions and grammar structures every single day. And you won't even have to cram any grammar rules or vocabulary words into your head. Instead, you will be absorbing bits and pieces of the English language almost without realizing it.
English as a second language
Pimsleur German Pimsleur German
Learn English through this unique audio course! No grammar exercises, no boring English classes. How did you learn your native language? You can learn English the same way! Try this EFL/ESL audio comprehensive program and you will make progress fast.
When you open a traditional language course book it usually starts with lesson 1 and goes down to lesson 10 or whatever the final lesson in the book might be. Naturally you follow this logical structure and when you have completed the first lesson you move on to the next. At least that''s what the authors of the book recommend you to do. And it all makes perfect sense, doesn''t it? A language course must have a beginning and an end. Now, let''s think about this again. Is this really so? What happens if you skip the first five lessons and start with lesson No 6 and then you move on to lesson No 3 after which you jump to lesson No 8. Have you tried this already? No? Then that suggests you like rules and structure.

English Grammar through Stories (PDF)Improving your grammar is much easier than you think
Printable, photocopiable and clearly structured format
For use in a classroom, at home, on your PC, or anywhere

However, in most real life situations you will find that they don''t have the same sequence as the course in your exercise book. Even the grammar rules don''t seem to appear in the same order as you have learned them. Language cannot be pressed into the pages of a course book. Language shouldn''t be regarded as a course that starts at one point and goes on to another because language is a cycle that you can complete as often as you want and on every round you will discover something new. Traditional language teaching assumes that a person has to start at a certain level and then move on to the next stage. But when you learn a second language you already know all the grammatical concepts of your mother tongue. Take the Conditionals. In most language course books you will find them in the more advanced sections. Yet, when you use English to communicate with another person you might very well encounter a situation that requires one of the conditionals. In the world of conventional teaching there are learners with various skill levels.

Do you speak your mother tongue fluently? Of course you do so you have proved that you can learn any other language as well. Our psychology is programmed in such a way that we assume it must be hard work to learn a second language, it must take a long time and a lot of self-discipline but that''s not the case. Do you know that a child aged 6 - 7 years already uses most of the grammatical constructions of their native language? (including any form of the conditional)

So, when you learn a second or third language you don''t have to start from scratch - you already know the concepts of the tenses, the passive and active voice, modal verbs and so on. All you really have to do is change your habits and get used to expressing the same concept with different constructions and phrases. That''s what it comes down to:

Changing your habits. If you grew up in an English speaking country you usually say "I''m cold." when you feel cold. If your mother tongue is Russian you usually say "Мне холодно." and if you are German you are likely to say: "Ich friere." You see, in all three cases the concept is the same. What''s different is the way to express this concept. The older you get the more you get used to your language but the more you are also aware that life is a series of changes you have to adapt to or even bring about yourself. So, when you want to learn a new language you don''t have to start with "lesson 1" or even "lesson 0". You can pick any point out of the cycle and start there because sooner or later you will come across the point that is marked "lesson 1" in your language course book. There are advantages and disadvantages in learning a second language as an adult as opposed to acquiring your mother tongue as a child. The main disadvantages clearly are:

  • you have less time
  • you are aware that you must achieve a result and that puts you under pressure
  • your mother tongue will interfere with the new language (especially when you try to translate separate words out of context)
So, knowing these drawbacks you can adjust to them and even turn them into advantages:

  • you already know concepts a child has yet to learn such as abstract terms, rhetorical questions and subliminal processes
  • you can choose from a variety of resources and learning techniques
  • you can monitor and control your learning progress
  • you can compare grammatical structures of the new language and your mother tongue
  • your active vocabulary in your mother tongue is bigger than a child''s so you have more words you can link new vocabulary to
This of course is only one part of the aspects to learning languages and the more ideas and concepts you try out the sooner you will find what works best for you. If you haven''t achieved the results you want to yet it is not because you are not good at languages it is simply that you haven''t found your own special way of dealing with them yet.

If you have any English grammar or vocabulary questions,
please post them on this English Grammar Forum.

Next:ESL Article: Learn English with Babylon Pro

English Grammar through Stories (PDF)
English Grammar through Stories could be your saviour — it shows you a completely new way of learning. Forget about old-fashioned text books with difficult explanations and boring sample sentences. You can improve your grammar very fast if you know how. The answer is a few clicks away: Read these unique short stories by Alan Townend and absorb the patterns of English grammar automatically. You can only learn if you enjoy what you are doing. You will love the funny characters in English Grammar through Stories because they show the strengths and weaknesses of human nature. On top of all that, each story concentrates on one particular grammar item so all you have to do is read the book and have fun. You will be amazed at how easily you can improve your grammar.

  copyright © 2003—2023  
Get FREE English course via e-mail