Posted by: lyonenglishnetwork | July 25, 2011

Learn language the UN-Natural way!!!

So, what’s the alternative to learning language the natural way? It’s learning language the UN-natural way.
What way is that, then ? Well, it’s learning grammar from a grammar book for example or learning grammar in the classroom.
Why is that so bad? What’s the problem with that? The problem is that you end up LIMITED. You’re stuck with hard and fast rules that simply don’t exist with language. The proof of that is poets and writers who use language creatively, you can’t just stick to the dictionary definition all the time you have to move on to be able to manipulate the language how you want to.
Another reason why it’s limited is you have to stick to the rule when you’re saying what you’re saying.
But perhaps the most important reason is that you can’t necessarily understand what is said back to you if you’re learning in unnatural, limited way. If your goal is to meaningfully communicate in a foreign language, you can’t consciously think about everything you’re saying so learn it in a conscious way. You can’t just say, hang on a second, I’ll just get my book! Also, if you learn it in an UN-natural way, you’ll end up translating, not thinking directly in the language.


Lyon Lingua

Learn Language the Natural Way



  1. So, to communicate in English in a ‘natural’ way – should teachers learn to speak and teach ‘chav’? Perhaps you could even explain what is ‘chav’. My daughter’s just been to stay and says she speaks chav back at home in Scotland. Here’s a discussion on it to follow:

  2. Another reply, Paul, but again you raise an interesting question. A bit more serious this time and also in response to my recently being told that ‘English people eat their words’ – for the umpteenth time. I’ve responded on my blog:

  3. I don’t exactly know what ‘chav’ is and I can’t really remember what a ‘chav’ is even though my sister explained it to me.

    But to be honest with you, why not ? I think my cousin uses it on facebook. If your aim is to communicate on someone via facebook, it might be necessary.

    Personally, I wouldn’t teach it in the English language classroom as an everyday rule. But given that in a conversation with a native speaker, pretty much anything can come up, I figure if you speak the language well, you need to understand most things.

    I’m reading a book at the moment and it appears that the French have a commission on language. For English, there is no commission and for that reason, English is constantly evolving (more than French). According to the book, the main aim of English is as as a tool to communicate whereas often French people consider the aim of their language as something of beauty and culture. But for me, first and foremost, French remains a tool for communication: as a baby, you have your basic needs met because you can speak French in France. I think the idea of a commission to define the language is dangerous; you’re excluding what would naturally happen. You’re also excluding people that don’t conform. This is true to a certain extent in English society too but perhaps not to the same extent.

  4. Doesn’t this commission stem from the French Revolution and subsequent implementation on Napoleonic codes to help define French cultural and linguistic identity? I’ve recently read a book on ‘The Camargue’ and it partly explored how Langue d’oc was banned from use in schools as the northern French, Langue d’oil, established supremacy as the nation-state (Republic) was born. Just the same as the English banning Scottish Gaelic, or the Romanians under Ceasescu banning Hungarian in Transylvania. Nation creating processes.
    ‘Chav’ – yes, I agree with the need determining learning content. Can’t see many of our adult business students wanting to fork out money to learn chav talk! Younger college students might be more interested.

  5. The book is called “Sixty million French people can’t be wrong”!

    I think it’s definately worth a read because it gives a lot of information about how France actually works.

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