Informal English language learning

Dear All,

  1. After a quiet long research, I have found that Grammar
    is not very much important to learn a language. Informal
    reading will help a lot in writing essays and speaking English through substituion and reproduction methods.
    Please let me know if I am wrong. If am right, please
    advise some text book using which I can learn the English
    very fast instead of going thru lots of junk materials

  2. Please advise when do we use “On the Other hand” and

Thanks & Regards,

You’re right and wrong at the same time.

You’ve made one very accurate, powerful observation, which is that grammar instruction does not, by itself, result in accurate language use. No matter how much grammar you’ve studied, at street level, for actual use, you’ll start to pick up the language in phrases, or what experts call “chunks” nowadays. With time, and more exposure to natural language, these “chunks” get broken down into grammatical language. So in real learning in immersion, the process operates in just the opposite direction from the way they teach it in language classes.

However, I disagree with you in the belief that the grammar materials are junk. The grammar materials make you conscious of the structures in a language so that you will notice them when you hear or see them. This noticing cycles into your own language. For example, most foreigner learners of English would need another lifetime to figure out when to use the present simple and present continuous tenses if they just listened to people speak or read books. Explicit grammar instruction makes them aware of the difference between these structures, so that they can notice it in their environment and begin to imitate them.

Personally, I’d recommend you study grammar materials and at the same time read a lot and listen to the radio or watch TV.

Thanks for your reply Jamie…I have used “Junk materials” to ask about what material are good enough to get lot of language…

You should use real materials with authentic language. News sites, radio shows, movies, etc.

Hi Alan,

Could you please advise the exact situation where we can use “On the other hand” and “But”.

Hi mangalakumar,

Both are used to show a contrast. All you can really say is that but introduces some kind of exception to or contrast with what has gone before as in:

I know you have passed your driving test but you must remember that you still have a lot to learn.

On the other hand is used much more in discussions and arguments and is a counterpart to On the one hand as in:

On the one hand you have to admit that emails have made communication easier. On the other hand you have to accept that people are less likely to talk to each other.