Astounded Yet Confused

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Will

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Here's the situation: I'm astounded at how well all the Chinese people on here know the structure of the English language. I mean, as their second language it astounds me that they know more about English structure than most Americans do. Why is it that this kind of structure isn't taught in American schools? <-- (thats the confusing part)
 

dduck

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May 24, 2003
Grammar is quite often used to teach students a second language. As far as I know, English speakers in the U.K. and the U.S. aren't taught grammar because by the time they have reached school they've managed to learn the bulk of the language. I believe that at some point in the past educators did teach grammar, but, it appears, in monoglot cultures there's not much advantage to learning grammar. Consequently, the practice was dropped.

I know that German schools teach german grammar, but that's a unique symptom of their heavily gammar-based language and the heavily structured culture.

Iain
 

Tdol

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Many languages teach their grammar and many people yearn for the old days when grammar was taught in this country. ;-)
 
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Will

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I see the logic in that, dduck. But I think that it has hurt me, and many other Americans, when we're trying to learn a second language. I've had to retrain my brain to think in terms of nouns, verbs, and adjectives, and I've had to think about sentence structure a lot more. I'm taking Spanish in high school, and it's been a bit of a challenge because I had to learn (because they were never really taught in previous years) exactly what an adjective is, or an adverb, and sentence stucture. I guess, in English, that all these things are just innate.
 

shane

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I didn't know what a 'gerund' was until I came to China and I had to teach them - how sad is that?? :oops:
 

Tdol

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I heard of a teacher who was told to do 'relatives' and was happily doing a lesson on uncles and aunts until a student suggested that 'which' and 'that' might be nearer the mark. ;-)
 
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Will

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I heard of a teacher who was told to do 'relatives' and was happily doing a lesson on uncles and aunts until a student suggested that 'which' and 'that' might be nearer the mark.

Gold. :lol:
 

dduck

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shane said:
I didn't know what a 'gerund' was until I came to China and I had to teach them - how sad is that?? :oops:

I didn't know what a gerund was until I started learning Spanish, and then again it's not the same a the gerund in English. I learned afterwards! Doh!
 

Tdol

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Then there's the difference between a gerund and a present participle. Yummy. ;-)
 
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