Challenge 4 grammatical perfection

Steve K   Monday, August 02, 2004, 17:18 GMT
Only after considerable exposure to the language do certain structures start to seem natural. The learner should not worry about performing correctly until ready. I see learners who can hardly speak, disputing fine points of grammar. The emphasis on speaking "correctly" is discouraging and unrealistic. It is demotivating and reduces the all important enjoyment of communicating in a new language.

The learner is best to just communicate and enjoy it. With a continuing emphasis on massive input, and especially with a focus on phrases, the strangeness of the new language will lessen.

Choice of words, verb tense, as well as preposition and article use are the main problems of intermediate and better learners. These are most easily improved by learning the words and phrases one encounters in reading and listening, and then trying to use them in writing and speaking, without fear.
Tom   Thursday, August 05, 2004, 15:12 GMT
It is not my goal to de-motivate anyone. On the contrary, my goal is to motivate learners to build their sentences more carefully and to get more input.

If a learner has to speak carelessly in order to retain his/her motivation for learning English, then I would advise him/her to speak carelessly. He/she will probably run into problems down the road, but the most important thing is to keep learning.