Steve K   Sunday, October 24, 2004, 06:07 GMT
I agree that rules are useful to explain good practice or good usage. However, I feel that learning rules as a goal of language learning is not as effective as reading and listening and increasing vocabulary. IN other words rules can be used to explain but should not be taught as subject matter. Any comments?

In particular I find learning to distinguish compound sentences from complex sentences or compound-complex sentences etc. , in other words the skill to be able to identity parts of speech or grammatical terms is particularly unhelpful in language learning. Comments please.
Regula poster   Thursday, October 28, 2004, 13:13 GMT
I don't know what to comment but I agree.
lucky   Thursday, October 28, 2004, 13:30 GMT
I agree with you.
we start from small rules.
the small rules like you mentioned above helps learning at first.
but as we learn more, the small rules get converted into obstacle.

the more we get to know, the more abstract rule we need, like 'no more small rules', 'just keep reading and listening as much as you can', 'just absorb not thinking about rules' and etc...
Paulski   Monday, November 01, 2004, 11:34 GMT
I agree: overall there's nothing better than practice (reading listening and speaking) since this is how you gain confidence and . However I do believe in dipping into a grammar book every now and then to iron out mistakes you're not aware of. Also, it's quite important when you start out with a new language since some things can only be explained by learning the important rules first of all as a basis.

Rules and grammar were the basis to language learning in England with my parents generation- one reason why few people speak a foreign language.