Native German-language instructors teach us in completely different way, to what they used as kids learning German...

Just like...

  • we can use a pen, without knowing all about how or what’s it made of...
  • we can use our cars, without knowing everything about them...
  • we can also use a language without having all the knowledge (there is) about grammar terminology…

Because we only need what we need...

In fact, the evidence is in your own language:

F.e. if you are a native English speaker you know that the following sentence is wrong “The red big car”. 

You might not be able to explain to me, why that is!? But you know it sounds wrong because you first acquired this structure as a kid.

You heard it so many times… or some variations of it, like: “the big red house” or “the big bad wold” or “the big yellow submarine” that your brain has worked out the structure by acquiring it through the pattern of repetitions.

Whether you knew the rule (and forgot it or not) is irrelevant!

You first acquired the structure of how we say it, not learned the rule! You didn’t memorise some dictionary definition from thesaurus (when you were 4).

Your brain used pattern recognition. But for pattern recognition we need a lot of comprehensible input, otherwise there's not enough material in your brain to work out the patterns from (in the first place)...

I - as a non native English speaker - don’t know this rule (and thousands of other rules), because in my twenties I finally acquired English when living in the UK. 

Now, if I was interested I might ask someone to explain it to me. But then again, what’s the point now? I already know the most important thing… how to use it correctly in a sentence, because it feels right to me based on all of the cumulative (heard) repetitions of this particular structure.

“Big Grammar” lies, pushes, and convinces us we need to learn million rules in foreign languages.

But why?

Why do we think we need to memorise millions of German rules?


It’s a business!

These institutions are not interested in pushing the truth out to the public.

That would collapse their whole Trillion $ industry of printing grammar books overnight. 

(Jump to 13:30 to see what a disaster it would be for the whole grammar-publishing industry, if general public came to this understanding.)

If a typical language learning worked we would all speak the languages we studied in high school.

Btw, Krashen isn’t saying that the grammar is not important. But, he is saying that the way we get grammar to our brains is not through conscious memorisations

And that includes your very German teachers!

Yes, those German teachers that push you to do all kinds of tests, memorisations, explain plus quantum perfectum…

And then wonder why you don’t get it! 

But guess what?

They haven’t learned their native (German) language that way.

They acquired it through countless repetitions of hearing words and structures in context when they were kids and only later studied rules, because they needed to know them to become the teachers.

It’s as if… when it comes to German language learning they’d preach water, but they drank wine when they learned as kids.

Bad metaphor, but you get what I mean…

And here’s the problem, teachers are indoctrinated talk in teachers language. Nouns, pronouns, plus quantum perfectum, prateritum, etc.

And we “the normies” don’t have a clue what they talk about... 

This incessant blabbing becomes for us in-comprehensible input for the most part! 

A noise!

They might even help us to pass a specific test, because they teach according to that test, for that test.

But we are still unable to speak. 

Then they say it’s because we don’t practice.

But, imagine you went to a tennis school and 99% of the time was spent reading about strategy, or what the tennis balls and rackets are made of. 

Then after few years of that you’d ask “why am still so bad at playing tennis?” To which the coach replies: “It’s because you don’t practice in your free time”. You’d think “practice, where, with whom? I thought that’s why I come here”.

Seems like a perfect excuse for schools...

The fault is always on the student who doesn’t practice or study enough.

The child on the other hand receives great amount of comprehensible input and as a result it develops a “feeling” for the language. But that “feeling” of something sounding right isn’t based on nothing.

It’s based on all of the accumulated repetitions that went into its ears.

By the time kids go to school they already speak the language at a very good conversational level. 

What school/formal training does is... it enhances their knowledge. Enhancement of what is already there, as sort of a bonus. It helps them to analyze phrases, to understand what is a noun, pronoun, subject etc.

However, the kids are already conversationally fluent when they enter the school.

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