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Liononthehunt Post time: 2017-11-12 11:07
I do see with you on this, and that's why so many quack foreign English teachers can survive in Ch ...
I disagree with you. It's not the "quack foreign English teachers". It's the system that puts stress on learning reading and writing (grammar) before listening and speaking (comprehension and meaning). This is actually the reverse of how you learned your native tongue (Chinese).
Everyone learns their own language in the following order, listening, speaking, reading, writing. Each one is more difficult to learn, than the previous one. Listening is the easiest because it is already built in to our bodies. It is "hard-wired" into our brains. Speaking is harder to learn than listening because now you have to use muscles and tissues to replicate the sounds you are hearing, and to form new sounds. Reading is next in difficulty because now your brain has to interpret symbols (letters/characters) into sounds that you can speak and listen to. Last is writing, because here is where all of the "rules" (grammar) come into play. Parts of speech, order, syntax, etc.
One thing that makes English so difficult for Chinese learners is the fact that it's an idiomatic language. Almost everything we say is in an idiomatic form. Most words have multiple meanings. Take the word "bear" as an example. A good dictionary will have up to four pages of meanings just for that word alone. Chinese users generally tend to learn only one definition, that of a large four-legged, fur-covered animal. When listening and speaking are learned first, these idioms become easier to understand and translate ... even if you are hearing them for the first time. By learning reading and writing first, these idiomatic expressions become extremely difficult, if not downright impossible, to translate into one's own language.
Another difficult aspect is the insistence by Chinese English teachers that you learn more vocabulary. Although that is not necessarily a bad thing, you must remember that the average native speaker of English only has a useful vocabulary of about 3500 words. I say a "useful" vocabulary, because many of these words are repeated constantly in everyday conversation. The most commonly used word in the English language is "the". Like I said, more vocabulary is not necessarily a bad thing, however, you must be mindful of what you learn. Words like "natatorium", which is commonly seen throughout China, is a word that was taken out of common usage in the late 1700's. A natatorium is a swimming pool. Another word, which is now regarded as "ancient", but is still commonly used in China, is "Stomatological". Do not use this word!! Even native speakers do not use this word ... unless they are dentists. That's right ... dentists. A Stomatological Hospital is simply a Dental Clinic. How do you tell if the word you are using is common? Ask. If you use it in conversation and the native speaker looks at you like your head just exploded, it's probably not a common word, so ask, first.
Like I said, Liononthehunt, it's not the quack English teachers, it's the quack system of learning.