smallwhite wrote:How are grammar drills different from vocab drills? Should we start a thread for grammar drill unbelievers?
Haven't there been several?
Iversen wrote:I know that some learners hate grammar and pin their faith on discovering the rules along the way - like small children allegedly do. But hey, do small children do that? I guess their parents teach them the basics by repeating sentences endlessly and weeding out errors - and that's also a kind of grammar course.
Yes, children do
do that. There are societies where parents literally don't talk to kids. Not even a little bit. Those kids still acquire language just fine. There are societies with no notion whatsoever of grammar, and yet, that all perform grammar. Explicit grammar instruction (in a native language) does not in fact teach grammar, as it occurs after children have already acquired grammar. Rather it teaches children how to jump through various sociolinguistic hoops in order to be accepted by a linguistically prejudicial society ("prejudicial" here meaning believing "some dialects are better then others" and the like). This may very well be fascinating to a anthropologist or sociologist but has basically no relevance to the study of first language acquisition in children.
Iversen wrote:Actually I can't see the point in inventing the rules from scratch when you can cheat and look in a key.
I believe you are confusing competence with knowledge of competence (as the Rumsfeld quote goes, "There are known knowns...") and also confusing declarative knowledge with performative knowledge. Native speakers are perfectly competent and yet, without linguistic training, not familiar with how or why they are competent. They have little to no declarative knowledge and thus would fail a test where they were asked to explain WHY they speak the way they do, but their performative knowledge is literally the answer key if the test were to simply speak their native language. Declarative knowledge allows you to know all about the ATP cycle and how neurons compel muscle fibers to contract so you can pedal your bicycle, etc..; procedural knowledge, however, is what actually allows you to bike. You can have one without the other, and they have different utilities.
With regards to, for example, mathematics or computer science, I'm very interested in acquiring declarative knowledge. With regards to language learning, I couldn't care less about it*, honestly. Ultimately what I want is the unconscious competence of native speakers.
*minor caveat, I'm also interested in linguistics beyond or on top of language learning, and in that field declarative knowledge of how a language works is of relevance and in that sense I do care about it.
Now, acquiring declarative knowledge may very well help me get to the procedural knowledge, sort of like training wheels. But even if this were true, we should not think people who learn languages without much or any explicit grammar instruction are "inventing the rules from scratch" any more then a kid learning to ride a bike is inventing the laws of nature. Rather, both the language learner and the kid are building, mostly unconsciously, models of how the world works in their head based on the input they receive which naturally manifests as performance.
Anyways it's clear your method works well for you. Personally I would find it soul crushingly boring to sift through a dictionary making word lists, but all that means is we learn differently.
Iha śāriputra: rūpaṃ śūnyatā śūnyataiva rūpaṃ; rūpān na pṛthak śūnyatā śunyatāyā na pṛthag rūpaṃ; yad rūpaṃ sā śūnyatā; ya śūnyatā tad rūpaṃ.
Please correct any of my non-native languages, if needed!