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Chinese grammar could be learned without learning

People believe that second language learners need grammar to speak and write, thus almost every language programs have more or less some lectures or training for grammar, and Chinese programs have no exception. That seems a common belief of learning second language. We do not take the position that second language learners need grammar to use language. We think grammar emergent automatically if you are exposed to enough language input, and the speed of emergent could be fasten if they are comprehensible input.

The Chinese particle 了 has been traditionally divided into two broad categories: aspectual particle 了 and modal particle 了. However, for a word with as many varied grammatical uses, such broad classifications don't seem particularly helpful to learners.

Thought grammar rules seem limited, there are countless grammar points that you can never list them all. Chinese and English are not different in the aspect of grammar rules and points. Tense, plural form, and noun-adjective agreement are important grammar rules in English. Classifier and aspect words in Chinese are important as grammar rules in English. Perhaps, you can list all the grammar to learn. In Chinese, possessive words like ‘有’and ‘的’are also important that you can argue they are some kind of grammar rules.

Second language learners may could handle rules, but there is no way to handle hundreds of points. Besides tense, verbs are classified into transitive and intransitive in English, and they carry different meanings. Verb system in Chinese is also complex, Chinese linguistics spent all their life trying to establish a convincing structure. To our knowledge, there are still lot of works need to be done. These unsystematic verb words are grammar points. Linguistics discover them, and Chinese as second language learners learn them. These grammar rules and grammar points become the core of almost all Chinese programs, such as CLI, either embedded into their classes implicitly or explicitly.

Inspired by Dr. J. Marvin Brown and ALG (Automatic Language Growth) programs in Thailand, Magic Ship Mandarin Online provides an alternative way to learn Chinese without grammar rules and points, even implicitly drill or pre-teaching. Both ALG and Brown’s approach are based on Dr. Stephen Krashen’s input hypothesis, which says we acquire languages by listening, not by speaking, and that we subconsciously learn to use them correctly and fluently by getting comprehensible input—hearing them in ways that we can understand—not by studying and practicing things like grammar rules or points. Learning Thai in a natural approach was implemented in Thailand for more than 30 years and a lot students speak Thai as native speakers do. Now, you can learn Chinese naturally online too. The more comprehensible input you have, the better your Chinese grammar grows.

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  1. Pingback: Teaching Chinese to New HSK 3.0? It is the Last Thing We Want to See - Magic Ship

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