Learn by Doing, not by Memorizing Lists

I have had one simple  philosophy in regard to teaching English (as I have done for more than 3 decades on two continents), which is that learning by doing is the best way to learn.

Many students hate learning English because their teachers have focused on grammar and rules, which are complex and contradictory in English, a synthetic language formed from Old French, Anglo-Saxon (a Germanic tongue), Greek, Latin, and bits of Native American, Celtic, and other languages that were either colonies or trade partners of Britain. 

For me, the rules are the least interesting part of the English language, though it's necessary to know them. What I focus on is reading and writing, as you can absorb the rules fairly painlessly if you see them being used by experts and then practice using them yourself. 

Rules out of context serve little purpose, but figuring out which rules apply in what particular situation is the only way to master English. Learning by doing, while tedious and sometimes painful, is the best way to learn.


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