"speaking is a result of language acquisition not the cause"
Now this IS a contentious issue (and see my Canadian compatriot Merrill Swain's research on CO - or comprehensible output) but I do agree that most teachers have it wrong, do it wrong. Reception and input (comprehensible input) does lead to quicker and stronger acquisition of language.
I think teachers wrongly have the mindset that speaking and writing are "better" due to several things;
1. they are more "active" and so there is the appearance that acquisition is taking place.
2. a misunderstanding about the difference between learning and acquisition.
3. they want to be "a teacher" and there is a belief that a teacher just doesn't let the students read books or listen. There is a belief that a teacher must be in control, command, order, engage etc.....
To gain fluency, of course you need to speak and write - but this is the icing on the cake - not the cake itself! It comes later in the process of learning a language.
If you want to be a fluent writer - read a lot.
If you want to be a fluent speaker - listen a lot.
It is that simple and I think a lot of our schools, our teacher training programs etc... have it dead wrong. Also, this is why I believe self directed learning and the use of technology is very effective for learning languages (but like everything, only if done well - and that is where the teacher comes in).
Now maybe I got it all wrong??? Let me know your thoughts please.
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