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How language learning can succeed

    Language learning is not only about grammar and vocabulary, reading and translating or practising forms, but also about communicating meaning, i.e. sharing ideas, experiences, stories, beliefs and values is paramount. It has been shown that mechanical exercises aimed at practising forms do not help learners to acquire the complexity of actual communication. Studies show that even communicative questions designed to prompt grammatical forms sometimes cause learners to withdraw because the purpose of the exercise is not fulfilled, as it does not correspond to a meaningful exchange.

    Also, language learning is not just about mastering all the skills, because listening, speaking, reading and writing are not individual skills that can be taught in isolation or even in a sequence from listening to speaking, from reading to writing, rather they are components of the overlapping and interdependent aspects of communication. A conversation about a topic such as preferred travel destinations may perhaps lead to a reading about travel in the ancient world. The skills mentioned should therefore not be seen as a linear progression from listening to speaking and reading to writing, but emphasise the organic give and take of the different forms of communication and their interconnectedness.