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In most situations, a person can do something for three months and handle it, but there is a certain shift in the mind that happens when you hit month 4. In this case we are talking about learning English.
If a students starts at the most basic level the first three months should be a big confidence booster for them. The exercises should be at the beginners level to start with and easy and logical to move through to the next few levels. Problem is that when you hit level 4 you are going to hit a new dimension of learning. This fourth level will almost always require these two things:
- Applying what you know in to complex practical situations
- Learning exceptions to the rule
Many students find the first 3 months easy because there does require a lot of memorizing at the early stages, and if you are someone who has an expansive memory bank, you’ll soak it all up and regurgitate it as necessary. But though memorizing the early information is important, in the long run you will need to understand the logical technical side too, as this will be what will required when you have to apply what you have memorized.
The second part is the fact that English is a living language. That means that it is still in a state of growth and so as it grows, there will be new dimensions to it as well as new words, this is going to impact some rules, meaning there will be some exceptions to the rule.
For example, the introduction of the computers and technology has made some very complex as well as simple shifts in some grammar rules.
- Take the concept of the ‘mouse’. In usual grammar a ‘mouse’ is an animal, and if you have two of these creatures you will have two ‘mice’, however if you have two computer ones, they will be called ‘mouses’.
- The use of the word ‘software’ is still under debate as to whether we describe the plural of software as ‘softwares’ or ‘pieces of software’ – the question is, is ‘software’ countable or uncountable – the jury is still out.
- The term ‘video’ was first used as a noun – it was a product, a video, now it has also become used as a verb – we ‘video’
- Google was originally simply the name of a company, now we can use it as a verb – we ‘google’ something
…and so it goes on.
The fourth month is all about opening the students mind, letting the language start to live inside the mind. This is the time when the student makes that extra concerted effort to see if English is really for them. This is when fluency can take hold and the natural English that has been learned to date can take a firmer grip. To nail the fourth month is crucial for ongoing English learning.