Language is learned outside the classroom

If we know the best way to acquire a foreign language isn’t by studying grammar and through typical “classroom” style of learning why do we continue to do it?

When we are kids we don’t learn languages (or anything) by studying a textbook. Can you imagine learning to ride a bicycle by sitting down and reading step by step what to do? Sit on the seat, Left foot on the pedal, hands on the handle bar, push off, etc. It simply doesn’t work, we would be paralyzed by focusing on every tiny detail.

So why do we keep falling victim to this method?

My theory is this: grammar, at it’s most basic level, is something our matured minds can grasp on to quickly. When we start learning this way we really feel the quick wins, we can see the progress, and it is easy.

The same goes for learning vocabulary. We decide we will learn 5 words a day, we can see the progress. But what is the point of learning 5 words a day if we can’t actually use them when we speak?

We are obsessed with the short-term progress and lose sight on methods that, while uncomfortable, will provide long term results.