School Textbooks Has anyone tried learning a target language using school textbooks for children of the countries where this language is native? 

What kind of English classes do English-speaking children have? And for how many years? 
Mar 23, 2019 6:06 PM
Comments · 34

I'm shocked. Really. The most important school subject in Germany is the subject "German". Every kid in Germany has this subject from the first to the last day of their entire school career. German kids learn in primary school not only how to read and write but also the grammatical terms like verb, noun, adjective nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, the names of the tenses, and so on. Being a native speaker of a language doesn't mean that one is procificient and literate in it. Often kids only learn a dialect or colloquial variety of their language at home but not the standard variant, so I assumed that children everywhere are taught the standard variant of their language at school. If they don't even have meta knowledge about their own language, no wonder they have problems using it correctly and acquiring foreign languages.

March 24, 2019


I thought it could be different for cities because that's how it is in Ukraine. In small towns/villages, there may be less classes and the quality of education is worse.

That's interesting. In fact, it is probably the opposite in the UK: I suspect that children probably have a better chance of receiving a good state school education in a smaller town than in a large town or city.  Larger cities have more social issues of all kinds (chaotic family backgrounds, drug abuse, violence, deliquency and so on) , which inevitably impacts on the likelihood of getting a decent education.

March 24, 2019

Miriam asked : Do they not even learn basic grammatical terms like verb, noun, adjective, tense etc?

No, they don't. The average English-speaking person on the street today would probably only a vague idea about what those words mean. And they would certainly have no notion about what the tenses were called, what a pronoun is, what the term 'phrasal verb' means, and so on.

I only learnt what those words meant when I came to learn foreign languages in secondary school. In order to give us a hope in hell's chance of learning German when I was 12, our teachers gave us a crash course in 101 grammar. This involved the basic parts of speech and teaching us the notions of object, subject and so on.

These days, they often don't even do that.  Secondary school kids flounder about in French, German and Spanish without any idea about structure or the terms used to describe it.

March 24, 2019

Su. Ki.

Thank you very much for answering and explaining. Yes, that's what he told me about British schools. I thought it could be different for cities because that's how it is in Ukraine. In small towns/villages, there may be less classes and the quality of education is worse.

Also, we are not taught case endings... Russian is our mother tongue, by the time children go to school they can naturally speak without confusing the cases. I worked in a kids center and 4-year-olds talked with each other and they always used the cases correctly. It's interesting because once my Chinese language partner asked me about whether we learn cases in school too. I don't know why people think that. Cases are not written speech so any child uses them correctly without thinking about it because they've been hearing it since they were a baby. We only learn about some difficult words. For example, some nouns don't decline, mostly those that are borrowed, but children may try to decline them as if it were a Russian word so we are taught about that.

March 24, 2019

It was frustrating to think that even a third grader book is challenging. Also, the topics weren't interesting. I prefer to read texts aimed at adults. For instance, I enjoyed reading articles about culture and society in weekly magazines.

March 23, 2019
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