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"My son/daughter is having difficulty grasping the grammar in his/her foreign language class." This is the most common opening that I see when a potential student sends me an e-mail. Some of these same students, (especially those who are seniors in high school) express dismay when they find out that they will have to study a foreign language in college in order to graduate. Having taught foreign language at both the high school and the college level, I wish to point out that although they are the same subject, they are not taught in the same manner. - High school foreign language instruction places more emphasis on learning the grammar and the structure than on actually using the language in a real-life context. Many college instructors (myself included) subscribe to a "communicative teaching methodology" in which the primary goal of the course is for the student to attain proficiency in the language. Grammar instruction is a vehicle through which to... read more

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