Chapter 3 Summary (L398)

Chapter 3 Summary (L398)
In the third Chapter of The Third Ear, the author stated some mistakes on the learning a foreign language. There are “the bad belifes and logical traps”, “the school subject mistake”, “the cultural mythology mistake”. That’s why people general find second language learning diffcult.

Firstly, the bad belifes and logical traps. Be honest, I always think Chinese and English
are two language system previously. I think Chinese stress the look of the word, because Chinese words everyone is different. But English stress the application, because English just have 26 letters. Like Janathan, I also think Chinese was a tonal language, English should be more easy, because English was not a tonal language. And I always wonder why I can the harder Chinese but I can’t the relative easier English.

After read it, I knew that I also had the cognitive error. Actually, learning any language is the same thing. Not only the language tones, but also many different sources of information to understand a language. For example, the context , the facial expressions, and the body languages. So there is no need to afraid of a foreign language.

Sometimes it’s normal not to understand the meaning only through the words or phrases. Becasuse it’s likely to lack of the context of the facial expression. It’s like the dumplings that the author ordered once. The author ordered two pound dumplings. It’s ten times to the “er liang”(a Chinese measure unit) in local Chinese reataurant. He ignored the waiter’s faith advise, he thought he know the best. Then he learn a classic lesson. The author and his friend got the twenty plus plates of the dumplings. This scene is surely funny. Actually the reason is very simple. In this context, the dumplings’s weight is just the dry measure rather than the weight after cooking as the author thinks. How important it’s for understanding the real meaning through the context.

Secondly, the school subject mistake. For this topic, as a Chinese, I would like to many words to speak. As we all know, Chinese are good at the academic research. Look at my around, everyone likes to study the skill in the classroom. Because it’s logical and effective. Yes, it’s useful to have some subject,like the math. It’s can be learn the basic knowledge fast and to use it in classroom.

But language learning is different. I use my own exmple. I learned English at least ten years in classroom. I started to study with the words and the grammar, then the more words and the senior grammar in classroom. Almost Chinese learns English in this way, whatever adults or children. But the result is I can’t remember the words and grammar mostly. It’s just like a situation that you want to push a big ball to the top of the mountain, you’ve been pushing hard, but sometimes you just relax or take a break, then the big ball will fall down. And your effort is paid off. As a matter of fact, It’s so hard and inefficient to learn a foreign language.

For me, I think I learned English, but I can’t communicate in English. Like the author’s order, he think he is right, but he is wrong, he ordered too much plates dumplings. As the author recognised the mistake, I recognised the mistake too. It’s important for me. Before that day, I didn’t think there was anything wrong with learning a languge in classroom. Compare my classmates, I often think that I did’t study hard enough to I got a average grade in learning a foreign languague. Now it looked I’m wrong in learning English. I must change my methods of learning the language. Don’t fouced on the classroom, I would like to expand the English environment.

Lastly, the cultural mythology mistake. There are really too many exmples of this opposite. People always born to grow in the country, then saying the country language, whatever the genes or race. Just because people need to communicate in this country throuth this language. So as the author says, people have no valid reason to avoid the learning a language. Some person can’t learning the second language, because the one even don’t take a little effort, he just think he do not can. The reason always ridiculous, just the genes. Man, with the improvement of technique, believe yourself.

In the end, to summarize. I think that these difficulties can be overcome. Because some diffculties were inexistence at first, some diffculties just need to change the ideas. It’s not big deal. The important things is the process of change. You notice these barriers, then you can change. Otherwise you will just get caught up in it and not konw. That is the most dangerous thing.

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