This is a question that has plagued language teachers and researchers for years. Over the years, we have moved from traditional grammar-translation methods to more communicative task-based approaches and language teaching and learning continues to evolve as we learn more and more about the brain and how it enables us to make connections and transfer knowledge from one language to another.
According to this interesting article, the key lies in having a good foundation of grammar and structure in one’s own language. The more a student is confident and has the metacognition of how his own language works, the better he will be able to learn a new language.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think your own knowledge of English and the way you learnt grammar affects the way you learn or speak a foreign language?
(Lightbown & Spada, 1999)