Lv 4
Mikael asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 2 months ago

Why do ESL speakers tend to have better English than those who are native speakers of the language?

NB: I'm obviously not referring to those who are in the process of learning. It seems the majority of ESL speakers who attain fluency exhibit a better grasp of the English language than a great number of native English speakers

2 Answers

  • leabee
    Lv 4
    2 months ago

    Because adults learning a second language in a school setting are given lessons on grammar, spelling, usage, etc. Native speakers just start copying their parents in infancy and grow up just 'knowing' the language (they'll often say they don't know why  "She gone to the post office" is wrong but "She went to the post office" is right, they just know the latter 'sounds right'.) ESL speakers learn the language thoroughly, native speakers absorb everyday speech, there's a big difference.

  • Zirp
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    maybe the question should be rephrased to "why do bilinguals have a better grasp of a language than monolinguals? "  the answer is obvious: because they know details that the one language obfuscates, and have words for things that one language cannot express.

    I think it was Goethe who said: Wer fremde Sprachen nicht spricht, kennt seinen eigenen nicht.

    It translates to: those who do not speak foreign languages don't know their own language.

    I can assure you that learning German, Esperanto and French has improved my native Dutch

    Another factor is that native speakers will use dialect and slang that other native speakers won't understand. Non-native speakers will tend to avoid those

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