It’s funny how people react to different things. My friend and his wife invest in the stock market. Earlier this year things were going well. Unfortunately, in September everything changed. Leyman Brothers collapsed and it caused a ripple in the system. Prior to the collapse each week my friend would tell me how great things were going but these days he doesn’t know what to do. Obviously if he sold today he’d lose about 80% of his investment which is a tough pill to swallow.
The other day I was talking to him and he told me a cute little story that I think clearly shows the difference between people’s thinking. Despite being way down on his investment his wife just brushes it off and doesn’t worry at all. However, when he left the fridge door open slightly the other day she exploded.
Sometimes people care too much about the small things and lose focus on the big picture. The same is true in teaching English. Students sometimes ask for too much detail. They want to know every usage of a single word and all the rules that pertain to it. If a teacher were to explain every nuance from the first day people would feel overwhelmed. It’s better to teach the general rule and once students get comfortable to slowly introduce the exceptions. The past tense is a perfect example. Basically “~ed” is used but quite a few don’t fit into this category. Rather than tell students all the irregular verbs and their changes do them a handful at a time.
The human mind can’t focus on too many things at once. We need to focus on a few ideas and then after mastering them move on to more difficult things. Without the basics improvement will be very slow indeed.
No matter what you choose to study (English, stocks, business, magic) the system is the same. Learn slowly and steadily, master the basics and then a few years later you’ll be amazed to see how much you’ve learnt.