People whose native language is not English, but who wish to learn English as a second language, must learn English as a new language, as a skill, as an additional means of communication. They have to learn how to pronounce strange words, and which syllables to emphasise, and what rhythms and tonal pitches should be used.
But people whose mother tongue is English do not have to go to school to learn these things, they learn it automatically, from their parents, their relatives, their friends and from everyday life. For example, they do not have to 'learn' the grammar structure, or the various forms for past, present and future tenses; they just acquire that ability subconsciously and instinctively, from sheer exposure to the language; they do not consciously 'know' the rules of grammar, and they probably could not even explain them. By the age of three, or maybe even earlier, they just automatically know what words to use in many situation and what form those words should take.
However, later, as part of their formal educational training, they will have 'English' lessons at school, along with other subjects such as Geography and History and Mathematics etc.
They may be given writing practice, and the opportunities to read literature that will expand their communication and learning skills. They will be encouraged to read and write stories and poetry, and will be given opportunities to become more and more familiar with their native tongue and how it is used in different ways to communicate information and ideas.
They do not need to learn to 'understand' the English language. They can already do that, but by doing 'English' as a school subject, they will expand their vocabulary; discover alternative, and maybe better, ways to express themselves. In doing so, any little 'mistakes' in their English will be corrected along the way.)
Those who are learning English as a 'second language' are learning it as an entirely new language. It...
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