12 Rules of English

  1. English is crazy.
    – From many languages
    – Spoken in many countries
  2. English speakers are lazy.
    – Pronunciation
    – Contractions
    – a / an, the / “thee”
    – Culture
  3. English talks in pictures.
    – Figures of speech
    – Geometry
    – Noun cases
  4. Circle the verb…
    …box the noun, triangle the modifiers, double-underline WH words, parentheses helping verbs, brace pronouns, underline prepositions.
  5. Every verb has a “do”…
    …just how every number has a “times 1”. Sometimes we even write it.
  6. English says everything, once.
    – Ideas: Say what you mean, implication is unreliable.
    – Noun number, verb conjugation
    – Capitalization
    – Punctuation
    – …a “legal language”
    – Avoid using the same word multiple times; use pronouns or compounds.
  7. English raps like beatbox.
    – Liquid consonants
    – Starts & stops
    – Sentence pronunciation
    – Sing emotion and meaning through tone
  8. Ride to learn.
    – Teachers must ride students
    – Parents must ride children
    – Students must study cooperatively
    – Individuals must ride themselves
  9. Skills spiral in paired sets.
    Never study one skill to improve that skill alone; study one skill to improve the other. In each skill set, you excel at both or neither.
    – Reading and writing
    – Penmanship and composition
    – Speaking and listening
    – Typing and spelling
    – Memorized literature and impromptu conversation
  10. More words = more serious.
    – Add “do” to mean “seriously” or “very”
    – Use longer versions of sentences
    – Anger, clarity, emphasis, etc.
  11. Contrast & Repeat.
    – Grammar charts must be used to rehearse, not as reference tables.
    – Language is acquired and absorbed, not instructed or injected.
    – English grammar is a technique, not an equation. It must be practiced, not studied. You can’t learn English same way as Math.
    – Sciences evaluate finding correct answers through proper procedure; Arts evaluate combining proper technique with artistic license. English is an Art.
  12. Learn daily.
    – Lesser is better because lesser is more likely daily.
    – Ten minutes every day will help more than two hours a week.