Today I would like to discuss my linguistic abilities; my messages posted to this Facebook page have been proofread only by myself. In fact, I think that my ability to write in English is comparatively the strongest among my hearing, speaking, reading and writing English. I know that my English writing is not mumbo-jumbo which many Japanese people who believe that they are good English writers still may tend to write.
The current topic is closely related to how adult people can start to master foreign languages (that is, English and French in my own case in the past as a Japanese) in the most effective and efficient way primarily with their left brain, and is not primarily concerned with right brain oriented intuitive linguistic learning, which can be equated with “Know-Nothing Unconscious Modeling” a la NLP.
First, I need to mention that I got cerebral palsy when I was 4 months old, which has since left my left limbs paralyzed.
I was admitted to institutes for disabled children twice at the age of 5 and 10 where I had a series of traumatic experiences. When I look back at my childhood from the current perspective, I can say that I developed throughout my childhood my own “meta learning strategy,” a kind of learning strategy which enables one to “understand ten things by hearing only one thing.”
I somehow was forced to discover this strategy as my “necessary survival kit” to compete with other physically sound children.
I expounded the mechanism of this “meta learning strategy” in one of my DVD materials entitled “Modeling of Personal Genius,” which is a 13 volume video package in Japanese.
I pointed out in this video that, for instance, when I learnt such phrases as “run three miles” at the English class at school and/or found it in an English/Japanese dictionary, I didn’t memorize it by rote as one chunk with its Japanese translation as another one-to-one corresponding chunk, but, instead, always grammatically (or syntactically, if necessarily) analyzed the phrase, and understood that “run” is not after all simply a verb indicating a specific physical movement, but, functionally speaking, is rather an intransitive verb (needing no object) related to some kind of movement, that “three” is a number, and that “miles” is a noun denoting a distance.
Namely, “run three miles” was for me indeed an “abstract formula” consisting of “a movement related intransitive verb + a number + a distance related noun.”
From there, it was easy, or rather a logical consequence, for me to come up with half a dozen of concrete instances of each element. I was thus able to think of verbs like “walk,” “fly,” “jump,” “swim,” “crawl,” etc. for “a movement related intransitive verb,” and “centimeters,” “meters,” “kilometers,” “yards,” “inches,” “ris (a Japanese denomination),” etc. for “a distance related noun.” A truly amazing thing for me was that I was able to apply literally “an infinite number of numbers” to the second element in question.
Here, the “Columbus’ Egg” – which was also a sheer miracle as far as my mentation was concerned – is that I was, in the way nobody could deny it, able to create an infinite number of expressions by understanding only the functions of three elements!
The above being my explanation of what my “meta learning strategy” is, I can further make a few number of comments on the subject:
1) I had an English teacher who heavily and critically influenced my way of learning English. He was a teacher of the “English Speaking Society” club at the junior high school where I was a student.
He opened his mouth at the very first ESS meeting, by saying “Good afternoon, my students! You only need to know three rules to start to learn English!”
These three rules turned out to be 1) that all English sentences begin with a capital letter, 2) that all English sentences end with a period, and 2) that all English sentences can be logically analyzed, and thus reduced to the five syntactical patterns, i.e., SV, SVC, SVO, SVOO and SVOC.
I couldn’t help but being stuck with awe of the esthetic beauty of the (for me, “divine”) “revelation” made by this teacher who had previously studied Transformational Grammar a la Chomsky.
2) The “chunking-up” followed by “chunking-down” of my unique learning strategy in fact turns out to neatly correspond to the “Intention/Result” model of NLP, which claims that all behaviors are created by positive intentions, and is the epistemological basis for such important NLP models as “6 Step Reframing,” which can be used to alleviate mental and physical problems, including alcoholism and cancer.
3) I made a habit of using the meta learning strategy, when I was studying English as a junior and senior high school student, and French as a university student.
The net result of this habit of mine was that I got full-marks for the English test at the entrance exam to be admitted to the university, and that I was able to come to read Marcel Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past” and to write a BA graduation thesis on this writer in French only within 4 years after I started to study French; my French abilities I had achieved in 4 years also enabled me to work as a French-Japanese technical translator/interpreter in the Sahara Desert.
4) I expounded my meta learning strategy in my book “You Can Dramatically Improve Your English Using NLP and 5 Syntactical Patters,” published by Diamond Publishing, one of the major publishing companies in Japan.
Although you can find hundreds of conversation and grammar related study books for English learning at the major bookstores in Japan, there are only a handful syntax related books including mine.
I have been totally convinced that the reason why Japanese people’s English abilities are extremely poor – a 2016 survey showed that the scores of the TOEFL tests of Japanese students were at the lowest level among the Asian nations, superior only to those of Cambodians and of Laotians – is that they have not acquired the meta learning strategy, and made the habit of using it.
I cannot make head or tail of why Japanese people cannot see the significance of my “Columbus’ Egg” discovery, and start to adopt the meta learning strategy to drastically improve their linguistic abilities.
5) For me, leaning English at my school days, and studying NLP since 1988 were practically one and the same thing from the point of view of meta learning strategy, because NLP was born as a communicational methodology, after the co-founders of NLP had discovered the fact that what Chomsky had found in languages – the fact that native speakers are unconsciously “rule-governed” and that these rules can be mapped and made explicit – can be applied to human communication in general, and had made the rules of human communication explicit as a learnable set of tools. Indeed, John Grinder, one of the two co-founders of NLP, had used be a student of Chomsky, and was once deemed to become his successor.
In other words, I have learnt a series of communicational syntactical rules through NLP, and have been applying them to my daily life on a continual and ongoing basis, so that I may have after all become an effective communicator with other people, as well as with my unconscious mind.
Note: The above is a duplication of my message posted to my Facebook page in English.