There is a difference between being able to hear the sounds of another language which carry meaning, and the ability to interpret the meaning of those sounds. We can call the ability to hear the different sounds “parsing” and the ability to interpret their meaning “understanding.”

P-P-Ts methods, because they are fluency based, first work to practice parsing the sounds without necessarily being concerned with whether the nuances of meaning are apprehended. It’s not that we don’t want people to understand – it’s just that if we work on developing competence in parsing oral input, then learners will be able to process much more aural information, vastly accelerating their ability to communicate with other people.

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