People are different, and so they learn differently. Many, if not most, Americans have never attempted to learn another langugae. Many, if not most, people will not recognize sounds that do not exist in their native language if they have never tried to learn another language. They simply won't hear them.
That being said, let's all try to get along.
-------------- Original message from "Mackay, Michael" <[log in to unmask]>: --------------
> I simply don't agree with your blanket statement that "listen and learn" does
> not work for adults, or that our ability to emulate language sounds is
> completely lost after age X.
> You say yourself that immersion is not a guarantee - that in itself leaves some
> room for a conclusion that, for some, it works.
> In the end, it seems that there is no other way but listening and repeating - we
> hear things, we say things, we hear other people say "do it like this", we try
> again, repeat as necessary. What's the alternative?
> Now, I'm talking strictly about pronunciation here. I agree, the grammar and
> vocabulary must be learned as adults by rote memorizat ion to a large degree, and
> by "listening and learning" to a much lesser degree.
> At any rate, again, we're left with a description of what does not work, or what
> is not guaranteed to work. What does? What's the answer for those interested
> in improving their blas and their Gŕidhlig?