Using vs. Knowing:


Estimated time: 15'



The objectives of this nano-course are: 

  • To understand the importance of generating a trustful atmosphere in order to encourage students to express themselves in English.

  • To learn the substantial difference between a communicative use of the language and a grammatical knowledge of it.

  • Understand the two parts of production: automatic and spontaneous.


We suggest you re-visit these objectives when you complete the course!


Start from scratch


The importance of trust

Students that are engaged in the acquisition of a  second language must not merely incorporate grammar or vocabulary concepts, but also their goal should be to develop communicative abilities. To achieve this, it is essential for students to speak freely, something which is not that easy or comfortable for many of them to do.


Remember that -as a child- you learn to communicate with others simply by speaking. In order for your students to do so as well, they must feel comfortable, confident and motivated. Learning a foreign language is not achieved immediately and we should be able to transmit this necessary patience to our students, so that they don't get discouraged nor frustrated if the results are not evident as soon as they expected.


In the Vivadi’s method, the responsibility of teachers is to generate a surrounding atmosphere of trust in the class, a place where communication and comfort are the basis of the language acquisition .


Mindfulness exercise:


Production - Harmony
00:00 / 00:00

Concept Video

It's showtime

We expect you can undergo the differences between knowing grammar rules and the use of English as a communicational skill. Take a look at this video!


Food for thought


1. Grab a sheet of paper.

2. Divide it into two parts.

3. On the left side, write down: “Know the language”, and on the right side, “Use the language”.

4. Now, locate each of the following concepts where you believe they belong:

Answering your family members' names - Grammar rules - Saying what you did last weekend - List of verbs - Asking for permission to go to the toilet - Asking a name - Singing a song that you already know - Asking what time it is - Answering what you ate yesterday - Vocabulary - Telling a friend which is your favorite animal - A list of animals

Let's get into the concept of “Using the language”.


There are two different types of meaningful production in language acquisition: automatic production and spontaneous production.


We use automatic production for everyday actions that we know almost by heart. We know that the sentence "can I go to the toilet?" allows me to leave the class.


The spontaneous production is used for long conversations, where we have to use words we already know and order them according to the rules we've been acquiring.

The better the atmosphere of trust created in the classroom, the faster the students will feel encouraged to speak.

Now, back to our paper:

5. Divide the “Using the language” section into two parts. At the top you must write “Automatic production” and at the bottom “Spontaneous production”.

6. Try to locate the items in that section into these two new sub-categories.

7. Finally, by looking back into the entire  list of items, draw freely something that could (in your perspective) symbolize the difference between "using the language" (automatic or spontaneously) and "knowing the language".


 - If you are brave enough you can share your work with the Vivadí community and you will be encouraging other teachers to participate as well.



Wall of the wise words

"Children -every one of them-, I assure you, are ready for the adventure of intelligent learning. They are tired of being treated as silly or as small adults. They are what they are and have the right to be what they are: dynamic beings by nature, because learning and changing is a way of being in the world."
- Emilia Ferreiro
"We must not forget that speaking is learned by speaking"
- Ingrid Mosquera Gende

Call to action

Into the wild

During this week, focus on identifying whenever your students use typical phrases which exact meaning they are unaware of, but still allow the to communicate successfully.



In a nutshell

Teacher's responsibility in Vivadí method will be to generate an atmosphere of trust inside the classroom, a place where communication and comfort  are the basis for language acquisition.


Using vs. Knowing:

To use is to give language a meaningful use of communication.

To know is to learn the rules of language.


There are two types of production:

We use automatic production for everyday actions that we know almost by heart.

Spontaneous production is used for long conversations, where we have to use words we know and organize them according to the rules we've been acquiring.



A look in the mirror

You, and only you, can really grasp the understanding of this nano-course's main concepts. We invite you to complete this self-assessment and see it for yourself.