Perfect example of acquisition – why do grammar kings ignore these?

Robert Harrell sent this to a listserv I am on. It ranks up there with the perfect examples of how people acquire languages. My granddaughter is in a classic “legacy” taught class and is learning nothing.
Robert writes:
One non-academic, non-training related incident sticks in my mind as a strong indicator of the power of Comprehensible Input for adult learners. In the mid 1970s I spent two years in Germany and worked with a local church in Stuttgart doing children’s and youth work as well as other ministries. For the second year that I was there, I lived with one of the families in the church. The father was Swabian and spoke the local dialect as well as standard German; the mother was from the Zurich area and spoke that dialect. Even her standard German was heavily influenced by the dialect. For the year that I lived with the family, I overheard the mother speaking to her children in „Schwyzerdutsch“ but made no attempt to learn it or, for the most part, even understand it. Just before I was to leave and return to the US, we had Sunday afternoon tea with a local couple from the church who spoke Swabian as well as standard German. While we were sitting at the table, the phone rang, and one of the kids answered it. He came back to tell his mother that a friend was on the phone. The mother asked him to find out what the friend wanted and if it would be all right to call back later because she had company. The son did as requested and reported back. When this was finished, the local couple said, „What was that about?“ I responded, „What?! You didn’t understand that?!“ Everyone at the table turned to me and said, „And you did!?!“ You see, the entire exchange had been carried out in Schwyzerdutsch, the mother’s dialect. It is not intelligible to either Swabian or standard German speakers, but I had understood it because my unconscious mind had acquired an understanding through comprehensible input over the year without my intentionally trying to do so. When I seriously looked at Krashen’s theories (not just in my course work) and remembered this incident, it made a lot of sense to me.

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