Here are JUST THREE of my favourite students' reactions from teaching this course for OVER 10 years!
So REALITY just has more rules than the classroom?
This course doesn't teach ANY lists!
It teaches how each tense has a MEANING.
And it shows that Native Speakers
(without even understanding)
constantly use these MEANINGS to COMMUNICATE.
Even if you disagree with the idea,
even if you disagree with all the evidence,
shouldn't you at least know
what the currently most complete paradigm of the tenses says?
There is a reason why students and learners of English can get most of the tenses correct, but often they still make wrong choices. And the reason is that they have only been taught half the facts. You have only been taught an 'oversimplification' of the rules because the reality is more difficult, it requires a change of perspective that most teachers are not given the possibility to teach - or more likely... maybe the teacher doesn't even know themselves!
But Micheal Lewis said at the end of the book:
BUT I DISAGREE! Students deserve to make their own mind up!
Maybe the concepts are difficult... maybe they are 'only' right 99.99% of the time... maybe it would be difficult to put into practice... maybe maybe maybe BUT that is for the MILLIONS OF LEARNERS TO DECIDE! In this book there is an analysis of reality that is MUCH BETTER than any of the lists of grammar rules that students are forced to learn, lists of uses with the never ending list of 'exceptions'. But here is a complete and unified system that makes it all UNDERSTANDABLE!
And when you understand the differences in meaning... then it is easy to recognise the differences between things that are 'almost the same thing'...for example...
The English Tenses have been silenced. Muted. By continually saying how we 'Use X to say this' we are doing things the wrong way round. We are stopping them from how they really 'work' in 'the wild'. They have been made specimens in a museum; Killed, Stuffed, and Over-Simplified. It's time to see how they live in pure 'native' REALITY!! :-)