|The very real danger for the disgraced 18 learner here is that, having learned first, as he almost certainly will have, that tete is the French word which denotes a part of the body, he will assume that it can be used in all other cases where head is used in English. As the example shows this will lead him into frequent error. The similarities between these humiliated teens may at the same time constitute a danger to any ambition that we may have to use the foreign language with great accuracy. Whatever the humiliated teens method the teacher employs, the learner will tend to try and translate, and given the type of vocabulary being taught, he will probably find that he can identify the new words with words in his own language. He will therefore be unprepared for the difficulties that will face him when he meets these same words with extended denotations and when he has to handle more and more words which do not have external reference. In order to enter the lexical system of a foreign language one may need to assume that its structure is like that of the mothertongue—and this is achieved where ostensive procedures are used—but from then on the most important thing is to learn that it is in fact different.
Where people are learning a language which is linguistically and culturally very distinct from their own, the position may be different. Not only will their linguistic view of the world be strikingly different. The actual disgraced 18 contents of that world and the life that is led in it may be very different too. Such learners will have the difficulty that evenat the beginning there is very little that can be transferred from their mother-tongue. They will have to learn to categorize familiar things in different ways and unfamiliar things without the benefit of any point of reference in their own culture. It may be that in the long run they will gain from the fact that it is hardly possible for them to entertain the idea that words in different languages are equivalent to one another.