In my experience I have encountered two types of people: those who take a global approach when learning a subject and those who prefer to 'get their hands dirty'.
Global thinkers are those who prefer to see the whole picture before they dive into individual sub-topics. For example, as a global thinker I would prefer to have a quick overview of all 17 (depends how you count them) English grammar tenses before thoroughly going into any one of them.
People with this approach will go straight into the topic without wondering about the general picture. They respond more to practical knowledge than theoretical knowledge and would rather explore a subject "from the inside".
Which approach do you or your students take? For who do you think it's easier to learn a language?
Looking forward to your answers!
PS: Perhaps you know of a better name for the 'hands dirty' approach, I came up with this one myself.