I was taught combined English knitting when I was a little girl (maybe 4?) and never knew there was another way. I had a heck of a time following patterns and learning new stitches because it never occured to me that I was knitting differently than other people. When I tried to learn continental knitting to do Fair Isle work, I had so much trouble that I went back and read the "learn to knit" section of my books. Boy was I surprised to learn I'd been doing something less common.
When trying to find help with Fair Isle knitting, and not understanding Continental style at all I stumbled across this site... SUCH a help with German style. It's been said a hundred times, and I'll say it again, THANK YOU Amy for this site! The FREE videos to show us tips, tricks, techniques, etc is an amazing gift to the self-taught and mostly self-taught.
Now I only knit Continental style. It took me a weekend of knitting swatches and experimenting to really get the hang of it, but I'd never go back. It's faster, easier, way more efficient, more graceful, more logical... should I go on?
I'd teach someone un-combined knitting English style so they'd get the idea of where the yarn goes, then switch them over to Continental for actual practical knitting...
In the mean time, Continental is the way to go!