On a language teachers’ list, the following comment was posted in a thread about using rewards in the classroom:
If we don’t use [activity A], should we offer it as a reward for good behavior, or should we just incorporate it into our weekly/monthly schedule because we know it results in acquisition? And also, what other things should we be doing on a consistent basis that we mistakingly offer only as reward time?
I’m sorry, I didn’t realize there was a list of activities that we “should” be doing on a consistent basis, in the course of offering comprehensible input through personalization or customization (CI + P/C). I’ve never done Kindergarten Reading regularly with kids. Or MovieTalk. Am I a bad teacher as a result? My kids still learned to speak and read, BTW.
There are many activities that can be used to provide CI (reading, interestingly, is rarely personalized or customized unless the teacher has written that reading for that class). I can imagine many situations where a teacher might use one or the other activity only as a reward, either through not feeling comfortable with the activity, not having enough materials to do it regularly, not having the training, or whatever. People need a certain amount of Vitamin A too, but that doesn’t mean it can only be gotten from carrots.
I’d like to see research looking at whether doing the same input through different activities is actually more effective than doing the same input through a smaller number of activities, and where the “sweet spot” is for that. I suspect it would vary based on the group, the level, the teacher, the circumstances…