10 Signs that You’re a 21st Century Comprehensible-Input Based Teacher

1. You make your students turn in their cell phones before class starts…because it’s still not a bad thing in the 21st century to require kids to concentrate for 40 minutes now and again without using something electronic. You know that “using technology” doesn’t mean that every class has to be turned into a mediafest.

2. You embrace technology because technology is good…as long as it doesn’t take the place of what helps kids acquire language, which is based on providing massive, interesting comprehensible input.

3. You critically preview online resources, asking yourself whether the input will really be comprehensible to your students and how you can check that for sure.

4. You’re not afraid to run a lesson that doesn’t involve anything that has to be charged or turned on, because language is still people talking to other people, even in the 21st century.

5. You make sure that the opportunities you provide for students to use technology to collaborate with students far away don’t turn into students with little Chinese awkwardly talking to other students with little Chinese, giving each other poor quality input. Instead, though it’s not as easy, you line up high-quality input providers on the other end.

6. You use technology to your advantage on output projects…of language your kids have thoroughly acquired already.

7. You model for kids how online dictionaries are used for reference, not for cheating. But your kids don’t have to go to Google Translate in the first place because you’re not asking them to output language they haven’t acquired, so it wouldn’t occur to them since it’s easier and faster for them to just write it themselves.

8. When you use online resources to “flip” your class, you are really “expanding” your class, not having kids do reading of non-acquisitional stuff you wouldn’t do in class anyway. Or you use it to let the analytical minority satisfy their need for linguistics, while focusing on language with the rest.

9. You know that giving kids a list of words via a Powerpoint with pretty pictures is no different from giving them a list of words. They already know what an apple is, and clipart isn’t going to add anything.

10. You believe that giving your kids the gift of an attention span and the skills to interact with adults is as important for their future success in the real world as using technology.

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