Archive for November, 2014

Cooperative Learning: A Comprehensible-Input Perspective

Many teachers are being told to use more cooperative activities in their classrooms, but does this approach actually improve student acquisition? Below are some common ideas about cooperative learning in the foreign language classroom, and a Comprehensible Input-based response to each. Idea: The more time spent in pair and group work, the better.  Time spent in pair and […]

TPRS and Webb’s Depth of Knowledge

Okay — first of all, depth of knowledge has to do with knowledge, not acquisition…but assuming that many teachers do need to provide this sort of administrivia, let’s see how beautifully TPRS and common TPRS-related activities fit! Incorporating some of the action words into the descriptions of tasks, and breaking down each individual action or […]

Method? Strategy? Philosophy?

On a language teachers’ list, the comment recently appeared: Maybe we need to  distinguish between input-based strategies and TPRS techniques, as well as “approaches”  vs. “methodologies.” This is something I’ve been trying to do on some of the “other lists” when engaging non-CI-based folks in dialogue about what we do. This is how I cut […]

“Your class has a reputation for being ‘easy’…”

(You say that like it’s a bad thing…) More people (including other language teachers!) trying to stuff the acquisition of new languages into the same mold that fits fact-based disciplines, like — well, like everything else. I can understand clueless monolingual administrators who hated their own hours in high school Spanish doing that. Their experience […]

TPRS™ and the Issue of Initial vs. Target Fluency

From a language teachers’ list: TPRS is used for teaching fluency.  We use it whenever students don’t have “ease of expression”.  Ease of expression means they speak with confidence, accuracy and without hesitation.  It is been my exprience that “ease of expression” does not happen in just four years of Spanish.  I agree that TPRS works […]

TPRS-friendly student pair work

Question from an online list: What are some collaborative student-student activities that lend themselves to a language acquisition method based on dense, high-quality comprehensible input? You got me. Student to student input is not comprehensible input, it’s “interput”. That’s low-quality forced interaction between people who don’t know the language yet, like students. Students CAN provide […]

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