Archive for April, 2017

It’s a demo, it’s brand new, it’s me, it’s amazing

Maybe it is. But generally speaking — it’s very, very easy these days for anyone to post a video or a demo or a tutorial or a whatever, and get very extensive coverage and lots of views and lots of “likes”. That doesn’t mean that we should not think carefully about a few things. –Do […]

Can, or should?

On a teachers’ list, a hypothesis was recently posted: The more compelling the input, the more listeners and readers can tolerate noise. Maybe they can. But should they? I believe that the goal of teaching a language class does not lie in engaging students. I believe it is to get them to acquire the language. […]

C is for Comprehended


I’ve thought about how I teach. And I’ve realized I do not teach with comprehensible input. I teach with comprehended input.   Comprehensible is not enough. Something that “can” be comprehended is not always comprehended. Especially with all the kinda-sorta definitions of “comprehensible” floating around these days. There must be a match between meaning and […]

“Untargeted input”: a nonstarter for Chinese

So, here’s the thing with targeting. You know, planning what you’re going to teach before the teaching happens. And having teaching happen, as opposed to just “saying that” and hoping it will stick by the end of the year. Why do I always sound so negative about those “nontargeted” techniques? Surely many teachers are doing […]

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