Archive for the ‘Methods’ Category

The need to ask

On a social media site, a general question more or less like this has been flying around of late: Why can’t we just look at our students and gauge them that way? Why do they need to actually respond? I can already tell if they are listening and interested. The answer goes back to the […]

CI with Local Characteristics

So, you believe that language is acquired through comprehensible input — repeated matching of incoming sounds (or what looks to my ignorant non-signing eyes like hand-waving, in the case of ASL) and meaning by the wonderful, ever-working brain. So every technique based on comprehensible input should work for everyone, right? Since that is a language […]

Why literal translation doesn’t do it

The question was recently raised on a teachers’ list Is word-for-word translation (“glossing”) or translation into natural English “better” in the TPRS classroom? (This translation being referred to is for comprehension checks; no one is talking about having kids translate long passages of text in writing.) This kind of “translation” is intended as a quick […]

Might, could, maybe

As CI teachers, we know that language is acquired through comprehensible input. We know that it takes a certain amount of repetition for language to be acquired — more for structures (grammar) than for individual words. We know that this repetition can be provided either densely or diffusely — in other words in a short […]

Balance poles: only for “impure” wire walkers?

Philippe Petit, a French high wire artist, walks across a tightrope suspended between the World Trade Center's Twin Towers. New York, Aug. 7, 1974. (AP Photo/Alan Welner)

I would normally not quote a person’s writing so extensively, but since my responses (two, on two different days) to Mr. Slavic’s post on Facebook were summarily deleted, this is the material I was responding to — this morning. (Apparently all my posts are summarily deleted. I don’t know. Seems like it.) Interestingly a colleague […]

Balance bikes forever…?


Balance bikes. The next great thing. Lets little kids — even as young as 18 months — “ride” a bicycle, because there are no pedals and no drive train on the thing. Their feet always touch the floor. Sure, they can’t get going very fast, unless they end up heading down a big hill, and […]

Lights, camera…evaluate!

On an internet forum, in the context of ideas for how people could improve TPRS skills if no workshop was readily available, the suggestion was recently made: I highly recommend watching you-tube videos that teachers have posted of themselves. And who wouldn’t agree! Video available for free on the Internet is an amazing thing. You […]

Grandma’s got the moves

A request for information was recently posted on the internet:  I have a colleague that wants me to help her find a book that teaches about CI but she is not interested in TPRS. That’s kind of like saying you want to meet your long-lost cousins, but not your grandmother.  TPRS is the grandmother of […]

Memorization: something to keep in mind

On a discussion board for a prominent language-related association, the following came out of a discussion on homework and memorization in foreign language teaching practice.  …some form memorization is vital to learning anything really; it is one of the  building block of knowledge construction. Anything…except languages. Well, yes, memorization is vital to *learning* languages. Fortunately, […]

NCIS: Teaching Question Formation

NCIS: Not CI Stuff More and more, we are seeing helpful links posted to various groups that are supposed to be focused on teaching with Comprehensible  Input. Of course, everyone likes sharing. Sharing is a good thing that.s spread good ideas and reduces the time teachers have to spend prepping for classes. The only problem […]

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