Archive for the ‘Speaking/Listening’ Category

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. […]

TPRS SKILL: Establishing Meaning

This is perhaps the most basic skill of the entire TPRS repertoire. Because if you do not establish meaning, the students cannot comprehend. If you don’t establish meaning, all the gestures in the world won’t make up for it. If you don’t establish meaning, it doesn’t matter how slowly you speak. They will not understand […]

Smiling ruthlessness

On a teachers’ group, the question was recently posted: How can I transition my Spanish 2 class from listening to me speak in Spanish, but almost always responding/suggesting/asking in English to the students speaking in Spanish as well? Two words: classroom management. I know, not the answer people want to hear. Teachers would prefer to […]

Input by the numbers

On a teachers’ discussion group, the question recently came up: Any suggestions for teaching numbers up to 100? I know they can naturally come up in stories…but I feel like it doesn’t happen often enough and doesn’t regularly cover every “ten.” Or should I just do more of it?! The post garnered a number of […]

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 […]

Powerpoint it you need not


On a teacher’s list, a language teacher recently asked: I am doing my best to incorporate ideas of TPRS/CI. Does anyone have suggestions of HOW and WHEN is best introduce new vocabulary? Well, TPRS makes the question of when to introduce new vocabulary really easy…you introduce it when it’s used for the first time. So […]

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, […]

1. Pre-teach the new words with a TPRS story…

But what IS a TPRS story, anyway? Before reading a novel, we want the students to know the language in the novel. Heck, before reading much of anything, we want the students to know the language in the reading. And in TPRS, the way we get the language into the students is (usually called) a […]

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 […]

Tone smackdown: ears vs brain

So, Chinese has tones. Yeah. The thing everyone fears, and talks about, and comes up with practices and apps and all that stuff to “teach”. And yet it’s really, really easy to get tones into students’ heads. 1. Lots of input. I mean lots. Nope, more than that. Lots of input they can understand, showing […]

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