Posts Tagged ‘Comprehensible Input’

“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-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 […]

Linguistic Vegetarianism

It CAN be difficult to make language comprehensible to novices. People who are educated usually talk in a sophisticated way, and it’s hard for them to simplify. It’s the case of “What is your final destination today?” versus “Where are you going?” I will be doing a training this summer to help teachers communicate in […]

The mythical “wall”

Speaking English in class is bad. USING English in class is very good practice indeed. There’s an enormous difference. Recently, a teacher wrote on a well-known e-mail list for foreign language teachers: Why are the students writing English in Spanish class? IMHO, you are making them pass through the English (brick) wall to get to […]

Give a Student a Fish

Show me, and I forget. Teach me, and I learn Give me enough comprehensible input, and I acquire forever

The Numbers Game

Quick math quiz: when is 85% greater than 100%? When the 85% is Chinese delivered through comprehensible input, and the 100% is Chinese that is just…delivered. Every year, the comments from evaluators about TPRS are the same: “too much English!” “You didn’t stay in Chinese 90% of the time!” Now, aside from arguments of how […]

CI in Short

After a reader had slogged through a 28-page forum discussion on Comprehensible Input-based language teaching, the question came out: Could someone post a very brief, 3- or 4- point summary of the basics? This is my take on that. Comprehensible Input: the brain acquires language by hearing language it can understand. It takes many repetitions […]

Comprehensible Input goes traveling

The newest buzz in the communicative language teaching community is — guess what — “Comprehensible Input”. Unfortunately, there seems to be some confusion about what “comprehensible” means. Sitting in workshops given by respected presenters in the communicative teaching world, one hears repeated references to “Comprehensible Input”, but what is really being said is usually one […]

Immersion and the Older Beginner

What exactly is Comprehensible Input? Does it mean “just getting the student to understand pretty much what’s going on, enough to get the point of what’s being said”? That is not the type of CI that is most effective in language acquisition — because if it were, immersion programs would work. The ACTFL Position Statement […]

Tagging for acquisition

We can’t see exactly how the brain works its magic in generalizing from many examples to just knowing what structure to automatically use to express a meaning it has never tried to express before — which is what fluent speakers can do. What if we think of it in terms of tagging? It’s sort of […]

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