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...

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?...

ACTFL, why stop at the sentence level?

The new ACTFL proficiency guidelines are out for 2012. But they are still based on the outcomes from traditional rules-and-output language teaching. Yes, they aren’t referencing specific grammar points, which is a definite plus. And the requirements or wiggle...

How do you learn new words if everything is known?

On a Chinese-learning forum, a user asked: I understand how CI develops the ability to recognise and produce appropriate structures and functions in a language, but if the input is all known to the learner (in terms of vocabulary used) how does the learner acquire the...