What is the role of explicit grammatical knowledge in second language acquisition? "Input cannot be equated with the staple of much traditional language teaching: explanation about grammar, presentation of vocabulary lists, practice, fill-in-the-blanks, and so on. For mental representation to develop, learners have to hear and see language as it is used to express meaning. There are no shortcuts; representation cannot be taught in the traditional sense of teaching." —Bill VanPatten, PhD, in ACTFL's The Language Educator, Oct/Nov 2014 "Conscious learning has an extremely limited function in adult second language performance, it can only be used as a monitor, or editor." [...]
This UNO game meme is going around: showing someone unwilling to engage. Adjusted here for our profession. Your thoughts?
"He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count 'em up: what then? The happiness he gives is quite as great as if it cost a fortune." A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1812-1870), Ebenezer Scrooge to the Spirit of Christmas Past, talking about the virtues of his former employer, Fezziwig. Is being in my class a pleasure or a toil for my [...]
The day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is December 12. Spanish students deserve to know about this holiday and it's deep religious and cultural symbolism. Students need to know that this image sparked one of he greatest sociological and cultural shifts in history and changed the mental landscape of Latin America forever. Here is the story of La Virgen de Guadalupe in two novice-level Spanish versions. Your Spanish 1 and 2 students will be able to read them and your upper level students will benefit greatly from the deeper historical and cultural understanding. LA VIRGEN DE GUADALUPE SIMPLIFIED LA [...]
Brett, an experienced Spanish teacher in South Carolina, writes: Hi Bryce, I was just reading your article about 9 Steps to FVR. I'm trying to build up my reading materials. I basically have none at my new school. Would you recommend prioritizing based on getting a bunch of different books or buying class sets of a couple of select books? Good question. I would go with a bunch of different books. Here's why: Students acquire more language when they can choose their own reading materials. The free choice aspect gives them more buy-in and more engagement. When they can decide what [...]
In September I was a guest lecturer at professor Nyssa Knarvik’s graduate class in teaching methods for world languages at Colorado State University. All of the students were teaching either college or high school classes. I talked about Krashen’s hypotheses and gave a demo of a TPRS-style story. I was invited back for another lecture in November. Here are the questions the students had about teaching with comprehensible input. Thanks to all who responded for sharing their ideas on how respond to these questions, especially Kristen Noelle Donoghue Wolf, Lance Piantaggini, Jen Schongalla, Christine Garrabrant Aguiar. Do you discuss these [...]