May 5, 2020 NEW YORK—World language teachers often suspect that language publishers still do not quite get how languages are actually acquired, and this week’s prime time nationwide telecast was no help in allaying those fears. On this week’s special language educators’ episode of Wheel of Fortune, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, editors from major world language publishers were invited to strut their stuff and show off how much they understood about their field. Only one letter remained covered by the end of round #1. The category was How Language is Acquired. The audience, which consisted mostly of publishing [...]
This UNO game meme is going around: showing someone unwilling to engage. Adjusted here for our profession. Your thoughts?
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 [...]
When you feel discouraged, keep at it my friends. You do not know what the long-term results of your teaching will be. This is a recent letter from Rachel, a college French graduate who has dealt with the consequences of a traumatic head injury and many personal challenges over the past several years. Her perseverance and ingenuity, as well as the power of acquisition-based teaching are both on display here. Dear Mr. Hedstrom, The other day I got into a minor traffic accident. The other driver spoke only Spanish, but I ended up feeling like a TPRS superstar because I [...]
When kids didn't get it, I used to suspect they were stupid and lazy. Now that I realize people acquire language by comprehensible input, I suspect that I am.
(Previous post: Acquisition/Learning) The next post in this series (#5/9), The Input Hypothesis, is found here. MANIAC N: The Natural Order of Acquisition Hypothesis "Students acquire elements of grammar in a predictable order that is unaffected by teaching." Stephen Krashen and other researchers contend that the order of acquisition is a natural feature of the human brain. It cannot be altered or rushed. The ability to recognize and produce certain aspects of grammar, and much of the accompanying vocabulary, unfolds as students are exposed to comprehensible input. The natural order of acquisition is not the teaching order. It is useful as a [...]