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 [...]
GARY, INDIANA─Local teacher Nick T. Bewusst, when questioned by colleagues if he was aware of national guidelines concerning 90/10 language use, quickly and emphatically stated that not only has he done it for years in his Spanish classes, but that it came easily and naturally. “I’ve taught using 90/10 my entire career. Since day one. I don’t understand why it even needs to be discussed and I resent the implication that I don't teach that way.” Since 2011 the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) has recommended 90% target language use and just 10% native language use [...]
Rejoinders may be one of the most important practical vocabulary items we teach students. As we use the target language in our classrooms we model rejoinders and we encourage students to use them because they are so helpful in keeping a conversation going. Using a rejoinder is an easy way of showing the other person that you understand and that you want them to keep talking to you. It shows that you are emotionally engaged in the conversation and it encourages the other person to keep speaking. Rejoinders help to keep other people going to you, but you do not [...]