Compelling Input


A new major motion picture about the legend of La Llorona is coming out. The Curse of La Llorona will be in theaters beginning April 19. This legend is compelling input anyway, but the added popularity of the movie will increase student interest even more. Here is an embedded reading (scaffolded) version of the story written with high frequency vocabulary. A step-by-step lesson planning guide for teachers is also available.  It has been very popular and successful with teachers and students. Here are a few images from the book:


Engaging students at a personal level is the way to their hearts and minds. Aaron Mendelsohn, a high school teacher in Massachusetts, sent me this note the other day: I just want to share with you that I have gotten A LOT of mileage out of Persona Especial!  What a great activity.  Thank You! When I asked him to elaborate, he replied with this: Persona Especial has been a success for a number of reasons.  I'm gonna start off by sharing what was on my mind when I wrote to you a few days ago:  PE is almost a O [...]


When choosing novels and other reading material for your world language students, look for these characteristics: Is it comprehensible? These are the factors that contribute to comprehensibility: Unique Word Count. This is the number of different words in the text. The lower the unique word count, the easier a text is to read. When students know high frequency verbs they can often read at a higher level than is traditionally supposed. Many authors are writing with high frequency verbs and unique word counts in mind. Here are some guidelines for languages with many cognates: -Early level 1:  Under 100 unique [...]

By |2018-08-06T15:43:31-06:00August 6th, 2018|Categories: Classroom Library, Compelling Input, Light Reading, Reading|0 Comments

COMPELLING INPUT (Krashen’s Hypotheses Series, #7 of 9)

(Previous post in this series: The Affective Filter Hypothesis) The next post in this series (#8/9), Other Krashen Hypotheses, is found here. Focus on the Students like a MANIAC C: The Compelling Input Hypothesis (2011) "When the input is compelling you acquire whether you are interested in improving or not."     This hypothesis asserts that compelling input trumps everything else in language acquisition. It emphasizes the role of subconscious acquisition while attention is focused elsewhere. Language comes along for the ride when students are engrossed in a topic. The goal is to find material and topics that captivate students. These are [...]

By |2018-10-22T20:42:56-06:00May 15th, 2018|Categories: Compelling Input, Encouragement, Krashen|0 Comments

It’s Valentines Day. Again.

To mimic Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, it's Valentine's Day. Again. Every year on February 14, 20 over-the-top lovebirds in any given high school will send grand gestures of their adoration to the objects of their affection, while the other 782 students either attempt to keep from retching or feel vaguely inadequate. Here is a way to strike back at the empire of passion. With this activity students can learn some Spanish, have fun and release their creative (and mockingly evil side). I call it "El amor apesta" and students rewrite the lyrics to the song "Eres Tú", originally sung [...]

By |2018-02-13T11:17:25-06:00February 13th, 2018|Categories: Compelling Input, Just for Fun, Music, Satire|0 Comments

Student Interview Simplicity & Success

Conducting student interviews in the target language does not have to be complicated. Interviews do not have to be long and they do not have to add a lot of new vocabulary. With practice, we can learn fascinating things about students that even their closest friends do not know--all with comprehensible language.  Not dark family secrets, mind you (we never go there), but admirable aspects of their life and habits that inspire us all and invite us to know the interviewee even more. We had a wonderful example of this last Thursday. I had interviewed a quiet but cheerful girl [...]

By |2018-01-22T21:09:42-06:00January 22nd, 2018|Categories: Compelling Input, Persona Especial Activity, Special Person|0 Comments