Handy Mnemonics

MANIAC: Krashen’s 6 Hypotheses This is an acronym that will help you to remember the WHY of teaching:  Six of Dr. Stephen Krashen’s hypotheses about language acquisition, and how they can be applied in the classroom. This document is based on, 1) High school and college student reactions when I have taught these concepts to them in language classes, 2) Graduate college student questions in university methods of teaching courses where I have been a guest lecturer, and 3) Questions and comments by colleagues at conferences and in online forums.

SCRIMP: Essential Teaching Practices   Here’s another acronym to remind you of some important HOW’s of teaching. Are you scrimping on essential practices that can make your teaching more effective, memorable, and long-lasting? If you want to engage students and get them to acquire language, you cannot afford to SCRIMP on any of these elements in your teaching. Quality comprehension-based teaching uses input that is: Sustainable, Comprehensible, Repeated, Interesting and personalized. Do not SCRIMP on the kind of input that keeps students engaged and keeps teachers enthused.

The elements in SCRIMP access both the fast and the slow thinking systems in the brain, the emotional and the intellectual, the subconscious and the conscious. Getting students to use both of these thinking systems makes learning stick. These are practical and tactical ways to teach.


Sample Schedule This sample schedule, incorporating comprehensible input techniques, also allows for your own favorite techniques. Page 1 is the bare bones version, page 2 is expanded and more descriptive.

The New Bloom’s Taxonomy and Foreign Language Instruction (PDF)
Memorization is the very lowest level of learning. With comprehensible input strategies we can ask students to think at higher levels, even in beginning language classes.

Checklist for Observing a WL Classroom  (PDF)
This latest version has more specific guidance built into the form to point out what good foreign language teaching should look like. This can be a big help to administrators and guests by giving them specifics to focus on. I give a copy to every observer in my classes to get some guided feedback and help me to get better.

Checklist for Observing a WL Classroom
This is the Checklist in a Word format so you can adapt it to your needs.

Rachel Seay from North Carolina modified the observation form with spaces for notes from the BSCS 5 E’s Instructional Model. Get it here.

Updated and Expanded –Formerly “The Basics of TPRS”

Language Performance Scale for Telling a Story 

You want differentiation? We got your differentiation right here. Check out an explanation from a workshop on how I use Susan Gross’s idea of Contrastive Grammar.