Acquisition

QUESTIONS ABOUT TEACHING WITH TPRS/CI

In September I was a guest lecturer in Nyssa Knarvik’s Teaching Methodology for Foreign Language Instruction graduate course at Colorado State University. I talked about Krashen’s hypotheses and gave a demo of a TPRS-style story. I have been invited back in November. Here are some questions the students have about TPRS/CI. These are good questions by a sharp group of graduate students, all of whom are currently teaching. I have some answers in mind, but I am interested in finding out what members of the group are thinking. Please share what you would add or alter in the responses below. [...]

LAWSUIT ON BEHALF OF LANGUAGE STUDENTS MOVES AHEAD

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Federal authorities confirmed yesterday that a nationwide class action lawsuit has been filed to sue school districts across the USA for financial compensation to generations of dissatisfied world language students. If the case is successful, thousands of teachers, administrators and school district officials will be held liable for failing to deliver quality instruction and ordered to pay multiple billions of dollars to students that did not acquire language they could use in the real world. Legal experts believe that school districts may be ordered to pay up to $130,000.57 for each affected student. Lawyers seek to prove beyond a [...]

90/10 IS EASY! DECLARES INDIGNANT LOCAL SPANISH TEACHER

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 [...]

THE FUTILITY OF ERROR CORRECTION

Why don’t foreign language teachers spend more time correcting the errors in students’ speech and writing?  Isn’t that what teachers are supposed to do?  Isn’t that our job, showing them where they are wrong? Well… No!  A language teacher’s job is to get the students to acquire the language, and that is done by supplying them with comprehensible input.  We use interesting, comprehensible, personalized language and then we let their brains sort it out.  When we do that, students acquire the language.  We do not need to correct them every time they make a mistake.  In fact, that kind of [...]

By |2017-10-11T13:22:12-07:00January 23rd, 2017|Categories: Acquisition, Error Correction, Hope|Tags: , |0 Comments

LEARNING ANOTHER LANGUAGE, THE PERFECT CHALLENGE

In his book Healthy Aging, Andrew Weil, MD, describes what we can all do to protect our brains throughout our lives. On pages 284-286 Weil writes about the protective value of learning another language. There are several comments that stand out in this section for language educators. The words in italics are those of Dr. Weil, the words in other print are my comments. IT’S THE EFFORT THAT COUNTS “You don’t have to succeed; it is the effort that increases brains plasticity and flexibility.” This meshes well with Carol Dweck’s findings on Mindset. Our students do not have to achieve [...]

By |2017-10-11T13:22:12-07:00January 21st, 2017|Categories: Acquisition, Mindset|Tags: |0 Comments

READING CHAPTER BOOKS ALOUD

Kindergarten Reading with Big Book & Student Teacher The highlight of the week in my Spanish language classes is usually Kindergarten Reading time. My students enjoy being read to and I enjoy reading to them. It generally happens towards the end of the period on Thursdays. Normally I read picture books to them (big books if I can find them) while they listen, sit on the floor and eat cookies. Here is a list of picture books in Spanish that my students have enjoyed over the years. Some are big books. If you type the ISBN into a [...]