Acquisition

JUST MISSED IT! WORLD LANGUAGE TEXTBOOK EDITORS ELIMINATED IN ROUND 1 OF ‘WHEEL OF FORTUNE’

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 [...]

I Want My Students to Produce More & Better Output!

We all want more and better output from our students, but how does that happen? The iceberg is students' total acquisition. The part above the water line is what they can say and write–the messages they can produce. The bigger part under water is what students can comprehend by listening and reading–the messages they can understand. If the iceberg is a reasonable analogy for language acquisition, there is only one reliable way to do that: make the whole iceberg bigger. The top of the iceberg increases when the bottom gets bigger. The more students understand, the more they will be [...]

Spanish Teacher Accused of Appropriating Math Teacher Culture

February 24, 2020 SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—Spanish teacher Teo Retica Mente has been accused of using non-communicative teaching methods, a serious allegation. But even more serious is the allegation that by so doing, he has appropriated math teacher culture. Mente habitually teaches using formulas and long explanations in English with no real communication in the target language. Since discovering the pilfering 0f their methods, "Señor Mente” has become a target in the math education community. “Pure theory with no application to the outside world is our thing!" said one offended algebra teacher. "Stop appropriating math culture!" "Pi!  Pi! Pi r [...]

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 [...]