Acquisition

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+00:00January 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+00:00January 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 [...]

BOOKS EVERY LANGUAGE TEACHER NEEDS TO READ #5

The Natural Approach, by Stephen Krashen and Tracey Terrell http://www.amazon.com/The-Natural-Approach-Tracy-Terrell/dp/0136099343/ref=dp_ob_image_bk What It’s About: Solid second language acquisition theory that has stood the test of time. There are newer methods that have been developed since this book was published but no better theoretical models—you can use the 5 hypotheses every day to guide quality teaching in your classroom. Quotable Quotes: “Overt error correction of speech even in the best of circumstances is likely to have a negative effect on the students’ willingness to try to express themselves.” p.177 “The result of language acquisition is a ‘feel’ for grammaticality and an ability [...]

C.I. QUIZ

A well-documented article by Butch Hillhurst came out on the tprsquestionsandanswers.wordpress.com blog some time ago. If you already have seen it, a refresher can't hurt. We can all use logical and well-supported pieces like this to bolster our rationale for teaching with comprehensible input. Here are the points of the article arranged as a pre-quiz. Check your score and share your comments below. 1) Should students be taught and practice specific grammar points? 2) How much vocabulary, grammar and general language skill do students pick up via free voluntary reading (FVR)? 3) Do people acquire language via comprehensible input? 4) [...]