Comprehensible Input-based teaching

¡Hola, amigos! Please tune in over at the Facebook page ( at 1:00 pm Pacific time on Monday for another Facebook Live event. There has been a lot of interest in our Storylabs app and the FREE online products, so we are scheduling another session to show you how to use them. Readings and activities for level 1 and level 2-3 will be demonstrated. Those that have signed up will be sent an invitation via email for a Zoom meeting on Tuesday, March 24 at 1:00 pm, Pacific to address your specific concerns. See you then!

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 [...]


What is the role of explicit grammatical knowledge in second language acquisition? "Input cannot be equated with the staple of much traditional language teaching: explanation about grammar, presentation of vocabulary lists, practice, fill-in-the-blanks, and so on. For mental representation to develop, learners have to hear and see language as it is used to express meaning. There are no shortcuts; representation cannot be taught in the traditional sense of teaching." —Bill VanPatten, PhD, in ACTFL's The Language Educator, Oct/Nov 2014 "Conscious learning has an extremely limited function in adult second language performance, it can only be used as a monitor, or editor." [...]


Brett, an experienced Spanish teacher in South Carolina, writes: Hi Bryce, I was just reading your article about 9 Steps to FVR. I'm trying to build up my reading materials. I basically have none at my new school. Would you recommend prioritizing based on getting a bunch of different books or buying class sets of a couple of select books? Good question. I would go with a bunch of different books. Here's why: Students acquire more language when they can choose their own reading materials. The free choice aspect gives them more buy-in and more engagement. When they can decide what [...]