This page is dedicated to the best practices of language acquisition. Memes and quotes about language learning.
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- If you are not providing comprehensible input, you might as well be the teacher from Charlie Brown.
2. Target Language use is only worthwhile if the students can comprehend it. Not all language is comprehended equally. Check your students’ understanding.
3. It’s not how much L2 you speak… it’s how much they understand. – John DeMado
4. Input over Output. Having students produce the language (in writing or speaking) does not help them acquire the language.
5. The only cure for this fever is more input!
6. You don’t read a book to learn how to swim, and you don’t study the rules of grammar to learn how to communicate in a language.
7. Can you imagine if you paid for swimming lessons and they gave you a book to read about the proper techniques for swimming? You never got in the pool, but someone did spray a hose at you. This is exactly what happens if you teach without providing enough comprehensible input for students to acquire the language.
8. Get them in the pool! Give them the appropriate support they need to make sure that the input not just comprehensible, but that it is comprehended by the students so they don’t sink.
9. Trying to explain a grammar concept instead of using the language in a comprehensible manner leaves your students feeling overwhelmed and with zero confidence to use the language. [meme via @Spanishtomind ]
10. Some students are able to pick up the language by traditional legacy teaching. But those students are not the majority. We were those students. However, if we want to reach every student, we need to look at the bigger picture.
11. After all, we want our students to be proficient in communicating in the language. If we build students’ confidence of using the language, they will be able to communicate a message.
12. What is the motivation of your students? Why do students take a language in the first place? Do they come to class wanting to conjugate verb tenses? In order to keep students in our program beyond levels 1 and 2, we have to keep them interested in learning the language.
13. If class time focuses on providing comprehensible input, then students can acquire the language without having to study vocabulary lists and filling in verb charts.
14. If your lesson is focused on a grammar rule it is hard to make the lesson relevant to students’ lives. What you rather have a lesson about the “future tense” or a lesson where the outcome is “I can talk about what I am going to do this weekend.”? Grammar is not an outcome; it is a tool used to express communication.
15. Grammar is already built into language. If you use the language naturally, your students will hear things automatically without realizing the rules. Overtime, these rules become internalized.
16. If you are teaching ABOUT the language, then you aren’t teaching a language class. Students will know about the language. They will know that the present tense form of the first person ends in the letter -0, but they rarely have the confidence to engage in a communication.
17. So how do we do it? We give them comprehensible input: we give them speech and reading that they can understanding.
18. We’ve all acquired our first language without studying grammar. World language classes are for everyone.
19. We all seem to understand how language acquisition works in our native language, so why do we ignore all of that when it comes to second language learning?
20. Are you ready to become an Language Acquisition Specialist instead of a teacher?
21. Once you do, you will become a much happier teacher and will learn to celebrate the successes of your students rather than regret their non-nativeness.
22. Bill VanPatten (of Tea with BVP) makes the claim that there are no errors in language. What a student may produce may be a “non-native-like utterance”.
23. CI teachers will recognize the faces of these two experts, Dr. Bill Van Patten and Dr. Stephen Krashen who can actually explain how language acquisition “really works”
24. SpanishToMind understands that to acquire a language you need compelling input. Worksheets? No thanks!
25. Mme Torres (@alt719) can attest that CI teachers will do anything to find a compelling and fun strategy to deliver comprehensible input to help their students.
26. We must make sure we have appropriate expectations of our students.
27. Remember that comprehension comes first and students will be able to understand a lot more than they are able to produce. Just because they understand it doesn’t mean they “own” that structure yet and can produce it spontaneously.