We sometimes speed down the CI highway without noticing the warning signs posted by the side of the road. What warning signs?
They are signs warning us to slow down because the culture of the school doesn’t want CI instruction. Teachers in the room next to us teaching give us warning, either verbally or through unfriendly eyes. They don’t want us to have too much fun teaching our kids. Parents sometimes warn us to give their kids the grammar instruction that they think their kids need.
Even the kids themselves hold up signs, not liking this new way that demands them to be so human, and interact with us in a real human way. And even some administrators, the ones there to support us, but under the influence of the old guard and not knowing anything about how languages are acquired themselves, hold up signs.
It is the students who hold up the biggest signs. Trained in the memorization culture of the school, when that is taken away from them, they sometimes react. If even just five or six kids in one class don’t want to learn in this way, it can feel, tragically for us (that is not too strong a word), during a typical class, that we are being punched in the stomach in the invisible world every few minutes, as those students try to re-establish what they think learning is in a school classroom – memorization and drills.