A Gem from Planet Ordiano

Steven wrote this about a month ago here:

…we can try our best to map the great sea of CI via systems and strategies like TPRS and circling. etc… but nontargeted CI has really been the most underrated and under-noticed revolutionary movement. Teachers are afraid because it undermines their control. But the complexity of SLA is too intangible to control. This is hard to admit as egos must be laid down. What’s scary is that it starts to blur immersion with CI… at least on the surface. Lastly, NT points us right back to the source of joy and humanity in class… the relationships, the energies and vulnerability of just getting to know one another….



12 thoughts on “A Gem from Planet Ordiano”

  1. Great points. From what I can tell, NT CI is removing all the clutter and veneer of ‘school’ and returning to something so simple yet powerful: authentic human interaction.

    That’s a massive shift! It takes managers and head teachers off of their pedestals and evens out the playing field for the adults too, not just students. I get very happy when I think of that idea.

    1. Returning to something so simple as human interaction. Yes it’s using the language to convey ideas. It almost seems strange to me now to realize that the only thing we have to give up is the weird idea that we should be teaching parts of the language. It’s like we don’t really quite know how to make the shift into truly embracing the theory. We still get in the language and muck it up ith our conscious minds. We break the language apart and make lists of the parts. When we give that up we find we can bring in any topic any activity. As long as kids get rich compelling and understandable messages.

      1. Tina said:

        It’s like we don’t really quite know how to make the shift into truly embracing the theory. We still get in the language and muck it up with our conscious minds. We break the language apart and make lists of the parts.

        That’s what I think, too.

    2. By control, I meant the control of targets, of mastery and of lesson planning “slices of language” for a grammar type of syllabus. We do not know what students are actually ready for. As I interpret Krashen’s work, “i” is based on the process the subconscious mind goes through with acquisition and “1” is not a measure only an arbitrary number in relation to NT. I say this because the “1” is just the whole language and the student’s brain picks it up without control from the Teacher and to an extend the student.

  2. I am not sure I understand that part about losing control, Steve.

    In Storyasking and PQA, I am relying on student input and students doing their 50% including attending and cute suggestions.

    In Story Listening, for example, students are relying on my choice and presentation of the story.

    It seems to me that I am more in control. I still make the choices about what vocabulary is going to be used in telling the story, and the students have less input because they do not bring their vocabulary needs to the table. (By needs I refer to the need for the L2 word for their cute suggestion.)

    My question does not have to do with whether NT is better/worse that T, nor whether it is best for every language learning context. It is simply about the issue of more/less control for the teacher. Thank you.

    1. I don’t think so much about teacher control, Nathaniel, as I think about aligning as much as possible w the research, which states that the affective filter needs to be kept as low as possible, and I won’t go into the rest of it, but that is my basic position. What SL does is lower the filter for everyone in the room. So then it’s not about one group – students/teacherr – being in control, if I read you right, as much as it is the entire group dynamic being one of joyful processing of the language, where the intensity of T1 type of instruction gives way to a feeling of no intensity at all. I really like that bc I think that TPRS made ppl get hives, trying to do PQA and Circling and get massed reps on stuff when, if only the level of compelling would be higher (T2) then there would be no need for any of it. I base this last statement on my 21 step Reading Options, which reinforce new vocabulary like Super Glue.

  3. Alisa Shapiro-Rosenberg

    With SL we also relinquish controL by not asking as many questions, and therefore engaging in less (obvious) classroom management. The exhaustion I felt during feel/felt during standard circling comes from all the juggling- students engagement, barometer, parts of circling, eliciting details, all the foundational skills…SL takes lots of juggling balls out of the air.

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