If anybody is in a fight in their building over pacing guides, it may help to print this out:
The differences in philosophy between Comprehensible Input Instruction (CI) and traditional language education are:
• CI is a student-driven methodology. It responds to the linguistic needs of the students at any given time. This makes it free-flowing curricularly.
• CI believes that grammar should be defined as “properly spoken speech” and is learned over long periods – years worth – of listening to and reading the language first. We all know how traditional teachers define grammar.
• CI believes that linguistic features are acquired in a natural order and that the brain cannot be forced to acquire a feature out of sequence or before it is ready.
• CI believes that each learner acquires knowledge at his/her own pace – that no two students are at the same point in learning at the same time.
• In CI we believe that student output cannot be forced. Students need hundreds of hours of repetitive input before they are ready for unrehearsed, spontaneous output. Much like a baby hears his/her first language for thousands of hours before being able to produce meaningful language. We believe that activities practicing output before students have reached this point is counter-productive and leads only to short-term learning goals, not to long-term acquisition.
• CI adheres to the Monitor Theory – we believe that direct instruction of grammatical rules in not helpful until upper levels of instruction, after students have acquired these grammatical features through context. At such a time students can use the analytical rules to polish their understanding, and to become truly literate in the language. Prior to this, overly strong focus on the rules inhibits student production and acquisition – students focus on rules rather than on meaning.
• CI believes that language instruction should be practical and focused on communication in areas that interest students.