A repost from 2018:
I’m on a new kick – the appreciation of beauty. By us. When we’re teaching. So that our students can experience something beautiful each day instead of what they experience now, with the testing in all their classes and all.
Why not? Why not make schools into places where beauty (of languages in our cases, because languages are very very beautiful) instead of places where we tell them how they don’t measure up?
There is a part of the pre-frontal cortex where MRI scans show activity in the “emotional brain”, specifically Field A1 (not the steak sauce) of the medial orbital-frontal cortex. It is the same area stimulated by moral, visual and musical beauty. It is where real language acquisition lies for our students.
I don’t care if the research says that such things are important or not. I’m saying it is true for me. Beauty – and it’s cousin, Humor – make our CI classes not just interesting but also compelling.
(I have been following the changes in Krashen’s thinking over the years. In 2009 he shifted the key word from “interesting” to “compelling”. That was a big deal to me and explains the main change/push forward in my thinking from 2009 to 20015 that led to the Invisibles.)
WE CAN’T JUST DO CI, WE’VE GOT TO DO CI THAT IS COMPELLING. AND NOW ONLINE THAT IS MORE THAN EVER TRUE. HOW ELSE TO CAPTURE AND KEEP THEIR ATTENTION ONLINE THAN WITH INPUT THAT IS COMPELLING? COVID HAS EXPOSED THE UNDERBELLY OF OUR LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION. NOW WE REALLY MUST ALIGN OUR INSTRUCTION WITH THE RESEARCH. NO MORE TEACHING WATERED- DOWN CI IN THE CLASSROOM. TIME TO BECOME BIG GIRLS AND BOYS.