Setting Realistic Goals for the Post-COVID Online Classroom.
- Instead of stressing out about how much grammar you can teach your language students, learn to relax and just communicate with them in ways that tap into the great potential of simple human verbal interaction, also known as comprehensible input.
- Instead of paying primary attention to the needs of the few among your students who are going to college, make up your mind to reach all your students. It can be done! The future of our profession lies in what is best for all our students, and not just the few. Let’s stop using college as an excuse for teaching only the few.
- Instead of continuing to buy into the false narrative that teaching is all about planning, endless planning, accept the good news that has finally arrived that we can teach a language with no planning in a way that does not harm our minds and bodies in the form of endless stress. This is also possible!
- The research and especially Krashen’s Natural Order of Acquisition hypothesis reveals a massive contradiction between how people acquire languages and the testing piece. So, instead of buying into the false narrative that testing is a necessity in a language program, stop buying that old and worn-out line of faulty reasoning and wake up and figure out a way to find out what your students know that does not conflict with the research.
- Better yet, to fully align with what the research says about how people acquire languages, don’t test them at all. In our field, It doesn’t really make any sense. Evaluate them, yes, but not via testing. It is easily done if you open your mind up to it!b It’s how we evaluate our students in the Ultimate CI approach – no tests per se, lots of easy quizzes if you just pay attention during class, and the use of the ACTFL Interpersonal Mode of Communication.
- Instead of believing that only the “smart” kids (i.e. usually white kids of privilege) can master a language, change your thinking and try to understand what the research practically screams at us – that all human beings can easily master another language as long as they simply are exposed to enough comprehensible input, to enough understandable messages.
- Instead of working in fear of administrators, most of whom have almost no knowledge of how people learn languages and who use evaluation instruments on us that don’t even apply to the work we do, learn to provide them with the information they seek without being afraid of what they might say about your teaching. If they don’t understand comprehensible input, then they have no knowledge of how languages are acquired and therefore are not qualified to evaluate you. Just provide them with what they want and leave the stress out of the equation.
- Instead of looking back in despair at your train wreck of a career (it has been a train wreck for all of us – except the unconscious ones who shouldn’t be in classrooms anyway) look forward in happy anticipation to the wonderful future that awaits us in our profession, as we slowly begin to peel the CI onion and make the hard but meaningful changes that are at hand now in language teaching.
- Instead of letting the kids go, instead of leaving them to heartless, robotic teachers who don’t really care much about the job except in the paycheck and benefits that it provides, hang in and make the tough changes that we now have to do as a result of Covid. Learn how to teach in alignment with the research and the standard. That’s all you have to do and it can be done!
What to do? I offer one proven way to meet the challenges that Covid has delivered to our door: take the online Ultimate CI Book Zoom classes and read the books. They will bring about the change you want. They will allow you to finally enjoy teaching a language, without planning, without all the confusion and depression that have colored the lives of so many of us over recent decades, whether we are in our classrooms or online.
The Ultimate CI Book Zoom program will change what you do in your online classroom and how you do it. The result will be that you won’t have to quit your job or continue on in despair, because you and your students will have moved to a new level of communication and trust in your online setting. This is the promise of the Ultimate CI Book Zoom program.