In schools, we don’t really offer languages (I know there are exceptions like Alisa’s team in Chicago), to young kids under the age of 12, but then when they are in secondary school they start.
Think about that. This conflicts glaringly with the idea that kids learn their first language starting at birth. What is happening?
I have a few thoughts on that:
- Most language teachers don’t know enough about comprehensible input and so they tend to keep their language students up in their conscious minds where the language can’t be learned since the research practically screams at us that language acquisition is an unconscious process, which I must have said thousands of times over the years in this space. So when they “teach” the language instead of just doing CI, really young kids who haven’t yet shifted over to more logical thinking – they don’t do that until the age of 12-13 – are unable to think enough (read “do worksheets”).
- That it happens this way, that we teach languages to kids who are over 12 years old, only when they start to think logically, is so sad. Conscious reasoning is just the wrong way to go about it. And yet a large portion of the current CI world tries to incorporate logic in how it teaches now. They are trying to blend oil and water. But, as Krashen has said, “It’s hard to do comprehensible input when the hidden agenda is the relative clause”.