Does CI Work? – 3

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben's Patreon at $10 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

10 thoughts on “Does CI Work? – 3”

  1. It is true that teaching with CI takes a lot of time but it is worth it. If after a few years of teaching students in our class they do not reach fluency we should not see it as a failure. Learning a language takes so much time; I tell my student that I am still learning French even as a teacher. If students have done some learning, if they have enjoyed the language class this is a success in my view. If we have set them up to possibly continuing their study of a language in either a formal or informal setting because of the joy and passion we ourselves have taught the language that is success. To force learning, to make them feel stupid or inadequate will lead nowhere even if they are successful in examinations. We should not see our last class as the finish line in some ways it is only the beginning.

    1. “We should not see our last class as the finish line in some ways it is only the beginning.”
      Huge point here!
      However Ben raises a good point that admin/supervisors/organizations raise
      “If something is not visible, is it happening?”
      I answer this question from my BTSA supervisor by having students draw and copy sentences. People in Education get so into products, output, tasks, outcomes etc… sounds like we should be selling something. They want proof to justify the very teaching of World Languages.
      So how do we demonstrate the subconscious understanding of language?
      By drawing (which is differentiation) and sometimes writing sentences. I also have students make their own dictionary with vocabulary from the week. They draw a picture for each.
      However, it really ticks me off when the above people ask for output in terms of speaking or pair-share work.

  2. “Is the little bit of CI that we can do in schools (relative to the amount of time needed for fluency) enough for us to claim that CI “works” in schools?”
    You have the luxury of taking your time, even though you might not have a lot of it. You aren’t under the gun to reach mastery. Please don’t ever take that for granted.
    Some English Language learners don’t have time. They enter the US, some at 15, 16, 17… they have no time and they know it. They need real comprehensible input that is compelling enough to keep them from dropping out.
    Your students aren’t under the same pressure and so you as teachers aren’t under the same pressure. Foreign language has to blaze the CI trail for this reason.
    CI does work, as Ben says. I know CI feels like it takes forever, and I appreciate that Audio-Lingual seems like a “short-cut” to phrases or Grammar-Translation to grammar. They may seem to work faster with the wrong testing instruments, but they don’t work. They will never lead to mastery of a language, which again, is only a problem if you are an ESL or other second (not foreign) language teacher.
    Please know that the good work with comprehensible input that you are doing is vital to moving ESL forward towards more compelling, comprehensible input someday. It already means equity for your kids, but one day, it will mean even more equity for entire classrooms full of ESL ethnic minority students.
    Also, STEVEN!! Every time I see “Steven” pop up in the forum I think “Yeah! Steven’s got some other nugget of wisdom for us.”
    Steven’s comment above did not disappoint:
    “So how do we demonstrate the subconscious understanding of language?
    By drawing (which is differentiation) and sometimes writing sentences. I also have students make their own dictionary with vocabulary from the week. They draw a picture for each.
    However, it really ticks me off when the above people ask for output in terms of speaking or pair-share work.”
    See, the assessment discussion has been going on for a while, you just weren’t calling in it that.

  3. All output in the first few years is fumbled or memorized. It is of low quality and very fake, as are all forced things in life. That is why I agree with Claire here:
    …it really ticks me off when … people ask for output in terms of speaking or pair-share work….

    1. It’s actually still a part of Steven’s quote. Production as the only thing people can assess –that’s a myth and I am glad Steven called it.

  4. When Steven asks:
    “So how do we demonstrate the subconscious understanding of language?
    I immediately think of a good story with my kids on the ends of their seats wanting to know what is going to happen and not thinking of the language at all but only the message. I look into their eyes. I know, not very scientific. Oh well.

    1. And how do we demonstrate the intuitive understanding of basketball? We go out on the court and play the game. That is what popped in my head when I read:
      “I immediately think of a good story with my kids on the ends of their seats wanting to know what is going to happen and not thinking of the language at all but only the message. ”
      That is it. I had two beautiful moments like that when an evaluator was in the room. In the first, we were reviewing a story that we had created the day before. It was noted that all students were engaged. And that the evaluator could see a benefit to what we were doing. The amazing thing is that the evaluator could not really see authentic communication happening. All she could see was that that I was teaching them the imperfect. And that was not a good thing because the imperfect does not appear in the (Textbook Table of Contents) “curriculum.” The second was just as beautiful (for 35 minutes), but this evaluator, known for her aloofness, could only analyze and deconstruct what was happening. I think one needs a college education to not rejoice in communication in a language class. One has to be trained to witness an interpersonal moment and only recognize grammar forms.
      The blindness of the observers in no way changes the demonstration of the subconscious in the form of a co-created story. This example illustrates that the goal, the demonstration and the assessment are indistinguishable. Ben describes his use this seamlessness of activity and assessment in his suggestions for a CI-based midterm or final exam. And it is at the core of the discussion we have been having here lately.

      1. “This example illustrates that the goal, the demonstration and the assessment are indistinguishable.”
        I love this comment, Nathaniel. I read this as: the goal (related to curriculum), the demonstration (instruction), and assessment align.
        Also, good basketball analogy. I’m still getting over being the scrawniest and last kid picked for team sports my whole life, but even I can appreciate this awesome sports analogy.

    2. This also made me think of driver’s ed. Most of the in-class is about scaring the future drivers to death about because they need to understand how many ways their dreamed of joy rides can instantly turn into demolition and destruction. After showing them their potential for becoming unmeaning menaces, then they start doing what they are going to do.
      Let’s call the goal of the L2 course is conversation. We establish enough meaning to start conversing and build from there. The goal is understanding, expressing, and negotiating meaning and so we involve ourselves in the process of understanding, expressing, and negotiating meaning. If an informed and open minded observer pokes her head in the door and sees students and teacher understanding, expressing, and negotiating meaning, she can remark that “they are conversing in the FL class” or “they are creating stories again. I wish I could have done that when I took French.”
      We know that this is the outworking of a subconscious process that is the result of processing understandable messages. The proof and the process and indistinguishable. It is teaching to the test in the best sense of the word.

Leave a Comment

  • Search

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Related Posts

The Problem with CI

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

CI and the Research (cont.)

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

Research Question

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

We Have the Research

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

$10

~PER MONTH

Subscribe to be a patron and get additional posts by Ben, along with live-streams, and monthly patron meetings!

Also each month, you will get a special coupon code to save 20% on any product once a month.

  • 20% coupon to anything in the store once a month
  • Access to monthly meetings with Ben
  • Access to exclusive Patreon posts by Ben
  • Access to livestreams by Ben