Does CI Work? – 1

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10 thoughts on “Does CI Work? – 1”

  1. This relates to the discussion we started a week or two ago by something Eric said about the Lexical Preference Principal. It’s way at the bottom of the Communication post:
    https://benslavic.com/blog/communication/
    I think it is a huge question. I think my answer to the question is, yes, I sometimes make things too comprehensible with things other than the language – gestures, facial expressions, story context. They sometimes understand without having to really hear the language. So lately I am trying not to do that so much. I’ll repeat and wait before I gesture, for example. There’s more to it than that, though.

    1. “They sometimes understand without having to really hear the language.”
      I experience this too BUT I think that their subconscious picks it up through the repetitions.
      Students get the meaning and the message, so they may “tune” out. However, if they are hearing the words they are making those connections in their brain with meaning. This happens whether they know it or not.
      I have a student who just daydreams. However, I ask her a question and she answers in French. Weird. She forgets to gesture (hence her low grade) but when I repeat my question she wakes up and accesses the meanings and provides output. She is my only student like this. Am I too optimistic to say that she is getting it?

      1. …she forgets to gesture (hence her low grade) but when I repeat my question she wakes up and accesses the meanings and provides output….
        Dude. If I had a teacher who dinged me for not gesturing I’d be resentful.
        And do you single her out in the questioning? Just saying, because the art of questioning has to be done in good will, so that there is never a feeling of them being called out. Just my opinion.
        …am I too optimistic to say that she is getting it?….
        Not in my opinion. She may be getting MORE than you think.

  2. Good thinking out loud question. Maybe this is right. I like to think not. So I’ll play Ben and throw out all this…
    “One must be drenched in words, literally soaked with them to have the right ones form themselves into the proper pattern at the right moment.”
    -Hart Crane (American poet)
    I like to remember that we’re building an implicit system of language and much of what is happening can’t be seen yet. It’s frustrating and I forget this very often but hope to keep it in mind when communicating with kids. I like Eric’s iceberg design he created. Good visual for what we’re doing.
    I also think we show higher gains in production if we drastically limit scope of input (microlanguage).
    And we get with better and more standardized ways to assess comprehension that objectively show how well kids can process HF language. I think such an assessment that measures fluency and comprehenion (vs accuracy and shallow recognition) could change the entire dynamic. The speed reading course is a part of it. Eric, what are the obstacles to the creation of all this stuff? How can we help you get this stuff made for like next school year?! 🙂 Just stop all the comprehensive SLA edification and pioneering insights directing the dialogue on FL teaching in North America and get to work. Geesh!

    1. The iceberg image allows me to extend my question:
      “If we have an iceberg to sell, and the people wanting to buy our ice are incapable of grasping that most of what they want to buy is below the water, can we sell it to them?”

    2. Even if Eric COULD design such an instrument for us, Jim, could we get it up and running in schools, given the nature of data gathering these days? This is why Eric has to get his PhD and start throwing his weight around. VP has nothing on him.

      1. Ha. I appreciate the confidence, but BVP’s got me long covered. haha. I do plan to apply to MSU this year. We’ll see.
        And Jim, actually, my main project (in its first stages) right now is exactly what you are requesting: a listening proficiency exam for level 1 & 2 gains. Only, this won’t test what kids can guess. This will test what they understand. It won’t be a listening test with authentic resources and authentic speech rate, so it won’t be like everything else out there that I’ve seen. I’ve been in touch with Dr. Hastings who I think already answered the testing format question.
        http://focalskills.info/fst/index.html
        I’ve tried out 2 shorter listening & reading tests with this format based on the beach and pets – 2 themes I’ve done this year. I’ve had 7th & 8th graders and adults try out the tests and give me feedback. You can log-in to my student account if you want to try it out:
        http://www.coursesites.com
        username: spanishteacher
        password: spanish2015
        I’m supposed to be writing the first draft of listening proficiency questions this weekend 🙂
        Then, I’ll need plenty of you all to try it out with your students, which gives me data, and I can learn how to do some item analysis and come up with a valid & reliable test of listening comprehension. That’s the hope.

        1. Nice to hear you’re applying to MSU, Eric.
          I’m required to give level 1 students a “standardized” or “objective” (ex, not created by me) test of Chinese after 70-75 hours of contact time. My admins allowed me to delay doing that kind of test last school year. Even a man representing the STAMP test said that was a year too early for testing to be reasonable. Thankfully, they’re letting me get a better one created rather than use a test that already exists, all of which I cringe in thinking of giving them to level one students. They are designed for textbooks with topics and lists, picking out individual words rather than real reading of a simple text.

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