There is absolutely no basis for some language teachers’ insistence on doing something in a particular manner just because it’s the way they have always done it.
Such teachers rarely even speculate that it might be interesting to try a different way to do things in their classrooms.
They don’t want to change. Whenever they even hear the acronym CI, I would guess that a vague, uneasy resistance to the idea pops up in them. What if they can’t do it?
That is the voice of fear talking. It is something keeping them stuck in the past. It is a knot of psychic energy stuck in their minds. They don’t want to change because it means taking risks and retooling.
And yet now, finally, they have to change. The writing is on the wall in letters that are far too big and bold to ignore.
But perhaps we should look at the issue of WL teacher intransigence about CI from another angle. How much of teachers’ fear is actually based in confusion? Could it be that new teachers to CI just can’t find the clear guidance that they need to make the changes necessary? Could it be that many teachers new to CI are just confused and don’t know how to proceed?
Can we not agree that TPRS/CI has become a kind of big mess, with people claiming to be experts who focus too much on reading too early, on chapter book sales, and other reasons that are not best for teachers?
The worst is how the new breed of CI “experts” promote mixing CI with the textbook and established curriculums. That has been a disaster and is in my view at the core of the failure over the past 25 years of TPRS/CI to make any real impact on our profession, showing itself to be weak in the face of ACTFL and the book lobby.
I feel a certain amount of disgust with ACTFL and with my colleagues who have sold out on the research and are now in the business of selling confusing CI products that allow new teachers to have it both ways so that they don’t have to rock the boat in their schools.
Our group member Chris Roberts referred to this in a post here a few weeks ago. He expressed his concern – I can’t find the exact quote but it was published here a few weeks ago – that kids who are being taught by a new brand of CI teachers, those who are trying to use CI to teach an existing 20th c. curriculum, are getting the short end of the stick.
Greed is winning out over the research in the new CI world.
What are we going to do about it? Is anyone in this group who is new to CI feeling confused? Does anyone want concrete solutions that will lead to less confusion? I have solutions.
We’ve got a chance now to fix things. Let’s not miss it. We can do it in this group, but we need voices to be heard. Hint.