Bob Patrick on CI -1

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7 thoughts on “Bob Patrick on CI -1”

  1. I definitely want to quote this in Paris. If it’s in an e-mail from John to Bob, who do I ask permission of? John, I’d think, but you called it “Bob Patrick on CI”. ???

  2. Yes, that quote is from Bob. He has been busting out recently since he is not only doing CI everyday in his classrooms, and talking to his colleagues about it as FL department chair (with Latin enrollment numbers that are closing in on Spanish in his school and district!), but then he is teaching a course at UGA for teachers in training. Talk about immersion! Everytime I communicate with him, I see him boiling down even the theory of CI to understandable messages that make sense even to non speacialists. This is common sense, how the brain works, but even a phrase like “comprehensible input” is for the most part incomprehensible to most people, and it doesn’t convey the fundamental nature of what CI is about: it is the element that causes people to acquire, even if teachers are not consciously delivering understandable messages. This is radical, but if we can gather enough studies and personal experiences to back it up, this is how we can make this message of CI more comprehensible to those around us. Bob has also worked hard on his “Elevator speech” and he’ll preach the CI gospel to anyone who will listen, because it is at the core of effective compassionate teaching. I’ll forward to Ben future highlights in our conversations, to pass on to the list. Also, I encourage anyone here to sign up for Latin Best Practices, and search the archives for Bob’s posts, especially the recent ones:

  3. John I agree that CI is a term that is easy to brush off. I have sent Trevor the “understandable messages” email Bob sent to me for addition to the Primer. I’m going to put up the Denver Public Schools Frameword Appendix as well there so there will be three tabs on the Primer that really are impossible to refute. Job security goes to the teachers who can talk that talk and walk that walk. We can download and copy and hand to anyone anytime. It’s nice to finally see ACTFL’s messages moving into the mainstream classroom.

  4. This is my second year doing CI. Maybe I am just being sensitive, but I can already feel negativity coming from my colleagues. I think my admins are on my side and my numbers are very good and getting better. My colleagues are attacking from a place of weakness, I think, and stuff like the Primer is so necessary for me to keep them at bay. I imagine this could get rather rabid for me over the next year or so.

  5. My dept head told Leanda and I that “all of us [the non-tprs people] deliver comprehensible input.”

    This is largely true. However, the diff between a CI (as we understand the term) teacher and a non-CI teacher is that the CI/TPRS teacher

    A) delivers compelling comprehensible input (his/her own cool ideas, kids’ ideas & interests, or both)
    B) delivers MUCH more CCI than the non-CI teacher by literally an order of magnitude
    C) views output as the result, not cause, of acquisition

  6. I would go further and say that just because they say they deliver comprehensible input doesn’t mean that they do. The test is in whether they teach in such a way that the students are constantly focused on the meaning (the message) and not on the vehicle for the message (the words). That is why Bob Patrick uses the term “understandable messages” to describe this work instead of comprehensible input. As a descriptor, it is more precise and would reveal whether your colleagues, Chris, are truly teaching according to what we know works or whether, as I suspect, they lack a complete and full understanding of how we learn languages and are simply making a largely cosmetic claim to appear to align with the research, their feet still dragging in the inefficient mud of the last century. Unfortunately, most people, at least 99% of them, are currently teaching in a way that just doesn’t work. Understandable messages, and a term we discussed here in recent months, comprehended input, are what we know works and will give liftoff to the flying machines of future language classrooms. Those who claim through ignorance that they do comprehensible input but do not are trying to fuel their planes with gasoline and oil made from dinosaurs. It won’t work. They will never get lift off unless they learn to teach in a way so that their students are focused uniquely on the message and not the vehicle for the message.


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