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11 thoughts on “Question”

  1. What about the well-known phenomenon of the silent period where families go to live in another country and their kids don’t produce any L2 for several months and when they start speaking in L2, it’s already at an (very) advanced level? I’ve always thought this to emphasize the CI-hypothesis.

    1. My son was 3 years old when we moved to Japan. He started at a Montessori preschool at 3 1/2 years old. We were worried when at 5 years he was still only producing words and phrases in Japanese. We speak Spanish at home. We were trying to decide if we should move him to the American school or not. We decided to keep him in the Japanese preschool instead of moving him to the American school. At 5 and 1/2 years he began to produce tons of Japanese! He told everyone our family’s life story. He spoke to every Japanese person that would listen to him. He surprised both his teachers and his parents. I still remember the day his teacher came running to us when we went to pick him up, telling us our son speaks Japanese, lots of good Japanese! That was two years after we moved to Japan. There is a silent period and we need to respect it.

  2. From almost 30 years of teaching young students aged 6 – 12 years, I can only say that pushing them into output just doesn’t work. On the contrary, some of them tended to close up altogether and to not volunteer even the simplest answers anymore. So I gave up this ‘method’ very quickly and I do my best to encourage them every now and again to try out their L2 but I never insist on L2-output.
    Maybe this pushing students to speak 1+ their level can work with older and highly motivated students. But what about those students who gave up on the program bc they felt they are no good at learning languages or is your department chair able to get all beginners to be successful at the AP?

  3. If he thinks Krashen is outdated then he has contradicted himself. I’m not looking to pick a fight but man, Krashen was THE person to write up the input hypothesis. If your dept. chair uses an I do, We do, You do then there HAS to be input involved. It is input that drives the acquisition of language even when you don’t realize it or when you are teaching grammar etc… I just did an SLA unit with my students and they are finishing their projects so I am refreshed with Krashen.
    People debate how much input is necessary. Story listening has put emphasis on the position of “input only is enough.” The research presented and a handout I have says “yes”. Remember we are talking about acquisition not learning. The way that acquisition was measured in this study was a reading exam I believe and it was examined a time period AFTER the input was provided.
    Important to note is that output as per BVP is original thought being communicated unrehearsed. ACTFL distinguishes with two terms: Performance (What is rehearsed and memorized) vs. Proficiency (unrehearsed output).
    Given all that, I would emphasize access to language. Language acquisition should be effortless and accessible to all because it is hard-wired in the brain. It is innate for us to acquire. Given enough input anyone can acquire… not only that We must. With forced speech exercises, we make that language less accessible, we encourage memorization and we encourage students to be good at a test and not life long learners. On the positive, in a CI class we develop life-long learners and we believe that anyone can acquire and become fluent given enough input that the student will want to seek beyond school.

    1. We instill success by emphasizing what students can do instead of what they cannot. Programs such as Latin with Bob Patrick have had huge success and are able to out do enrollment of Spanish classes.

  4. An afterthought: Can your department chair and his instructors name any research that supports the focus on output or is he only quoting what his university instructors believe to be the best approach bc he is so successful at the AP exam?

  5. Sean M Lawler

    A 100% pass rate on the AP exam is impressive. Honestly, I don’t know how any student that has just 4 years of Spanish can get a 3 or higher on the AP Spanish language test. Why do you think these students are so successful on this AP test?

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