Question About NTCI

Stephan in Peru asks:

Do you think no or limited structures are equally valid for absolute beginners?

I responded:

Some people argue that structures are needed for beginners. This gives them control over the dialogue and gets people to come to their trainings.

If no targets worked for beginning teachers, those trainers would not have a platform. No blame, but I disagree with the notion that new people can’t do this work without training wheels.

I argue that the only reason structures are seen as necessary by most trainers is that they haven’t explored non-targeted instruction deeply enough.

What we need is to align with the research. Then CI will work for us and it won’t involve targets. It is easy to teach a language without structures. We just need a book that doesn’t confuse new people, one that aligns with the research without mixing it with how schools function. I am writing that book.



2 thoughts on “Question About NTCI”

  1. Thank you all for allowing me on this community TPRS site. I am still learning where to find what and so starting a new thread here may be the wrong place; I apologise.

    My questions is if anyone out there is teaching an agglutinative language? Are there any video links to see how one deals with all the suffixes, affixes and prefixes? If one is using non-targeted structures all the time will the more complicated grammar somehow end up in being mastered?

  2. Stephan thanks for the question and yes using a comment field is a good way to ask a question, the other option being just emailing the question to me at and I will post it.

    The answer is yes, totally and one hundred percent. You don’t have to worry about the structure of the language at all. You don’t have to worry about grammar in any way. Grammar is not suffixes, affixes and prefixes – that is just a game for smart people but is not in anyway connected to how people acquire languages.

    That is not a snarky Ben comment but the research. Grammar is in actuality nothing other than correctly spoken language, is it not? And doesn’t the research also show that it an unconscious process controlled by something far superior to the intellect/conscious mind? Isn’t the only thing that can lead to acquisition the big cauldron of the deeper mind? Yes and yes and yes.

    We hear it and we go to sleep. During sleep the new language is built. The conscious mind can’t do it.

    Consider this comment from perhaps the greatest language researcher ever, who himself was no intellectual slouch, but he didn’t reference grammar terms in this memorable statement about how people acquire languages:

    This statement was made back in the early 1960’s –

    “Grammar is acquired by virtually everyone, effortlessly, rapidly, in a uniform manner, merely by living in a community under minimal conditions of interaction, exposure, and care.”
    -Noam Chomsky

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