Here is an article that we would all do well to read and reflect on in terms of what we really want to be doing in our CI classrooms. It is my position that CI gains are only a piece of the puzzle and should only be one of our goals as language teachers. Our real overarching goal should be happy kids, kids that don’t go out and shoot people.
Our CI teaching will be less effective as it might otherwise be If we focus on the community-building and equity and mental health pieces. Our classes should not become little clubs for the privileged.
When over half of our students tune us out, whatever teaching method we are using, we need to look at that and respond professionally.
Everyone has this problem of kids tuning us out. No blame. Our jobs, the way our schools work, the way our classes are set up, none of that is geared for maximum academic results – they are geared for maximum herding of sheep. We are all, in a way, sheep dogs, but let’s leave that one alone for now.
How will we address this problem – which, again, everyone has? By continuing to teach only the fast processors? Or will we finally find a way to teach languages that includes everyone? I repeat the point made earlier in this article that our classes often split along economic and racial lines in favor of the few when we don’t address the community-building and equity and mental health pieces.
Being good at CI is not enough. The breath of life in CI language instruction lies in inclusion. The Ultimate CI program is the only CI program that I know of that addresses all this.