What We Have Become

Teaching using CI should have a compassionate element to it. That is, we should remember how damaged some of our students are and we should try to teach in a way that includes them. Or we could ignore how damaged they are and leave them alone. 

The research on which CI is based reveals a compassionate side, where we care for all our students equally. It speaks to the idea that language acquisition should be pleasurable, even fun. There should be no forcing. Doing this assures membership in the group, because you are not pressuring them. Noam Chomsky talks about how we can’t learn language without being in community.

I’m sorry to say but in my opinion the current CI community has failed to sustain the element of compassion and inclusion that drew a lot of us into the TPRS movement in the late 1990s in the first place. Greed for sales of chapter books, for sales of methods books written by so-called “experts” (there are no experts – it’s just us). The CI community continues to exclude hurting kids and reward the few. 

So now, 25 years into the movement, the few continue to dominate the classrooms and the CI instruction doesn’t resemble what Blaine Ray put forth so long ago: the laughter, the hope, the happiness. The whole thing has become a big mess. Compassion in language instruction, so necessary, is hiding, a casualty of the prevalent dark and selfish zeitgeist in America these days.

TPRS/CI has become a method, and is no longer what I think the research indicates it might be one day, where real classroom communities exist that are not based on competition but on cooperation and what I think Blaine had it mind way back when – just a way of being with our students in right adjustment to them instead of testing them all the time to be better.

Just let them be who they are, and let teachers be who they are as well, without all the posturing and testing and all that ugly stuff that takes all the fun out of it. 

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Search

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Related Posts

CI and the Research (cont.)

Admins don’t actually read the research. They don’t have time. If or when they do read it, they do not really grasp it. How could

Research Question

I got a question: “Hi Ben, I am preparing some documents that support CI teaching to show my administrators. I looked through the blog and

We Have the Research

A teacher contacted me awhile back. She had been attacked about using CI from a team leader. I told her to get some research from

The Research

We don’t need any more research. In academia that would be a frivolous comment, but as a classroom teacher in languages I support it. Yes,

$10

~PER MONTH

Subscribe to be a patron and get additional posts by Ben, along with live-streams, and monthly patron meetings!

Also each month, you will get a special coupon code to save 20% on any product once a month.

  • 20% coupon to anything in the store once a month
  • Access to monthly meetings with Ben
  • Access to exclusive Patreon posts by Ben
  • Access to livestreams by Ben