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14 thoughts on “Whimsy”

  1. 100% agree. I still have to teach 2 novels just to keep “on the same page” with my other colleagues. Little by little…. We’ve come a long way from the textbook days.
    I am wondering if MAYBE when CI teachers have to teach novels perhaps we can do them in a storylistening way…..like just summarizing the chapter via storylistening.
    This is something to be explored.

    1. Greg wrote:
      …MAYBE when CI teachers have to teach novels perhaps we can do them in a storylistening way….
      It’s a fantastic idea. It might be able to upgrade the entire stilted way that novels are taught now.

  2. By the way, Ben, I am in the process of writing curriculum for our “college prep” program (aka remedial program that shouldn’t exist but this is the legacy we have been given).
    It is very likely that I will have the same group of kids two years in a row. If I do the Invisibles System with them in year one, what would you recommend for year two?
    I feel like you have answered this question but I forgot the answer.
    My biggest fault in teaching CI has been giving away the store….giving away the interesting stuff in the beginning of the year and then by March the kids are bored. I’m getting better but it’s still something I need to work on.

  3. I do remember responding to that question Greg but I can’t remember what I said. What I hear you saying is that you want material to last longer. To stretch out into year two or into the spring in year one. Is that correct?
    If so, I would suggest that you stop thinking in terms of how long material can be used, but rather to embrace the full bodacious nature of what the Star Sequence-based, non-targeted approach implies. What is that?
    It means that we are simply going to adapt the attitude 0ver the months of simply communicating with our kids in the language. In other words, we go around the five points of the star and it is ever-renewing and ever-newly creative every day. There is no question of running out of stuff to do. Why?
    Because working with the Invisibles and the natural approach is a moveable feast. The structure is always there but the freedom to do anything and go anywhere with the language within the structure is there as well. It is not linear where we keep moving forward, checking off certain things because we need to teach them. Rather, it is the filling of space with language in any form we want – as long as we are using comprehensible input, we are doing it right. THIS IS WHAT THE RESEARCH SAYS TO DO, AND IS IN FACT THE VERY DEFINITION OF COMPREHENSIBLE INPUT AS NON-TARGETED. I didn’t say that – Krashen did.
    The only qualification on that is that yes everyone gets squirmy by the spring and so we just use the protocol suggested in the new book. Of those options, last spring the creation of story books by the kids in April and May was a tremendous success for many teachers who used it.

  4. Makes sense. I wish Krashen would be a little bit louder in promoting non-targeted CI. Even the tour he is doing with Beniko Mason is not getting a lot of promotion on social media.
    This year I am going to try storylistening with some novels as an experiment. That could develop into a way that NT teachers can coexist with Targeted teachers. Do storylistening with the plot of the book. You could knock off half of a chapter in a day. I dunno. I will let everyone on this blog know how it goes.
    The main value I see in the class reading of novels is that they often act as a compromise where CI teachers can coexist with traditional teachers. Also many teachers hired to do CI just don’t get it (when it comes to NTCI) and they need the feeling of “structure” (even though as you say the Star Sequence is structure) since they don’t have the textbook.

  5. Greg, Krashen came to Denver in 2008 and threw his weight behind TPRS by saying (recorded on video, probably Diana Noonan has it) that it (TPRS) “came closest” to what his research suggests. That was a big moment for all of us here in Denver. By giving this formal public record endorsement to TPRS, the status quo established in 2008 was firmly in place. Everybody started equating TPRS w Krashen and like you said he never said anything in 2016 to support the non-targeted wave that hit that year. Blaine did, by the way, but subtly. I posted that here a few months ago. Blaine never was targeted. That was done by others. Krashen’s and Blaine’s silence on this new development* in our field is worth noting.
    *Of course, it’s not a new development at all. In fact, it’s much more in line with Krashen than TPRS. If the people who still do TPRS where they have targets and do circling, etc. (see a category on this page called “Hit List of 25” for more on that topic), were to take the trouble to check out that statement by actually reading about NT work, it would be a fine thing.

  6. Did everyone see the Tweets that Dr. BVP is now suggesting we use the term “communicatively embedded input” rather than “comprehensible input”. I was following the tweets from NTPRS in Boston.
    I love BVP, but I think that is absolutely ridiculous.
    Most people do not know the BVP/Sandra Savignon definition of communication and mistakenly think that communication means “getting students talking”. I think “communicatively embedded input” would muddy the waters even more.
    I hope this new suggestion doesn’t catch on. It’s ridiculous.

    1. I saw that too, Greg, and I thought the same thing. I think by taking away the “Comprehensible “ and using “communicative” is going to create more ambiguity. Do you know his reasoning?

    2. Nathaniel Hardt

      He also suggested that “error” be replaced. He was more insistent on the change of “error” though. After all, “error” is not reflective of the process of acquisition. There is no such thing as an “error” in acquisition. If a person is at Stage 1 then that person is only capable of doing Stage 1. “Errors” cannot be corrected. A learner must move on to the next stage of development. BVP thus suggests “developmental form/structure” to refer to such language.
      He expressed more caution (and admiration for Krashen) for changing CI to CEI. One of the reasons for suggesting the change is the type of conversations he has had with teachers. He has found that CI is meant by many to be a technique to teach the same ole stuff in a new way; same ole stuff referring to grammar/textbook/unit on colors. If we are providing CI we are not teaching anything, but rather, we are involved in communicative events. The input is embedded in those communicative events. And if we are actually communicating with our students, then the input has to be comprehensible.
      I am not sure that such a change would prevent teachers from saying they use CEI to teach grammar/textbook/colors. Or that CEI is just another way to teach language. But the discussion is valuable in talking about what CI is and what it is not.

      1. I do appreciate all your comments over all these years, Nathaniel. They have infused the PLC with necessary insights of a very high quality for a very long time. In this discussion I think that my issue with BVP is that I would rather go to war with the foot soldiers who are next to me and not with the tacticians and generals who only think, have no experience in fighting in a real war five classes per day over years. I really don’t think BVP has felt the pain. I don’t think that he has been wounded. Honestly, the important thing is not about which label best reflects the research, but how the research can be best applied in the classroom. And I don’t think BVP helps much with that. When are we going to stop obsessing with labels and start working on the “how”? I think that with Krashen’s research, we have always had everything that we need to go forward. Krashen doesn’t need refining. It’s enough. I’m just not a big BVP fan. We all get to have our own opinions here, at least, and it has been so nice to know for over ten years now that they are essentially private.

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