I’ve often described the way I teach French, my method, as ‘Mommy Talk’. After all, that is how I learned to speak English. Science shows that I, like all normal babies, started to hear sounds from within the womb. And upon my birth, I continued to listen as I also watched, interacted with people and… Read More Unless you become like a little child…, you won’t become fluent.
A couple of weeks ago we spent some time with 3 of our grandkids. Abigail, the youngest, is 21 months old. Interacting with this very verbal toddler made me wish I had documented every word she said. I would guess her vocabulary comprises at least 75 to 100 separate words. Along with several pairs of… Read More Language acquisition at 21 months old
Like many of you, I teach a world language (in my case French) using the methodology called CI or comprehensible input. This is basically ‘mommy talk’ – speaking French, making each word/phrase comprehensible through translation on the board, facial expressions, gestures, and pictures. Brain research shows that we need to hear a chunk of language and… Read More Music to the ears of a CI teacher
Here’s a snapshot of a spontaneous moment well used. Picture that afternoon slump…..12-year-olds…..yet another class…..indoors. One boy puts his head down. I say in French, “Will, what’s wrong? Are you tired? Are you sick? He responds: ‘fatigué’. Head still down. I try again, ‘Will, you have to sit up and LOOK, so you won’t miss… Read More The freedom and ease of CI
Our school recently dedicated an afternoon of professional development TO teacher-led workshops. As soon as I read the call for volunteers, I knew I needed to offer a taste of second language acquisition through CI or comprehensible input to those colleagues who might want to know more. The other WL teachers are primarily grammar-focused, although… Read More Hearing, with understanding – the key!
A student’s explanation of how she knew what to say in French encouraged me and provided more tangible proof that Comprehensible Input (CI) works! The students had recorded orally 2 minutes of a story each had invented. They did this by dialing my Google voice phone number. When my message invited them to speak after the… Read More Evidence of comprehensible input working
Do you know how an artificial neural network (ANN) learns? The same way the brain does! My husband wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on one aspect of how ANNs ‘learn’. Mike has talked about these genius systems so many times that I understand the gist of them. In order to train the neural network to recognize… Read More How to correct errors we hear in the classroom