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
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
This is year 26 teaching French for me and I continue to grow in my understanding of how we acquire language. At the start of this academic year, I changed how I plan, how I spend time with my students and how I assess. I’ve been pondering the assessment piece for several years now. My method in… Read More How do I assess?
My 26th year practicing the art of helping students acquire French débuted 2 weeks ago! Actually, that is not entirely accurate. The first 12 years I didn’t focus on language acquisition. Instead, I taught students ABOUT the French language. I instructed them: how to conjugate verbs how to spell words how to figure out adjectival… Read More A new year and a resolution