Foreign language teachers spend a lot of time and energy preparing visuals, props and handouts so that their input with be comprehensible or understandable to their students. But just remember…
…any effort to make input comprehensible IS WASTED if students aren’t completely engaged and paying attention.
This is such an important point that you can almost say “A comprehensible-input-issue is a classroom management issue”. A foreign language instructor that wants to stay in the target language must have an excellent plan for behavior management.
If the students aren’t watching you and/or the point of instruction, none (or very little) of the input will be comprehensible.
Language learners (depending on their proficiency level) can’t rely on their sense of hearing to help them understand what’s being communicated. Teachers need to use any number of strategies to help the spoken language be understood not through the students sense of hearing but through their sense of sight, or touch or through creating predictable situations where a limited amount of target vocabulary can be explored, experienced, experimented with…etc. Consequently if input is to be comprehensible a student needs to be watching and engaged during all instructional activities.
A foreign language teacher should invest just as much energy into effective classroom management strategies as she/he does into strategies for making input comprehensible.
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