Todd & A Series On CI (Part 6) – Forms Of Input: Gesticulated Input

This post contains links to a video recording of Señor Howard demonstrating how he uses gestures in his classroom.

target language tips


Does staying in the target language feel like a game of “GUESS-tures” or “Charades?”

I’ve heard people say that it’s tiring to constantly be trying to get students to GUESS what what’s being said.  “All my gestures and visual aids result in students giving me looks like these…!”

Confused-student

There are many strategies that foreign language teachers can use to avoid making class feel like a L2 guessing game.  In this series we’ve already discussed some of these strategies, which include:

This post will cover how to make the move from GUESS-tures to gestures.

tips for staying in the target language

Gestures Tip #1 – Use multiple gestures for one L2 phrase.

When I say, “How are you?” I use 2 gestures.  (See video example)

When I say, “Raise your hand,” I use 2 gestures.  (See video example)

When I say, “This is a big pencil,” I use 3 gestures.  (See video example)

See more video examples here.

Why use multiple gestures?

Answered simply: multiple gestures helps a student find more comprehensive meaning in your L2 phrase.  The question, “How are you?” (for example) has 3 distinct components: a verb, a subject pronoun and an interrogative word.  How will a student find comprehensive meaning for all three components if there is only one gesture used?

If you’re like me, it’s easy to forget how confusing a foreign language can sound.  Sometimes I don’t realize that even the simplest L2 words sound like a messy jumble of sounds to my students.  In order to effectively help them find meaning, I need to facilitate repeated and direct connections between small, “bite-sized,” incomprehensible pieces of L2 input and a matching form of comprehensible input.  Using multiple gestures for 1 target language phrase helps me do this.

See video examples here.

Gestures Tip #2 – Repeat your “L2-gesture pairing” more than once.

If one of my students gives an answer out of turn, and I need to say, “Raise your hand,” I will repeat the L2 phrase 3-5 times.  (See video example)

If my class is chatty, and I need say, “It’s important to be quiet,” I will repeat the L2 phrase 3-5 times.  (See video example)

Why repeat?

Repeating a target vocabulary word/phrase multiple times can be like using a SPOTLIGHT on a theater stage or a HIGHLIGHTER on a page full of text.

If a teacher immediately repeats an L2 phrase 3-5 times it can be an effective strategy for focusing student attention on an important word or phrase.  It helps a piece of L2 input to be noticed when it wouldn’t otherwise be unnoticed.

Of course repetition can get tiresome.  Teacher’s can avoid tiresome repetition by giving students MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCES in which the target language structures are used often enough to be noticed and acquired.

Click here to watch a video of Sr. Howard doing this with 1st graders.

Gestures Tip #3 – Ensure students are watching the source of instruction.

how to help students stay in the target language

Gestures won’t help any students find meaning if they aren’t watching the source of instruction.  For ideas regarding how to motivate students to watch the source of instruction, browse through some of the following posts:

Managing Student Behavior AND Staying In The Target Language


The THEORY behind the PRACTICE

In part 4 of this series on input theory we observed that:

“If a linguistic form of input is incomprehensible to a student, attempts can be made to communicate comprehensibly by making extralinguistic input available.”

We also observed that:

“It can be helpful to categorize forms of input into LINGUISTIC input and EXTRALINGUISTIC input.”

In this post (part 6) we observe that:

“There are several forms of extralinguistic input.  Each can be used strategically by an L2 teacher to attempt to make L2 (linguistic) input comprehensible.”

AND

“Gestures and facial expressions are one such form of extralinguistic input that I will refer to as ‘Gesticulated Input.'”


Todd (The Input Theory Stick Figure) and Gesticulated Input

This is Todd:

Todd - Comprehensible Input

Todd can receive input:

input

Todd can receive linguistic input:

Spoken Linguistic Input

Todd can receive comprehensible extralinguistic input.  One of the forms of extralinguistic input Todd can receive is “Gesticulated Input” (as illustrated in the diagram below):

Extralinguistic Input

Extralinguistic Input: Gesticulated


Language Acquisition Theory Statement:

“Gesticulated Input” (i.e. hand motions, facial expressions and other gestures) is one of several forms of extralinguistic input that a teacher can use strategically to help students acquire L2.


The conversation is just beginning.

Over the next several weeks, the posts on Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language will delineate the massive implications that simple sketches (like the ones above) have on foreign language teaching and foreign language acquisition.

Todd will help me discuss and/or continue to discuss…:

  • …the nature of input and comprehensible input.
  • …different forms of input and comprehensible input.
  • …a qualitative analysis of the various forms of comprehensible input and their usefulness in facilitating foreign language acquisition.
  • …making input comprehensible.
  • …how making input comprehensible and meaningful (to foreign language students) can cause language acquisition “magic” to occur.
  • …obstacles to making input comprehensible in a classroom full of students.
  • …strategies for overcoming the making-input-comprehensible-obstacles that exist in a foreign language classroom.
  • …a comprehensive rubric for assessing the effectiveness of a foreign language teacher.

STAY TUNED!

 See what others are saying about Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language.

Señor Howard

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com/blog – @HolaSrHoward

Caleb Howard – www.SoMuchHope.com – @calhwrd

Your voice is valuable! Share your target language teaching experiences!

Leave comments below or add to the conversation on twitter by using #TL90plus (for staying in the target language” comments) and/or #langchat (for general language teaching comments).

Video Recording: 1st Graders Learning Days Of The Week and Colors In The Target Language

This post contains a video recording of Sr. Howard teaching 1st graders in the target language.

days of week

Click here to watch Sr. Howard teach 1st graders (in the target language) about days of the week and colors.

Click here to watch more video recordings of Sr. Howard teaching in the target language.

Pay particular attention to how Sr. Howard…:

Stay tuned, next week, for more posts from the current blog series on comprehensible input and input theory.

Over the next several weeks, the posts on Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language will delineate the massive implications that simple sketches (like the ones found in Part 1) have on foreign language teaching and foreign language acquisition.

Todd (the stick figure) will help me discuss and/or continue to discuss…:

  • …the nature of input and comprehensible input.
  • …different forms of input and comprehensible input.
  • …a qualitative analysis of the various forms of comprehensible input and their usefulness in facilitating foreign language acquisition.
  • …making input comprehensible.
  • …how making input comprehensible and meaningful (to foreign language students) can cause language acquisition “magic” to occur.
  • …obstacles to making input comprehensible in a classroom full of students.
  • …strategies for overcoming the making-input-comprehensible-obstacles that exist in a foreign language classroom.
  • …a comprehensive rubric for assessing the effectiveness of a foreign language teacher.

STAY TUNED!

 See what others are saying about Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language.

Señor Howard

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com/blog – @HolaSrHoward

Caleb Howard – www.SoMuchHope.com – @calhwrd

Your voice is valuable! Share your target language teaching experiences!

Leave comments below or add to the conversation on twitter by using #TL90plus (for staying in the target language” comments) and/or #langchat (for general language teaching comments).

Todd & A Series On CI (Part 5): Forms Of Input: Representational Input

It’s easy to make incomprehensible L2 input meaningful with the help of a picture.

However, it’s JUST AS EASY TO CONFUSE L2 students…

…if you use a picture in the wrong way.
elephant-and-birdLet’s assume that your L2 students don’t know any vocabulary related to this picture of an elephant with a blue bird on its back.

Here are some UN-helpful ways to use the picture to help students acquire new L2 vocabulary.  AVOID using the strategies listed below.

1- Don’t, don’t, don’t…hold up the picture and say a sentence about it.  Don’t, don’t, don’t…hold up the picture and start talking (in the TL) about it.  For example: don’t hold up the picture and say, “Look at the picture of the elephant and the bird.  The bird is on top of the elephant.  The bird is on top of the happy elephant.  The elephant has four legs and the bird is on his back.”

Danger:  The students may be sitting quietly.  The teacher may be saying lots of sentences in the target language.  The students may be having an experience in a target language immersion environment.  HOWEVER…the quantity of L2 input is too great.  The picture is no longer a helpful tool for making the L2 input comprehensible.  It’s likely that the students are feeling overwhelmed and want to give up.

2- Don’t, don’t, don’t…hold up the picture and sing a song about it.  For example:

“The elephant is carrying the bird. Cha, cha, cha!

The elephant is carrying a bird.  Cha, cha, cha!

The bird is blue.  The elephant is gray.

The elephant is carrying a bird.  Cha, cha, cha!”

Danger:  The students may be smiling.  The students may be enjoying the “cha, cha, cha” part of the song.  With enough practice, the students may even be able to sing the L2 words.  The teacher may be proud of the strategy.  He might say things like, “Wow!  We spent 15 minutes practicing an L2 song.  The students really got into it!  They loved the, “cha, cha, cha” part of the song!  Every student was paying attention.”  HOWEVER…it’s likely that the students are having so much fun watching each other sing, “cha, cha, cha” that they don’t even focus on the target L2 vocabulary and what it means and how it can be used in a real-life situation.

3- Don’t, don’t, don’t…hold up the picture and start asking students questions about it before you’ve made sure they’ve acquired key vocabulary words.  For example: Don’t say, “Class…yes or no…is the bird blue?  Yes?  No?  Blue??  Is the bird blue?  Yes.  Yes.  The bird is blue.  The elephant is gray and the bird is blue.  Is the elephant big?  Yes or no.  Is the elephant big?  Yes.  The elephant is big.  The bird is small and the elephant is big.”

Danger:  The students may be listening.  The heritage speakers (if you have any in your class) may be able to answer the questions.  HOWEVER it’s likely that many students will have no idea what is being said, even though the questions are simple and the answers seem obvious.

Here are some GOOD WAYS to use the picture to help students acquire new L2 vocabulary.

1-  Start simple.

  • Point to the bird.
  • Look at the students while pointing to the bird.  (This action suggests to the students that you want them to pay attention to the bird that you’re pointing to.)
  • Point to the bird again.
  • Say, “tweet, tweet,” while pointing to the bird.
  • Say, “bird,” while pointing to the bird.
  • Say, “bird,” again while pointing to the bird.
  • Say, “Class, repeat: BIRD.”
  • Say, “Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  BIRD,” while pointing to the bird.
  • Point to the elephant.
  • Look at the students while pointing to the elephant.  (This action suggests to the students that you want them to pay attention to the elephant that you’re pointing to.)
  • Point to the elephant again.
  • Make a motion/gesture that the students will know means elephant.
  • Say, “elephant,” while pointing to the elephant.
  • Say, “elephant,” again while pointing to the elephant.
  • Say, “Class, repeat: ELEPHANT.”
  • Say, “Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  ELEPHANT,” while pointing to the elephant.
  • Point to the bird and say, “A bird.”
  • Point to the elephant and say, “An elephant.”  (Repeat these last two steps)

2- Practice “the simple.”

  • Point to the bird.
  • Say, “Class.  A Bird or An Elephant?”
  • After class says, “A Bird,” say, “Yes. Yes.  A Bird.  Correct.”
  • Point to the elephant.
  • Say, “Class.  A Bird or An Elephant?”
  • After class says, “An Elephant,” say, “Yes.  Yes!  An Elephant.  Correct.”
  • Point to the bird and say, “A bird.”
  • Point to the elephant and say, “An elephant.”

3- Ensure that “the simple” is comprehensible.

  • Point to the bird.
  • Say, “Aiden.  Is this An Elephant or is this A Bird?” (Hint: One thing I like to do if I’m afraid I’ll confuse the student by adding the verb (“Is”) is to say the incomprehensible words (i.e. the verb and the adjective) quietly and quickly and say the comprehensible words (i.e. “An Elephant” and “A Bird”) slowly and deliberately.  This keeps the student from freezing up because of the unanticipated addition of extra, unfamiliar L2 words.  For more on this “hint” read this post.)
  • When Aiden says, “A bird,” say, “Yes!  Yes!  A bird.  A bird!  This is a bird.”
  • On the board or next to the picture write the L2 words, “This is a bird.”
  • Give Aiden ClassDojo.com points or some other form of reward.
  • Point to the bird again and repeat the same line of questioning with another student.
  • Point to the elephant.  Pick a new student and repeat the same line of question for An Elephant.

4-  Then add layers of complexity; ONE AT A TIME.

Adding Adjectives

  • Point to the bird.
  • Assuming that the students know the L2 colors, say, “Jessica.  Is this a RED bird or is this a BLUE bird?” (Hint: say the capitalized words more deliberately to draw attention to them.)  (Hint #2: If Jessica looks confused, point to the bird and say, “Red? or Blue?”
  • After Jessica answers say, “Yes!  Blue!  The bird is blue.  The bird is blue.”
  • On the board or next to the picture write the L2 words, “The bird is blue.”
  • Give Jessica ClassDojo.com points or some other form of reward.
  • Repeat this line of questioning as many times as you would like for practice.
  • Point to the elephant.
  • Say, “Aliquan.  Is the elephant BIG (gesture BIG) or is the elephant little (gesture little)?”
  • Etc.

Making The Sentence Complex

  • Point to the picture.
  • Say, “Justin.  Is the elephant big and blue or is the elephant big and gray?”
  • If Justin lacks confidence you can write the question on the board before you ask it or while you ask it.
  • After Justin answers you can pick other students to answer the exact same question.  The students will need this repetition.
  • Point to the picture.
  • Say, “Ariella.  Is there one elephant and two birds or is there one elephant and one bird?
  • After Justin answers you can pick other students to answer the exact same question.  The students will need this repetition.
  • These are just two examples of ways you can make the sentences more complex.  Use these ideas to help get your own creative juices flowing for how you can effectively use a picture to help students acquire more L2 while staying in the target language.

(Side note: at the beginning of this post I said that it’s a bad idea to sing songs about the picture of the elephant and the bird.  I just want to clarify.  Songs are fun.  And songs CAN be used effectively.  It would be a good idea to use a song after you’ve helped the students complete steps 1-4 that are listed above.  The song, then, can be used to enrich their L2 acquisition experience.)


The THEORY behind the PRACTICE

In part 4 of this series on input theory we observed that:

“If a linguistic form of input is incomprehensible to a student, attempts can be made to communicate comprehensibly by making extralinguistic input available.”

We also observed that:

“It can be helpful to categorize forms of input into LINGUISTIC input and EXTRALINGUISTIC input.”

In this post (part 5) we observe that:

“There are several forms of extralinguistic input.  Each can be used strategically by an L2 teacher to attempt to make L2 (linguistic) input comprehensible.”

And:

“Pictures, drawings, images, etc. are a form of extralinguistic input that I will call “Representational Input”  (see explanation below the sketches of Todd)

Over the next several weeks my purpose is to help readers explore how the forms of extralinguistic input can be used effectively in an L2 classroom.


 

Todd is a stick figure that is helping me explain some of these input theory concepts.  Notice, in the drawings below, how Todd can receive multiple forms of input and that some of them are extralinguistic forms of input.

The words that Todd hears or reads…whatever symbols he sees…whatever gestures he interprets…can be called INPUT.

input

 


 

Todd can receive input from a T.V. screen.

input can be received from television


 

Todd can receive input (in written form) from a book, magazine or from his iPhone.

Written Linguistic Input

Written Linguistic Input


 

Todd can receive input in the form of another person’s words.

Spoken Linguistic Input

Spoken Linguistic Input


 

Todd can receive input (from another person) even though they don’t use words.

Extralinguistic Input

Extralinguistic Input


 

Todd can receive input when he reads words on a sign.

Linguistic Input

Linguistic Input


 

Todd can receive input even when a sign displays no words.

Extralinguistic Input

Extralinguistic Input


 

Representational Input

One form of extralinguistic input that teachers can use to their advantage is pictures and drawings.  I’m not sure what other writers have called this form of input but I will call it “Representational Input.”  I call it “Representational Input” because pictures and drawings represent (or are image reproductions) of things that are real.  (For example: a postcard picture of the Grand Canyon is a picture representation of the Grand Canyon.  An iPhone snapshot of a flower is a digital representation of that real flower.)


Language Acquisition Theory Statement:

“Representational Input” (i.e. pictures, images, drawings, etc.) is one of several forms of extralinguistic input that a teacher can use strategically to help students acquire L2.


The conversation is just beginning.

Over the next several weeks, the posts on Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language will delineate the massive implications that simple sketches (like the ones above) have on foreign language teaching and foreign language acquisition.

Todd will help me discuss and/or continue to discuss…:

  • …the nature of input and comprehensible input.
  • …different forms of input and comprehensible input.
  • …a qualitative analysis of the various forms of comprehensible input and their usefulness in facilitating foreign language acquisition.
  • …making input comprehensible.
  • …how making input comprehensible and meaningful (to foreign language students) can cause language acquisition “magic” to occur.
  • …obstacles to making input comprehensible in a classroom full of students.
  • …strategies for overcoming the making-input-comprehensible-obstacles that exist in a foreign language classroom.
  • …a comprehensive rubric for assessing the effectiveness of a foreign language teacher.

STAY TUNED!

 See what others are saying about Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language.

Señor Howard

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com/blog – @HolaSrHoward

Caleb Howard – www.SoMuchHope.com – @calhwrd

Your voice is valuable! Share your target language teaching experiences!

Leave comments below or add to the conversation on twitter by using #TL90plus (for staying in the target language” comments) and/or #langchat (for general language teaching comments).

Todd & A Series On CI – (Part 4): Forms Of Input – Linguistic |Extralinguistic

Imagine that you have the opportunity to host a foreign exchange student in your home.

Foreign-Exchange-Student-

It’s meal time.  Since your exchange student barely speaks any English, you speak as slowly and clearly as possible.

“Please pass me a fork,” you say to her.

She looks confused and doesn’t respond.

In order to help her understand the English word for “fork” you touch (or hold up) a fork and say…

fork

“…Fork.  Fork.  This is a fork.”

In the precise moment that you hold up a fork and say, “Fork.  Fork.  This is a fork,” there are two different forms of input that your exchange student is processing.

One form of input is linguistic and the other form of input is extralinguistic.

The linguistic form of input is the English words you are saying to her: “Fork.  Fork.  This is a fork.”

The extralinguistic form of input is the combination of all the gestures, pointing, and facial expressions you use in an attempt to communicate comprehensibly what your English words have failed to comprehensibly communicate.


Later in the evening you spend some time trying to get to know your foreign exchange student.  You decide to talk about her life in China.

You ask her, “Have you ever been to the Great Wall Of China?”

She looks confused and doesn’t respond.

In an attempt to help her understand your question, you flip through one of your National Geographic magazine issues to a picture of the Great Wall Of China.  You show her the picture and say…

Great-Wall-of-China

…Here it is.  The Great Wall Of China.  Have you been here?”

In the precise moment that you show the picture and say, “Here it is.  The Great Wall Of China.  Have you been here?” your exchange student is processing two different forms of input.

One form of input is linguistic and the other form of input is extralinguistic.

The linguistic form of input is the English words you are saying to her: “Here it is.  The Great Wall Of China.  Have you been here?”

The extralinguistic form of input is the combination of the National Geographic picture and all the gestures, pointing, and facial expressions you use in an attempt to communicate comprehensibly what your English words have failed to comprehensibly communicate.


I do this all the time in my class.  In fact I try to do it as much as possible.  In fact…it’s pretty much all I do during my 40 minute instructional sessions.

Example #1: When my next class walks down the hall to my room, I meet them at the door.  As they are approaching I make eye contact with the line leader and say the following phrase in the target language, “Stand right here.”  While I say those words (which are incomprehensible to the students) I:

  • tap my foot 3 times in the spot I want them to stop.
  • hold my hand up, motioning for them to stop.
  • point (with my finger) to the spot on the floor that I want them to stop.
  • get my whole body in the way so they have no option but to stop.

In the precise moment that I tapped my foot, held up my hand, and said, “Stand right here,” the students were processing two different forms of input.

One form of input is linguistic and the other form of input is extralinguistic.

Example #2: When every student has lined up quietly at my door (in the hallway), I make sure everyone’s eyes are watching me…usually without using any words.  Then, I look at the line leader and say (in the target language), “Enter.  Go in.”  While I say those words (which are incomprehensible to the students) I:

  • gesture for the line leader to start walking into the room.
  • give a head nod as if to say, “Yes, you can go in now.”
  • walk over to where all the students are walking in and motion with my hands for them to walk in and stand in their “spots.”

In the precise moment that I gave a head nod, gestured for the line leader to enter, and said, “Enter.  Go in,” the students were processing two different forms of input.

One form of input is linguistic and the other form of input is extralinguistic.

Example #3: When the students are quietly lined up at the back of the room, I make sure everyone’s eyes are watching me and the projection screen.  Then, in the target language, I ask the class, “How are you?  Well? or not well?  Well? or just “okay?”  Well?  or tired?  Well? or excited?”  While I say those words/phrases (which are incomprehensible to the students) I:

In the precise moment that I flash pictures onto the screen and say, “How are you?  Well? or not well?  Well? or just “okay?”  Well?  or tired?  Well? or excited?” the students were processing two different forms of input.

One form of input is linguistic and the other form of input is extralinguistic.

These are just 3 examples out of over a hundred examples that may occur during any given 40 minute class session that I spend with my students.

Summed up in one sentence, read below what I want my novice L2 students to experience (as much as possible):

Repeated and meaningful opportunities wherein a piece of incomprehensible linguistic input is joined to a corresponding piece of comprehensible extralinguistic input.

It’s so exciting to see the results!

The students are acquiring the first parts of a foreign language without even realizing it.

  • 2nd graders are looking at ClassDojo.com data and telling me L2 sentences like, “Aiden has more points.”  “No, Isabella AND Aiden have the most points.”  “Isabella has 18 points and Aiden has 18 points.”
  • Kindergarteners the other day (without me speaking a word of English) were pointing to the classmate that had accumulated the most ClassDojo.com points for the month after I said, “The pencil is for…who?” in the TL.
  • 4th graders laugh when I call myself Superman and say (in the TL), “Sr. Howard you’re not Superman.  You are Queen Elsa.”
  • 5th graders examine Turning Technologies test question data and say, “Answer ‘A’ is incorrect and answer “C” is correct.”
  • When I ask a 1st grader to pass the laser pointer to another classmate named ____, he/she says, “I already passed it,” or “I already have it.”

The THEORY behind the PRACTICE

I’ve repeated myself a lot, so far in this post, in an attempt to make the following, simple points that have huge implications for language acquisition:

  1. An individual can receive input.
  2. The form of the input that an individual receives can vary.
  3. An individual can receive multiple forms of input simultaneously.
  4. It can be helpful to categorize forms of input into LINGUISTIC input and EXTRALINGUISTIC input.
  5. If a linguistic form of input is incomprehensible to a student, attempts can be made to communicate comprehensibly by making extralinguistic input available.

Take Todd, for instance, who is a stick figure that is helping us in this series on comprehensible input and input theory.

Todd - Comprehensible Input


1- Todd can receive input.

input


2- The form of input that Todd receives can vary.

Spoken Linguistic Input

Spoken Linguistic Input

Extralinguistic Input

Gesticulated Extralinguistic Input

Written Linguistic Input

Written Linguistic Input


3- Todd can receive multiple forms of input simultaneously.

 

Todd input


4-  It can be helpful to categorize forms of input into LINGUISTIC input and EXTRALINGUISTIC input.

Linguistic Input

Linguistic Input

Extralinguistic Input

Extralinguistic Input


5-  If a linguistic form of input is incomprehensible to Todd, attempts can be made to communicate comprehensibly by making extralinguistic input available.

image


 

I’ve learned an important distinction:

Recently I’ve been learning what the term “making input comprehensible” IS and what “making input comprehensible” IS NOT.

Previously I thought making input comprehensible meant holding up a picture or performing a gesture.  I thought that if I spoke L2 and could still manage to get a student to find meaning by using extralinguistic input…that I would be “making input comprehensible.

I’m realizing that that’s not a clear understanding of “making input comprehensible.”

I’m realizing that students can do what I want them to do but still find ZERO meaning in the L2 that I’m speaking to them.

I’m realizing that students can perform the daily performance objective while I’m speaking L2 and still find ZERO meaning in the L2 words that I’m speaking to them.

I’m realizing that as long as the L2 phrases and sentences that I’m using sound like unfamiliar, jumbled utterances, they are INCOMPREHENSIBLE phrases even if the students are successfully doing what I want them to be doing.

L2 input only becomes comprehensible when a student makes sense of, or finds meaning in, the L2 linguistic input apart from the aid/crutch of extralinguistic cues.

This doesn’t mean that extralinguistic input keeps a student from acquiring L2.  NO!!  In fact, it would be very difficult for a novice L2 student to acquire L2 naturally without it.  It just means that a student needs repeated, frequent opportunities to hear the target L2 phrases with their extralinguistic “crutches” in order for the L2 phrase(s) to finally become comprehensible.

Notice this distinction in point #5 below.  In all of the examples at the beginning of this post the following things happened:

  1. …the student (whether it be the exchange student or one of the learners in my L2 classroom) was a novice L2 speaker.
  2. …the student received two different forms of input at one time.
  3. …the linguistic form of input was incomprehensible to the student (because they were novice L2 students).
  4. …the language teacher used a simultaneous, extralinguistic form of input to try to communicate comprehensibly what his/her L2 words/phrases failed to comprehensibly communicate.
  5. …by introducing simultaneous, extralinguistic input to the student, the teacher hoped to either A) make the L2 input comprehensible to the student or B) provide a secondary way for the student to find meaning since, at that moment, the L2 input cannot be comprehensible to him/her.

Language Acquisition Theory Statements:

  • A person can receive different forms of input.
  • It’s helpful to categorize the different forms of input into “linguistic forms of input” and “extralinguistic forms of input”

The conversation is just beginning.

Over the next several weeks, the posts on Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language will delineate the massive implications that simple sketches (like the ones above) have on foreign language teaching and foreign language acquisition.

Todd will help me discuss and/or continue to discuss…:

  • …the nature of input and comprehensible input.
  • …different forms of input and comprehensible input.
  • …a qualitative analysis of the various forms of comprehensible input and their usefulness in facilitating foreign language acquisition.
  • …making input comprehensible.
  • …how making input comprehensible and meaningful (to foreign language students) can cause language acquisition “magic” to occur.
  • …obstacles to making input comprehensible in a classroom full of students.
  • …strategies for overcoming the making-input-comprehensible-obstacles that exist in a foreign language classroom.
  • …a comprehensive rubric for assessing the effectiveness of a foreign language teacher.

STAY TUNED!

 See what others are saying about Tuesday’s Tips For Staying In The Target Language.

Señor Howard

Señor Howard – www.SenorHoward.com/blog – @HolaSrHoward

Caleb Howard – www.SoMuchHope.com – @calhwrd

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