A KID SNEEZES and you say, “Bless you,” in the target language.
THE PHONE RINGS and you say, “Telephone!” in the target language.
IT STARTS TO SNOW OUTSIDE and you point and say, “Look class! It’s snowing!” in the target language.
TWO FRIENDS START CHATTING when they’re not supposed to. You get their attention and say, “Quiet, please. Don’t talk. Pay attention,” in the target language.
A STUDENT DROPS A PROP/piece-of-equipment that you’re using in class. You guesture and say, “Careful! Careful” in the target language.
These are all examples of using “Incidental Situational Input” to help novice students find meaning in an L2 immersion setting.
It’s not a strategy that you can write into a lesson plan or plan on using. It’s not one of the main strategies that a teacher will rely upon in a 90+% TL-use classroom. But it’s a fun and effective strategy nonetheless.
It’s a little bit different than what we talked about last week regarding “Constructed Situational Input” in which a teacher helps students find meaning by creating a situation, scenario or experience wherein the observer(s) know(s) exactly what’s being said or what’s about to be said.”
With “Incidental Situational Input” a teacher doesn’t CREATE the situations. She takes advantage of the spontaneous, random or INCIDENTAL situations wherin the observer(s) know(s) exactly what’s being said or what’s about to be said.
The THEORY behind the PRACTICE
“If a linguistic form of input is incomprehensible to a student, attempts can be made to communicate comprehensibly by making extralinguistic input available.”
In 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.”
In this post (part 8) we observe that:
“’Incidental Situational Input is one such form of extralinguistic input in which a teacher helps students find meaning by taking advantage of spontaneous situations, scenarios or experiences wherein the observer(s) know(s) exactly what’s being said or what’s about to be said.”
Language Acquisition Theory Statement:
“Incidental Situational Input” (as defined above) 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 inserted throughout many of the posts in this series) have on foreign language teaching and foreign language acquisition.
I will 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.
Your voice is valuable! Share your target language teaching experiences!