Day 7: What new learning has inspired you in your career?
Over the almost-year, I’ve started learning about teaching foreign language through Comprehensible Input. That’s it. It has completely changed the way I teach, how I plan lessons, what I expect out of my students, and how I assess them. After spending 10 years as either a student or a teacher in traditional, grammar-based language classrooms, I have totally changed my thinking on how we should be teaching language.
Contrary to popular belief, starting in elementary school is not the only path to creating proficient language learners. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s an excellent idea to start language teaching at a younger age, but I can no longer allow myself or my students the cop-out that that really is. “I can’t really teach most of these kids, because they’re too old for language. Only the brightest students can pick up a language at this age.” What a load of you-know-what! And I’ve heard it so many times from students and parents, too, “We really should start younger if we are going to expect these kids to really learn the language.”