Overall Conclusions: CI Works Better When Our Students Know How it Works
Albert Einstein once said, "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." This is an apt description that explains why a lot of our CI students can't experience success in our CI classrooms. They are used to memorization, and CI is about as far away from memorization as one can get.
When we explain CI simply to our students as we have with these posters, then they understand the how and why of our instruction. One could say that if they fail, it's not really their fault; almost every other teacher they have encountered in their young careers as learners in schools has sent the message to them that all learning occurs via memorization.
In our field of language learning, this could not be less true. But, unless we make that clear to our students, and unless we teach them in terms of the heavily research-based information found on the eight posters presented above, we cannot expect them to thrive in our CI classes.
Success in a language class is not just about our using comprehensible input because that is the way that human beings acquire languages. That is only part of the big battle that we seem to be always fighting on behalf of the research and the Communication Standard. Much of the rest of the battle lies in making sure that our students know and can explain in a metacognitive way to other people the whys and wherefores of how our instruction has been designed.
If this course of study has helped in even a minor way to lower the high affective filter levels that come with learning this new way of teaching languages, then all the efforts made in putting the above scripts and posters will have been worth it, and please let me know about that good news in an email.
It's only a job, and the more effective ways that we can find to our students the languages that we love so much, the better. We simply don't need the heavy feelings of overwhelm that many of us encounter every day during the school year. It's time for that nonsense to stop, don't you agree?
Thank you for taking this course, and don't forget to share any successes or failures with these scripts and posters - or if you notice any typos, etc. - with me at [email protected].