Students need to know they can do whatever it is that they set their minds to. They also need to know that it takes work to reach any goal. But in my eyes, usually, they don’t need to be told any of this explicitly. Our job is to set them up for success and then the ball is in motion. For some, it takes longer. There are roadblocks, detours, traffic, noise, breakdowns, and accomplishments. We will each get “there,” wherever that may be for the individual. Yes, we should challenge them. YES, we should provide firm boundaries. YES, we should push them. BUT, it should be gentle until it truly needs to be more clear and obvious. Ideally, they don’t know what our plans are. They follow because they know we care.
They follow because we are the leaders. They follow because we care for them emotionally, mentally, physically. If their needs are met, they will be with us as their guides. We lead them into vulnerable territory with immense care. It’s a delicate balance and this is why I “teach” Spanish using Comprehensible Input.
If my students understand me, they won’t shut down. They know I want them to communicate in any way they can, given the boundaries that may vary from task to task. If they understand, then I know they are acquiring. The more upbeat and positive I can keep it, the better. I never aim to shut them down. (Obviously, it still happens, as I am not perfect. I forgive myself and grow.) If they know I am studying them to give them the words they need, then I am doing my job. It’s that simple.
Why do you teach with CI? OR why not?