This is part 4 in a 6 part series. If you haven't, please go and read parts 1-3 first. They are on the first two principle of the Comprehension Hypothesis: Acquisition and Learning, the Natural Order Hypothesis, the monitor principle, and their role in social justice in the classroom.
The Input Hypothesis
The input hypothesis is commonly referred to as the i+1 hypothesis. It states that we acquire language when we receive understandable input that is just outside of what we have already acquired (Krashen, 1983). This is not to be confused with forced output or immersion classes (Patrick, 2019). There is a distinct difference. Further, traditional grammar-translation teachers can also be guilty of this by forcing translation, exposure and engagement with grammar topics, or forcing composition before students are ready (Patrick, 2019). So, how can one ensure they are providing proper input? Krashen provides a few ways in his work. Caretakers restrict language to what is most important in the moment, use their desire to be understood, and simplify language (Krashen, 1983). Language teachers must provide support to students to establish clear meaning: visuals, slowing down, repeating, asking yes/no questions, and scaffolding questions (Krashen 1983). If you are thinking that this does not apply to you as a Latin teacher because your goal is not necessarily to get them speaking, you are not alone. Patrick (2019) makes a great note of this and points out that as Latin teachers we also want our students to read and access texts of various literature traditions (Patrick, 2019).
So, how does this apply to a proper understanding of CI and its inclusion of equity?
All Day Every Day
This is how you should be applying this principle: all day, every day. The input hypothesis, like them all, applied to language acquisition, but also to everything we do. This principle, in particular, speaks to our disabled students, and our students who work, who are needed for help in the home, or who suffer ACEs, to name a few. So, for today, I am going to do this piece as a list. I am going to do my best to provide resources for each, but you can see my References and Resources list for specific books and sites I've consulted and work with regularly.
Let's say that I am working with my students on reading some teacher created stories about the Roman gods and goddesses. I have already looked at considerations for vocabulary, culture, triggers, etc. Here is what the first 3 days might look like:
Cast, Inc. (2020). CAST website. Retrieved from: http://www.cast.org/
Krashen, S. (1983). The Natural Approach: Language Acquisition in the Classroom. Alemany Press.
Patrick, M (2020, February 10). Every Day Ideas [Blog]. Retrieved from:
Patrick, M (2019, October 1). Quick Assessment Ideas [Blog]. Retrived from:
Patrick, R. (2019). Comprehensible Input and Krashen's theory. Journal of Classics Teaching, 20(39), 37-44. doi:10.1017/S2058631019000060
Leave a Reply.
This particular blog is dedicated to social justice workings in my professional and personal life.