This is the final piece of this 6 part series. If you haven't, please go and read parts 1-5 first. They are on the first five principles of the Comprehension Hypothesis: Acquisition and Learning, the Natural Order Hypothesis, the monitor principle, the input hypothesis, the affective filter, and their role in social justice in the classroom.
The Compelling Hypothesis
Ideally we all want our students to be interested in what we are saying, but just like we all have different tastes in foods, books, and music, so will the reaction vary as to how our students react to us. For a long time, teachers have relied on the idea of "motivation" as to how well students react to information. I hear a lot of times that "if students were just motivated.... X would happen", but that's not how things work. While "compelling" is not necessarily required to acquire language (simply put), it is required for fully successful SLA (Krashen, 2011; Patrick, 2019). When input is compelling, there is not need for "motivation" because one is so drawn in that they "forget" they are actually acquiring language and enter what Krashen (2011) calls a state of flow (Krashen, 2011). You don't have to want to improve, it will just happen because you find the material so compelling; the resulting progress may even be completely unexpected (Krashen, 2011). Patrick (2019) notes the immediate connection between this hypothesis and the affective filter, "choice may be one way of lowering the affective filter and inviting students into the understandable input that we have planned for them - if our planning has taken [student choices] into consideration" (Patrick, 2019, p. 42). This is why I said yesterday that the compelling input and affective filter principles are the most important, in my opinion, when it comes to being a teacher who truly understands and employs CI principles. Everything we do must be run through a CI filter. Every decision we make must be comprehensible, allow natural order, avoid the monitor until they are ready, provide input, lower the affective filter, and be compelling.
If that list overwhelmed you, I get it. It can be a lot and no one is perfect. We adjust. In the next two sections, I am going to reflect myself on the questions I posed yesterday and then show how I might consider the 6 principles of CI when looking at a topic often covered in Latin classes. I hope you can see how this principle and all 6, when fully understood and applied, provide a classroom where students are valued and respected for who they are and included as people who belong in the classroom with me.
Before I do. Thank you for coming with me on this journey. While my daily blogging pauses here for now, the conversation isn't over. I would love to consider a follow up post (or a few) addressing any specifics, questions, or ideas we share in our community. There has already been great discussion on various social medias about this. I'd like to see more.
Reflection - Discussion
A quick work through
Let's look at a common topic taught in Latin classes, and one I previously discussed: the house and home. Here are some quick suggestions for how I consider the three CCCs of CI and the six principles. This is not exhaustive. Please, if you'd like, reach out and let's talk more!
Krashen, S. (2011). The compelling (not just interesting) input hypothesis. The English Connection (KOTESOL), 15, (3). Retrieved from:
Patrick, R. (2019). Comprehensible Input and Krashen's theory. Journal of Classics Teaching, 20(39), 37-44. doi:10.1017/S2058631019000060
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This particular blog is dedicated to social justice workings in my professional and personal life.