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close this bookTeaching Additional Languages (IAE - IBE - UNESCO, 28 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe International Academy of Education
View the documentSeries preface
View the documentIntroduction
View the document1. Comprehensible input
View the document2. Language opportunities
View the document3. Language practice
View the document4. Learning strategies
View the document5. Listening
View the document6. Speaking
View the document7. Reading
View the document8. Writing
View the document9. Grammar
View the document10. Comprehensible pronunciation
View the documentConclusion
View the documentReferences
View the documentBack Cover

1. Comprehensible input

Learners need exposure to lots of meaningful and understandable language.

Research findings

Comprehensible input refers to meaningful oral and written language somewhat above the learners’ current level of mastery. Such input allows for the acquisition of grammar and vocabulary, which, in turn, makes exposure to additional input more comprehensible. Mere exposure to language is insufficient. Learners must take notice of key features in order for comprehensible input to be beneficial. Although such input is necessary, it is insufficient, as discussed in the next section on opportunities for interaction.

In the classroom

Several classroom-teaching strategies derive from the idea of comprehensible input:

· Teachers should expose their students to listening and reading materials that are somewhat above their current language proficiency levels.

· Students should be asked to understand the material, not merely to reproduce it.

· Teachers should focus the students’ attention on key grammar and vocabulary items.

· Students should be asked to guess the meaning of the input based on their prior knowledge of the topic, and on other known words and concepts within the text.

· Teachers should try to create situations within and outside the classroom that expose students to sources of comprehensible input.

References: Ellis, 1988; Krashen, 1982; Lightbown & Spada, 1993.