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Showing posts from December, 2017

What is "Input Processing"?

Input Processing (IP) was proposed by Bill VanPatten, Professor of Spanish and Second Language Acquisition from Michigan State University. Bill may be known to some of you from his podcast show Tea with BVP. He is one of those rare university academics who makes a specific effort to engage with practising teachers.

IP was first proposed in a 1993 article (published with T. Cadierno in the Modern Language Journal) entitled "Input processing and second language acquisition: A role for instruction." My summary of it is based on an article "Input Processing and Processing Instruction: Definitions and Issues" (2013) by Hossein Hashemnezhad.

IP is a little complicated to explain, but I'll do my best to summarise the key points before suggesting how it relates to other ways of looking at classroom language teaching. Is this actually any use to teachers? I apologise in advance for over-simplifying or misunderstanding. To paraphrase Dr Leonard McCoy from Star Trek "…

The Chartered College of Teaching

Language teachers in England and Wales may be interested in the Chartered College of Teaching, set up quite recently with the aim to connect teachers, share well-informed "what works" research practice and expertise. As they put it on their website:

"We want to focus on what actually works in the classroom by equipping teachers with access to high quality research and the skills to evaluate and share their own practice. We bridge the gap between research and practice, and support teaching professionals to gain the expertise they need to achieve and maintain genuine excellence. This will improve the quality of teaching and learning, which in turn secures the best outcomes for students."

Now, I tend to be a little suspicious of bodies such as these, especially after the poorly received and ill-fated GTCE (General Teaching Council for England), abolished in 2012, but I decided to pay the £45 fee to join up as it gives me access to a large archive of articles ab…

Two ways to build in recycling: Intensive input-output work and narrow reading

We know repetition is vital for acquisition so we need to work it into lesson planning. There are various ways to do this when reading and listening. “Narrow reading” and “narrow listening” are useful, for example. Stephen Krashen first coined these terms and suggested that exposing students to a series of similar spoken or written sources of input was an effective way to promote acquisition. (His version was much less structured than what will be described below.) Text books often include a series of paragraphs featuring some vocabulary or structures in common to ensure repetition. Gianfranco Conti has turned this into a fine art with highly patterned sets of paragraphs including large amounts of repetition. We adopted this technique for our TES GCSE French units of work. Here are four French paragraphs where you see the technique in use. Repeated chunks are shown in bold.