I have actually been doing non targeted comprehensible input for twenty years, from the beginning. I took a real slow pathway to it, trying to do like the others who targeted, to do what I was told at conferences, to fit in, and I fake-targeted, found refuge in Anne Matava’s scripts, tried to believe in targeting, wrote books about it, because the leaders said it was the way of TPRS. It wasn’t. I discovered something new (a version of TPRS that works for me and I am not saying that it should therefore work for others) over in India and Tina and I must have had 1000 emails on it last winter and spring as we both realized that the moon is not made of cheese, and when we witnessed our CI movies go from black and white to color like in the Wizard of Oz. Coming fully out of the NT closet happened only recently, and I have lost friendships over it. And now Tina and I are writing a lot about how it feels to not be doing targets. We are writing a lot. But all that is simply an introduction to say that I have finally found the best definition/description of NT that I have ever read. It was given in the form of a comment here on the PLC yesterday by our Bryan Whitney. It is brilliant and Bryan thank you for putting this into words. I will be reading this description a lot as I further explore my own travels deeper into NTCI or what I like to call emergent language – it should be framed:
I may be wrong here, but I see the NT approach as more about having the freedom of following the current interests and needs of the class instead of feeling locked into particular targets that need to be hit and hammered into students’ brains. Instead of a wild open prairie that we’re wildly galloping across (without some sort of map/rails), it’s more like a slow moving ameba that explores its surroundings as need/interest dictates. We move just a little bit more in this direction, but then we are free to move a bit in another direction when needed. But, no, we aren’t going to be blasting around like a pinball.
Of course, we have to focus on our students being able to understand most of what we’re communicating (90% or so?), but it’s O.K. if there are some words here or there that they don’t know yet. We need to trust that we are all made to be able to communicate like a mother or a father with his or her child. We just have to keep in mind who we’re talking to, and not just talk to ourselves (or the air). Unfortunately, students have been trained to pretend like they’re following along whether or not they actually are (plus a lot of them don’t want to stick out, and they just want to make it through the day…).
Admins don’t actually read the research. They don’t have time. If or when they do read it, they do not really grasp it. How could