We’ve never gone deep with the equity piece. We have discussed it, but never enough. We have ignored it, mainly under the weight of so much change in so many other areas or our work over so many years. However, this summer at Cascadia the equity piece will be one of the main themes of the conference: equity in the foreign language classroom. Tina recently wrote something worth sharing here on this topic:
This conscious versus unconscious, Monitor-aided versus completely-acquired competence question is also a question of equity.
The more conscious learning we expect the students to do, the more gap we will see between the students with more ability to use conscious thinking and those with less. The students with higher ability to consciously LEARN might possess higher cognitive function (more IQ and such), more training and support at exercising the conscious mind (perhaps through music or chess), better breakfasts at home, less poverty and stress, more extensive L1 vocabularies…so many types of privilege.
There is a serious problem in our country with the persistent racially-based achievement gap, and the gaps between students in poverty (which is a high proportion of American kids compared to the rest of the industrialized world) and those with sufficient means. I see CI as a very important tool in closing that gap.
Purely comprehension-based instruction and assessment has great promise in the fight for equity, due to its ability to level the playing field through relying on our unconscious minds to do the work instead of our conscious minds. If we are in control of our consciousness, i.e. not in a delusional state or in a coma, etc., it seems to me that we all possess the same abilities with our unconscious minds.
Some people do a better job attending to the input than others. But if we are doing our jobs of speaking slowly and comprehensibly, then we can rest assured that all can be successful. As long as we can support them in attending to the input, which is where the COMPELLINGNESS of the input we provide comes into play. Which is where the fact that FOR ME IN MY CLASSES using NT input has ramped up the compellingness.
I used to do a lot of pop ups. But this discussion is making me realize I have not really done any this year. I just noticed that.