Don’t Say Anything They Don’t Already Know

I have been knocking around the idea of adding another skill to to Circling and SLOW and Staying in Bounds and vCU and repeating the key target in every single sentence we say and the others. It would be that we must train ourselves when we speak to our students to never use a word that they don’t already know.*

I think I’ll add this skill to my newest book as a key skill. I’ll update the articles here on the PLC that talk about the most important skills in delivering comprehensible input. I am a little surprised that we don’t talk about this more often. I hadn’t given it much thought at all up until today and now all of a sudden it is screaming in my ear.

Any insights or responses on this point are appreciated.

*Of course with the exception of the target structures for that day. They would be the only new structures allowed into the class that day. This is the original design of TPRS.

Doing this would obviate the need to even look upon Point and Pause as a necessary skill, since we finally understand, after years, that Point and Pause is just an excuse to go out of bounds and that, properly used, Point and Pause is to be used only with the target structures for a story, or the target structure (the sport or activity) from a CWB card, or anything that we are, in fact, targeting.

This echoes something that I feel many experienced TPRS/CI teachers are just coming to accept lately, that they must target structures and stay on those structures and even go to the extreme of making sure that they say at least one of the targeted structures for the day in each thing that they say to the students. For more on that point see:

The target structures or featured expression for that part of class or whatever you want to call them) are the tracks that the CI train runs on. This addresses Shannon’s question from earlier today. Some teachers just like to BS in the target language and I must say that I don’t recommend that precisely because, without targets (rails) the train can go off the tracks into the sand at a moment’s notice.



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