Language of the Trees – 3

I can’t find anywhere in Krashen, although I don’t have much time any more to look thoroughly, where he talks about communication as awareness.

There is one passage that is kind of connected. This is from a paper (I’ll give the source later) that Krashen wrote about something Roger Brown said:

This is Krashen:

“After reviewing research on how caretakers talk to children, [Roger] Brown offered this advice in answer to the question, “How can a concerned mother facilitate her child’s learning of language?” “Believe that your child can understand more than he or she can say, and seek, above all, to communicate. To understand and be understood.” (Brown, 1977, p. 26).

“The same, I am hypothesizing, holds for second language acquisition.”

Me again:

Brown’s term of “seek, above all, to communicate” I don’t believe has not been heard at a deep enough level by the TPRS community. There seems to be some interest in the phrase, in authentically communicating, but it is has not been discussed, to my knowledge, in a truly substantive way.

More important to many current TPRS teachers is to find a way to teach the subjunctive using a snappy technique.Or to find a game to help teach object pronouns. This is to TPRS as a needle to a balloon.The students in such a classroom don’t need to be aware of each other at all to do those things.

So we need to look at what communication is.



2 thoughts on “Language of the Trees – 3”

  1. Mmm. I’m listening, Ben. I have a new student, a boy whose mother obviously is forcing him to take tutoring lessons in English after some bad grades. He came in at first with this enormous chip on his shoulder. I’m using The Mighty with his group of very weak students. I’m not doing Star of the Day or anything personal because these kids aren’t ready to expose themselves in any way. But the film is about two boys that didn’t fit in, that were called Freaks by the others. And today the boy came in early so while we were waiting we watched a bit that we had seen last week and he was following and smiling and remembering what we had said last week. The film touches so many people and I think a good film can be a way to communicate. By honoring the freaky heroes of the film, we’re honoring what is freaky in others ; All this to say that communication doesn’t have to be direct or personal, but when we show our students what is important to us, we’re communicating that they can be important to us. I don’t know if I’m making sense … it’s three in the morning.

    1. “All this to say that communication doesn’t have to be direct or personal, but when we show our students what is important to us, we’re communicating that they can be important to us.”

      So we expose a little of our hearts and they get to do the same. That’s so sweet.

      The entire Language of Trees series of posts is lovely, and so timely with our recent assessment discussions.

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