I started doing non-targeted input in 2001 and never stopped. I really never used targets. Those who have read my books carefully can see that. If I do mention targets at all in them it is because of my years in DPS where that was the training. But it was all a blur there. The unintentional hijacking of TPRS had started around 2000, even earlier possibly. And here’s something else – Anne Matava never targeted anything either. Her script books look as if they do but those targets we pulled out of the script to make it look like TPRS. How weird is that?
I asked Blaine in March of 2016 and he said he never really thought about it but no he didn’t think he did. I have that email. Non-targeted is what Blaine originally intended, in my opinion, and he is such a gentleman – and I think the same holds true of Krashen – that they didn’t start wildly waving red flags when, so long ago, all sorts of instant experts popped up overnight like mushrooms but they were only expert in figuring out ways to align Blaine’s vision and Krashen’s research with what they had to teach in their schools. Krashen and Blaine should have said something, that the horses had gotten our of the corral.
I asked Blaine in March of 2016 and he said he never really thought about it but no he didn’t think he did. I have that email. Non-targeted is what Blaine originally intended, in my opinion, and he is such a gentleman – and I think the same holds true with Krashen – that they didn’t start wildly waving red flags when, so long ago, all sorts of instant experts popped up overnight like mushrooms but they were only expert in figuring out ways to align Blaine’s vision and Krashen’s research with what they had to teach in their schools.
Maybe it was because the majority of teachers didn’t trust that the kids could learn the language w/o the targets, and, more to the point, they thought that language acquisition was about teaching but it has nothing to do with teaching at all but rather it is about allowing a process that is very natural to just take place. All those teachers, who know claim to “do TPRS”, couldn’t change because it was too much for them to just see where the discussion/story in class would naturally lead them, to ask the next logical question in such a way that their students understood it by staying in bounds and teaching to the child and not their forehead. So they bent TPRS. They contorted it under a layer of complexity. The forgot how moms teach languages.
Their belief system as teachers, and no blame here at all, none, zero, just ranting here, was in a Pedagogy of Analysis Connected to Lists of Words to Learn, when God did a pretty good job of setting up a pedagogy of the Unconscious to teach those words. What I don’t get is why the big researchers are not like all in the faces of those current false prophets who have turned targeting (T1) into a CI sport and who now require obeisance and wanting everybody, in the fashion of the Wizard of Oz, to think that it teaching a language is really hard. Those researchers have perhaps been taken in by the silliness that teaching a language is complex, against their own research! It is perhaps because Krashen and BVP are not classroom teachers. They get how languages are acquired but not in schools. That is a problem.
I like what Tina said about it yesterday:
…I don’t understand why we would “flood” our students with a certain structure if we didn’t plan to assess to see how our efforts paid off. It’s just human nature. “Did the eighty repetitions stick? Let’s see! I’ll quiz em on it”….
I am now beginning to see big problems with quizzing/testing to see if a certain word connected to some vocabulary list has been “acquired”. What? It really is not in line with the research at all, esp. the Natural Order Hypothesis. People have brought that idea up here lately for the first time, if my memory serves me, and my attention is riveted on this idea. Who was it? Someone said here a week ago that they doubted that testing worked to give an actual honest read of what kids were really getting. Anyway.
I do know that slowly over the past brutal fifteen years for a lot of teachers with TPRS, and for me because I was so freaked by TPRS that I found myself actually writing a bunch of books over all those 15 years in order to to try to figure it all out and it just got crazier and crazier with all those experts talking about the complexity of it all that I almost gave up.
So I was definitely faking it because my classes/stories sucked half of the time but then I met others who shared this dirty secret about the analytical kind of TPRS that has now taken completely over (targeting, heavy circling) and hence NT work is now my passion because IT WORKS. Let’s not even start the discussion about assessment in NT. That’s Tina’s area.