They Learn to Speak by Listening and Reading

Zach Al Moreno told me a story this morning. He told me that his old department chair in his old school told him that kids need to practice speaking, otherwise how could they learn it? “They must speak in class and that is what is wrong with TPRS” is what he said.

That is, of course, incorrect. People learn to speak by listening and reading. The Silent Period (Krashen – go search it if this term is new to you) happens and is longer or shorter depending on the individual student, and then what seems to sheer magic happens later as output at some impossible-to-predict time.

They learn to speak by listening and reading. We encourage speech output when it happens – we do not force it.



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