As we described in one of our previous posts, teachers are fighting an uphill battle in the classroom because of the one-to-many ratio of students to teachers is not conducive to learning a foreign language. Comprehensible input is a technique often applied to foreign language teaching. Although this technique has many benefits, it has one major flaw: the lack of personalized content when applied to a the classroom setting. Before we denounce it, let's look at what "comprehensible input" really means!
According to this article, language input that can be understood by listeners despite them not understanding all the words and structures in it. It is described as one level above that of the learner's if it can only just be understood. According to Krashen's theory of language acquisition, giving learners this kind of input helps them acquire language naturally, rather than learn it consciously." But in the same article describes the pitfall. "A teacher needs to know the level of the learners very well in order to select comprehensible input, and in a large class of mixed ability, different learners will need different texts."
There are two problems with this statement. The lack of personalized content in the one-to-many classroom setting is the obvious one. Secondly, the word "texts". When learning our native language, we first learn how to understand and speak it, and then we learn how to read and write it. In classrooms we reverse that natural process.
The problem is that even if there are only 5-6 students in the classroom, each one has a different level of vocabulary, comprehension, reading, writing, and expression. Teaching all the students the same comprehensible input catered to the median level of the class will be too difficult - hence, discouraging- for some students, and too easy - hence, boring - for others. So how should the teacher reconcile those different levels in the classroom?
Comprehensible input + personalized content = OCTB
The Overcome the Barrier program reconciles comprehensible input with personalized content by pairing up each student with a peer abroad who speaks this language natively via an online platform. Once a week, your students are fully immersed in this foreign language by conversing with their peers who help them practice it (find out more here). This program will help foreign language teachers and students in the following ways:
- Keep the students engaged in a natural learning environment
- Our platform automatically creates #Personalized Content for the students to practice in the homework
- Teach the students a work ethic, since they have to teach their peers English in return
- Expose the students to world cultures and experiences
- It provides teachers and students with continuous feedback and lesson-by-lesson tracking graphs to measure each student's progress
The first month is FREE, so there is nothing to loose. You can test it with absolutely no risk.