Guest Post by Dr. Eugenia Krimmel
Coming from an era in which English Language Learners (ELLs) were mainstreamed into regular education with the assumption they will linguistically “sink or swim,” researcher Stephen Krashen wrote why this theoretical practice was ineffective. He refuted the “sink or swim” ideology in his Comprehensible Input Hypothesis described in his book, Foreign Language Education the Easy Way:
“We acquire language in only one way, when we understand messages, that is when we obtain 'comprehensible input.' Thus, we acquire when we understand what people tell us or what we read, when we are absorbed in the message.”
Krashen’s research and writing highlighted the need for teachers to create comprehensible input in their classrooms. To that end, comprehensible input practices can be categorized into three types: visual, graphic and linguistic. Use one, two or all three types per lesson, and your ELLs English acquisition will accelerate as well as their content knowledge learning.
Visual supports include meaningful, relevant pictures, icons, symbols, videos, skits, and realia. What is realia you ask? ...