We can formulate this idea in different ways, like Stephen Krashen did with his theory of “comprehensible input.” Less technically, it means we should be asking our students to read and listen in the target language–a lot.
Here’s a picture!
The box here is your brain. Your brain is incredibly magical. It can take other peoples’ words that you hear and read, and then mix them up, reorganize them, turn them into your own thoughts and words. Your brain is like a transmuter of language.
But, just like an alchemist, your brain can’t do any magic if you don’t supply it with the right ingredients. Comprehensible input creates comprehensible output. If your starve your brain, or if you fill it up with nonsense, you’re not going to be happy with the result.
What goes in is what comes out.
This is a pretty obvious point, but one that’s often overlooked. Know someone who spends all her time memorizing flashcards but can’t order a cup of coffee? Have a student who’s really good at verb conjugations but can’t understand a simple class announcement? These are all people that have fallen into this trap.
In class, it’s easy to ask students to do things: write an essay, give a presentation, create a project. And that should, rightfully, be the ultimate goal of language learning.
Before we demand that students do, however, I would suggest that we first ask them to absorb. The more listening and reading they get, the stronger their language foundation will be, and the more fluently they’ll be able to produce the speech and writing we expect.
So, what’s the best way to give our students comprehensible input?
For listening, obviously, we think that FluentKey is a great way for students to improve their listening skills 😜. Our site has hundreds of fun, engaging, and authentic videos in the world’s most popular languages. Easily find the perfect video for your students and then assign them to watch it. You can even track their understanding with built-in quizzes and other cool interactive tools. Best of all… it’s free!
Thanks so much for checking out our beta launch. We’ve heard a lot of great things about Fluentkey from you guys. We also got some fantastic feedback and suggestions. Keep them coming–that’s what beta is for!
Expect constant improvements to Fluentkey throughout this process: new videos, new features, new bug fixes, new shiny awesome things.
Here’s some of the cool stuff that happened this week.
Redesigned Video Assignment Panel! It’s a lot clearer what to do now.
FluentKey now remembers your default language when you upload a new video.
By popular request, check out our new favicon .
Lots of other small bug fixes and improvements, including updated help text.
We’re always expanding our video library. Here are some of the best new videos this week:
You can upload audio files, too! (Just make sure to put them in .mp3 format.)
Can’t find a video you made? Look under the “Created” tab right under the top banner in the video library.
Awesome Teacher of the Week:
Shout-out to Aurélie from Head-Royce School, who writes, “My students have been using Fluentkey for their listening practice and they love it more than any other program. What makes Fluentkey special is its ability to stop recording or video exactly where you want it to stop for an assessment. It is easy for students to replay and figure out exactly what section they need to focus on. As a teacher, I also like that I can follow my students’ progress within an assignment.”
Questions or Feedback?
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