POSTER – Helping students overcome fear of the 90% (+)

When using comprehensible input, there is nothing more rewarding than the look on a student’s face when they realize they understand you even though you’re speaking another language. On the other hand, we also see another face at times – the look of “shut down”. When we see this face, we know that no comprehension is going to happen. I made this poster to help avoid the shut-down face. When I see a student starting to give up, I can direct them to this list of recommendations. 90 percent


My Spanish 2 Comprehensible Input shenanigans usually include:

  • speaking very slowly with lots of cognates. Avoid switching to L1 when you feel like you need to hurry – time is never wasted if you are only using L2!
  • Choose a student who is likely to understand and coach them through modeling what you want everyone to do.
  • Ask yes or no questions to check for understanding.
  • Use gestures as much as possible.
  • Make it clear to the students that your own personal goal is helping them understand, that you won’t give up on any of them. This is what I tell students who come to me outside of class about me using the target language so much.
  • Finally, I use my 10% in small-groups. My class is divided into four sections and I go to each, checking for understanding at each and giving them opportunity to clarify.
  • Find more CI tips here:

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