>Students learn "untaught" language

>Students do learn and fluently use language that is “untaught” to them. They do this through Comprehensible Input. Although Jack Richards does provide models of “yeah” in his dialogs he doesn’t “teach” students to use it.

I don’t think that we can attribute the widespread use of “yeah” to Jack Richards, Interchange books or any other practice of direct teaching. It is an “untaught” language feature.

Another example is what Jack Richards[1], in discussing the nature of conversation, calls conversational routines. Examples Richards gives are:

This one’s on me.
I don’t believe a word of it.
I don’t get the point.
You look great today.
What will you have to drink?
Nearly time. Got everything?
Check please!
After you.
Guess I’ll be making a move.
I see what you mean.
Let me think about it.
Just looking, thanks.
I’ll be with you in a minute.
It doesn’t matter.
No harm done.

How do students learn these things? They are examples of untaught learning. These sorts of examples clearly show how effective Comprehensible Input can be.

[1] Jack Richards, The Language Teaching Matrix, Conversationally speaking, p.75, Cambridge University Press, 1990.


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