I’ve recently stumbled upon a branch of Comprehensible Input theory that may represent its most extreme expression: the AUA Thai program and Automatic Language Growth, its heir (or wanna-be heir, not sure which). Students are asked to pay attention to input, but are not only not required to speak (much) but are enjoined not to (1) try to speak, (2) ask questions, (3) look things up in a dictionary, (4) take notes.
Marvin Brown’s claim was that those, in his program, who did these things–even with the same input–seemed to mis-assemble the language in their minds, and did not attain real fluency. While those who did not, generally attained near-native levels. Experimenting on himself with a language he had not previously touched, he discovered a fifth no-no: accidentally “noticing” major linguistic structures (hard not to do, if you are a trained linguist).
Now, Brown was dealing with a language pretty far from European languages, with maybe more chances to mis-assemble the language in the mind than something closer to “home” (depending on where you live, of course). He was free to push Stephen Krashen’s insights to their logical (?) conclusions in a way that public school teachers are not.
DOES ANYONE HERE HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE OF THIS “EXTREME” FORM OF COMPREHESIBLE INPUT? And, if so, what do you think?
(OK to tell me when you like to start talking, or that, in your opinion, the whole CI think is misguided, or whatever, BUT PLEASE NOTE: THAT’S NOT WHAT I’M ASKING ABOUT. I’M ASKING FOR REFLECTIONS FROM ANYONE WITH SOME FIRST-HAND (OK SECOND-HAND, TOO) EXPERIENCE.)