In 2009, Stephen Krashen coined the term ‘Comprehensible Input’ in the context of learning a new language. Since then the Stephen Krashen Comprehensible Input theory has been one of the most influencial theories when it comes to learning a second language. In this theory, Krashen explained that when you want to learn a foreign language, you need to be exposed to the language in a simpler way in which you can understand it better.
According to this theory, when you give learners a kind of input that they can’t fully understand word by word but can make sense of its meaning, that is when they acquire language naturally.
Krashen’s theory is better understood by his CI formula of i+1, where i stands for the current understanding level of the learner and +1 reflects a slightly higher level of input that the learner can’t understand by memorizing rules of grammar but can comprehend naturally.
With the help of comprehensible input, language teachers can create a natural atmosphere in which students can understand the meaning of the input by themselves by using the background and the context that is provided.
This habit of deciphering the meaning of input that is not grammatically known to them or not a part of their vocabulary gradually makes them adept at using this way of interpreting the meaning of words by themselves. This helps to broaden their understanding of a foreign language, making them more natural learners who are not limited by grammar and vocabulary rules.
Stories are a great way to use the comprehensible input technique to teach young learners a new language. When you choose a story that engages the learners, their interest level increases and so does their capacity to comprehend input based on the context of the story.
2. Play interactive games
Playing conversational games triggers the learners’ natural learning ability to grasp the meaning of words and understand structures without actually knowing their meaning. There are various interactive games to introduce comprehensible input to young learners.
Comprehensible Input allows learners to learn a new language through an unconscious process. This happens because they feel exposed to an atmosphere of naturally understanding the language with the help of the background and the context.
Learners are able to master learning a new language the fastest when they are provided with lots of input that they can understand.
When learners find what they are listening to or reading is interesting and engaging, they are more likely to give themselves more input.