¡Buenos días, fellow language teachers!

We've all heard the claims and misconceptions about teaching languages with comprehensible input.

From the overreliance on translation to the apparent banishment of grammar, the world of CI has been shrouded in myth.

But it's time to reveal the truth!

Join me as I unveil the facts behind 5 major misconceptions in CI language teaching, helping you embrace a more effective and enjoyable approach.

Myth 1: "Lost in Translation"

The first myth to bust is the role of translation.

Many believe that teaching with CI means constantly translating every word we say. This simply isn't true.

Comprehensible input focuses on being understood, and translation is only one tool we use.

Alongside translation, we can use gestures, images, videos, and acting to convey meaning.

And while translations might be more common at the beginning, the goal is to wean students off by translating only the parts they don’t know.

Myth 2: "Keep It Simple, Silly!"

Another common myth is that we must always keep things simple.

But sticking to only simple sentences and vocabulary can be a huge mistake.

If you want your students to use more complex structures, you must expose them to those structures yourself.

The key isn't to stay simple but to gradually scaffold your sentences and vocabulary, challenging students to grow.

Myth 3: "The Listening and Reading Show"

Some think CI focuses solely on listening and reading comprehension, but these are merely stepping stones to speaking and writing in the language.

By engaging in conversation days and quick writes, we can ensure that students are not only understanding the language but also producing it – the ultimate goal of any language program.

Myth 4: "Native Speaker or Bust!"

A common belief is that the goal of CI is to create native-like speakers.

While CI may lead to faster proficiency gains, it's rare to achieve native-like proficiency in a standard classroom setting.

The real aim of CI is to help learners acquire language naturally, understanding that everyone progresses at different rates.

Myth 5: "Grammar is the Grinch"

Finally, let's talk about grammar. Contrary to popular belief, grammar has a place in CI classrooms.

Instead of focusing on memorized rules, we emphasize meaning and teach grammar in context.

Judicious use of grammar explanations can actually increase students' accuracy without losing them in complex rules.


I hope this post has shed some light on the realities of comprehensible input in language teaching.

Have you come across any other myths in your teaching journey?

Feel free to share in the comments.

Until next time, Happy Comprehensible Input!