Comprehensible Input

Comprehensible Input is a concept in second language instruction that promotes student understanding. Students learn and internalize a new language best when they receive input that is just above what they can easily comprehend. This approach incorporates the use of contextualization, repetition, visual cues, and gestures through listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Primary emphasis is placed on natural language acquisition and less on exact structural forms, with the idea that accuracy develops over time. Comprehensible Input also fosters the three modes of communication as defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL): Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational.

The authors have used comprehensible input in their own classes and have seen their students’ remarkable success in acquiring a new language. Sueños de la isla was written to encourage this style of teaching and learning. As a result, the authors mindfully incorporated repetition of targeted vocabulary and structures, and high-interest, meaningful topics with the goal of relating to students’ own experiences. Sueños de la isla touches on the following themes:

  • Dynamics of family and friends
  • Decision-making
  • Goals and dreams
  • Understanding of diverse perspectives
  • Sports
  • Competition