Teddoman wrote:I also suspect that most people who have kids would find CI to be intuitively appealing.
Nope -- probably because there is a cultural idea on what it means to "learn English", and that means a formal classroom setting and lots of written homework. And grammar. How could you possibly learn English without memorizing grammar and doing exercises? So there's this strong expectation, bolstered by discrete-item testing usually focused on rules rather than meaning of language.
...there seems to be a lot of questions on the very viability of an approach where no grammar rules are taught. How can one learn grammar without ever learning the rules of it? I don't have a linguistics background and haven't read the TPRS / CI books, so I don't know if it's laid out there, but TPRS / CI reminds me of syntactic priming or structural priming. The idea is that as one hears grammar patterns over and over, one unconsciously picks up those patterns and produces sentences that match those patterns. So I don't know if this is explicitly the language acquisition concept / theory that underpins the TPRS / CI methods, but at first glance, it would seem so.
I don't know from syntactic priming. TPRS is based on Krashen's theory of comprehensible input, which is the same thing. It attempts to explain how people acquire a first OR subsequent language.
To the extent that my kids will unconsciously learn from me, I'd like to know what is useful and what isn't when learning two languages simultaneously. For example, after reading this thread, I now know that it's not as important for them to pick up a big vocab of nouns and that it's more important to expose them to all varieties of grammar.
If you are having your kids acquire one of your native or fluent languages, don't worry about all this stuff. We're talking about classroom situations -- where you have very little time and often little authority to go along with it for managing behavior -- and it's necessary to really optimize practice and present only the most crucial language in such situations. If you're talking about raising a child, and you have plenty of time with the child, just speak whatever language it is with him or her and say whatever needs to be said. Don't worry about picking words, picking patterns, or whatever. Just interact with the child. If we're talking a kid 5 or younger, say, that's going to be just fine (there are some situations where the kids may comprehend but not wish to answer in that language -- various social factors at work, or just plain "I'm three and I'm going to do what I want now", which my friend is finding now with her bilingual adopted daughter in the US).
Once you start picking structures and vocabulary and worrying about what you're saying, you're teaching, not just providing input. Some of us have to do that, but if you don't, just rely on what's been working just fine for thousands of years without any analysis or intervention at all.