Comment on @ThornburyScott’s blog post ‘I is for Imitation’

26 03 2012

http://scottthornbury.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/i-is-for-imitation-3/#comment-7236

A very timely post for me and my IH CAM (Advanced Methodology) course participants who have been discussing the difference between active and passive noticing this week, Scott.
We decided active noticers find useful language in the texts they read and listen to and try it out in other contexts in order to communicate for themselves, thus (eventually) making the language their own. Passive noticers on the other hand just copy and paste without thinking or adapting or creating something new out of the old.
Surely the imitation being discussed here is the same, and the more actively we imitate (i.e. think about the meaning and contextual use of the utterance we’re imitating as well as copying its form) the more successful language learners we become?
The teachers roles are many in this process. Giving helpful and immediate feedback, as Kathy suggests above, is crucial. But training / encouraging our learners to take as active a role as possible in their imitation / noticing, as both Bruno and Luiz have done, is also crucial learner training. Activities such as When would you say this? Who could you say this to? can help immensely in this regard.