I think that there are several factors that impact language learning, and that they vary in their impact both inherently and on a student-to-student basis. Some factors, like the availability of comprehensive input and the opportunity to produce meaningful output, are inherently essential to language acquisition and generally will remain important to all learners’ ability to acquire language. Without comprehensible input and the opportunity to produce meaningful output, language acquisition would be nearly impossible. Things like human interaction are also generally considered to be essential and have a significant impact on language learning, although now with the availability of computer programs and smart technology, the role of interaction for some learners may not be as significant as it once was, as people are finding new outlets through which to practice their language skills. I’ve seen both of these utilized (and not utilized) in field placements and service learning opportunities, and it’s interesting to see the ways in which they impact language learning. In my current 494 placement, students used to have the ability to interact with each other socially both surrounding class content, and purely recreationally at different points during class. While this was not always productive to their schoolwork, it did have a noticeable effect on their comfort and fluency speaking the language, especially for emergent multilingual students in the early phases of their English acquisition. Recently, however, my mentor teacher has enacted a policy where students are no longer allowed to speak in class, unless it is to ask questions of an MSU student or the teacher. I’m interested to see the effect that this policy might have on how quickly her students acquire English and their confidence levels participating in class and interacting with peers. In the same classroom, I also get to see the teacher’s efforts to make the input and output that her students receive in class meaningful and comprehensible. She utilizes strategies like pictures and hand gestures to help make her lessons and instructions comprehensible, and makes them meaningful by using real examples and stories from her own life so that she is both teaching content, and connecting with her students and offering them information that is authentic and socially valuable. She does the same thing when she asks the students to produce output - they write and speak about things that are relevant to them and their lives, with their peers, in a way that is relaxed and allows for lots of negotiation of meaning and mutual learning by everyone involved in the conversation.