Of all the unique things that Malcolm Gladwell has said, his idea that mastery of anything is no more complicated than doing something for 10,000 hours is possibly the most valuable. If we keep doing comprehensible input, we gain mastery of it slowly over time.
It is about beginning to see patterns. What is happening right now on this blog is that a certain mentality, a fractured one, has taken over the analysis and synthesis of Krashen’s and Blaine’s original ideas. We are looking at trees, thinking that if we cut enough of them down and make toothpicks out of them, our classes based on comprehensible input will work.
If we just wrestle enough of these trees down, then maybe we can say that we know how to do TPRS and then our kids will live up to the potential we know is in the method by gaining their own mastery of the language about 1600 times faster (Asher said this according to Susan Gross) than any other way, which I believe is true. At least 1600 times faster.
However, this is not true. We cannot live up to the massive potential that lies in storytelling by trying, for example, to read this blog and collect a bunch of activities, techniques that would fill our bag of tricks, becoming tools in the box (that’s a real phucked up term), etc. that would then make TPRS work for us.
Rather, we need to gain mastery over the forest and leave the trees alone. We need to relax into the knowledge that anything lying around our classroom is excellent fodder for great TPRS instruction – any little readings we happen to have, the Circling with Balls cards as described here in a previous blog post, the words on our Word Walls (nerf them), a Matava scripts book, a song, a textbook (yes, a textbook), anything.
We have to focus on the patterns of teaching using comprehensible input and stories, the forest, and not on the individual activities, the trees. We have to learn to take anything from the list above or from anywhere else (something that happens in the hallway) and follow a general pattern that makes any one of those things come alive for us in the classroom. It is not about a technique or an activity, it is about our use of the above things – how we use them.
The problem with the textbook needs to be addressed. Allison, a few days ago, asked about this, I think – how to interface TPRS/CI with the book. The implication has always been, for over ten years now, that it is somehow possible to put the two together. Karen Rowan got paid a lot of money by Realidades to actually write little TPRS segments into the book. Oh, really?
The way Karen got it wrong was that, by writing those little segments, she implied that teachers could just implement a short little “TPRS activity” into the lesson provided by the Realidades gods and how nice that would be to integrate them into the overarching plan of the book. Can’t be done. The book crushed Karen’s segments in the same way that putting an Indie car into a junkyard and telling to win would fail.
Instead, what Karen failed to do, because the book was a big Jabba the Hut suffocating any sprig of life out of any possible comprehensible input that might make its way into the chapter in the book, was to tell the Realidades folks that, if they want TPRS to work in their system, then the little chapters she wrote must be about 90% of the book and that the teachers using Realidades would have to dump 90% of the crap in the book and expand those little things Karen provided into 90% of the book, which didn’t happen.
One answer I was afraid someone would suggest to Allison’s question about mixing TPRS and the book was that someone would tell her, a la Susie Gross, to take the stuff in the book and just circle it. That is fine, but the same 90% ratio applies. If you take some part of a chapter in a book, as stated above, and circle it a little bit, it is just boring to the kids.
The strength of what we do lies in the terrific amount of personalization and storybuilding we create, not in circling some little thing and then saying we do TPRS, claiming that we mix the two methods. They can’t be mixed because when the high octane interest necessary for success with stories is absent, snuffed out, as described above, by the Jabba the Hut obesity of the book, then TPRS/CI looks like it is ineffective. When we capitulate to the idea that we can use TPRS/CI in conjunction with a book, we end up making what we do look small and ineffective. We shouldn’t do that.
This is really a statement, a testimonial, to the fact that there is nothing specific we can do in terms of activities/trees to make the general plan of CI instruction/the forest work for us. We must absolutely quit thinking in terms of the trees and set our minds to using anything laying around, as expressed above (the best example being Dirk’s nerf gun targeting of single words from his Word Wall), and learn to pick it up, breathe life into it, and become masters of CI in doing so. We do this by focusing on the forest, not the trees.
Tina just sent me a link to a series of videos she took this week in her Spanish One class.
For those of us working with One Word Images, this series of videos shows a sequence of instruction that leads the class from the image-creation process through the next day’s review of the artists’ work, into writing a class-created text, and then using the text to launch into some reading options – here, choral translation into L1 and reading from the back of the room.
Now ask yourself what would be lost in this beautiful human interaction had Grant’s intention been to say “needed to brush her teeth” over seventy-five times in the class. Indeed, it is obvious that Grant’s intention here is to get to know the kids in front of him and build community by weaving connections among the students.
Getting reps on targets is still an effective way to provide comprehensible input, it is just that it affects the quality of our interactions in the moment as human beings. Many people will still choose to do this work in that way. But some of us are ready to really, truly lean on the research that, if you dig all the way back to Noam Chomsky, teaches us that we really cannot be in control of what the kids acquire at any given moment. With that said, why not make connection and happiness and authenticity the goal, and let the targets emerge from the human beings in the room with us? Why not get the blinders off and shift our focus from mere language, mere targets that are, let’s be honest, chosen almost randomly from the vast pool of possibilities, to something much more valuable – short people who are quickly becoming the adults in charge.
00:05 – students are relaxed but they know who is in charge and I don’t think it is just the fact of it being recorded. You have a very strong teaching presence, loud clear voice. Perfect for TPRS. We must project confidence and you do that here.
00:36 – I love the way you say, after one boy suggested that they man’s name was “Billy” how you said “It is possible!” I never thought of that but it is a great way to get out of it if you don’t like it.
01:26 – this happens to me. You drag the name thing out as long as you can because you aren’t happy with the lame names they gave but finally had to cave with Jerry. That part of getting a name always seems to drag out too long. But you did the right think in accepting the one they as a class suggested right there. I’m like weird I gotta have the right name.
03:30 – you got through name and age and where he works in three and a half minutes. Not bad. I try to get through basic questions faster these days. I used to spend more than five minutes to get answers to basic questions and it kind of flatlines the story early. Gotta be crisp with early questioning esp. since they have been hearing those same questions all year.
04:00 – love the way you have them repeat chorally, “I can’t believe it!”
4:15 to 4:40 – artfully done on bringing up the actor. You sensed the hesitation in the first guy, went to the second, got him on the stool, all really crisp and nice. This is another area where many of us waste too much time. Get an actor and get going. Nice!
5:00 to 5:30 – we can all learn from this artful questioning of the actor after he has sat down. He is a big guy but lower than you and that is what the stool is for, by the way. Chairs are too low and if they stand they become an immediate distraction. You went right for district vocabulary (age). But the big thing here is how your pacing is just perfect. Not too fast, not too slow. You use no new vocabulary. All in bounds, all nicely paced.
5:40 to 6:40 – you got more reps by asking if the student “worked/wanted to work” at Victoria’s Secret. So more reps on a very common verb in context. Asking simple questions of the actor and students, questions that do not go out of bounds, is what is happening here.
6:33 – notice the subtle hand gestures from the teacher on “wants to work” while the student is speaking. Result of TPR.
6:44 – you are working from a script here. Who wrote it? For those not familiar with working with scripts you can see how nice it is to have that next question ready. Happens right at 6:44. When you work from a script in this way it just makes everything easier, gives a set of tracks for the story to go down. There are two good ways to ask stories and they each have their advantages – with or without scripts/targets.
7:35 – this many not seem like a big deal but is. Keri right here goes back with yet another question of the actor “Do you live with your mother?”. This is artful. We always want to be going back and forth from the developing story to the actor(s) with in -bounds questions.
General comment: I know that my speaking French is an advantage here, but the general feel in the classroom is, because Keri is so good at staying in-bounds, that I would like to be in there as a student because I can understand literally everything and I have never studied Italian although, like all of us, have always wanted to learn it. Why do I feel as if I could learn in this classroom? 1) teacher is comprehensible, slow and in-bounds. 2) no English side tracks to throw me as a student off, and 3) teacher is clearly in charge of this classroom. And those are big high school boys, some of them, who could easily try to take things over as we have discussed here recently. Keri is totally in charge. This is not easy work she is doing!
11:24 – Keri talks right through the loudspeaker interruption, Nice!
12:26 – another nice touch. Keri uses the laser pointer to point to the target on the screen. We can never assume that they understand us, and with the targets she laser points to she assures their understanding.
General comment: it is the nature of working from a script that the safety of the rails/structures that there is a bit less spontaneity and originality/unexpected responses. Is that a problem? Not at all. Quality of stories varies w scripted vs. non-scripted stories but both work.
13:00 Partner retells at this point was a good decision. Kind of a brain break. Besides partner retells I use tell the story up to this point to their hands, as partners bust right into English.
During the retells: I’m not a psychologist, and I may be way off, but as a lover of the subtlety of language I do not want this boy speaking this way. I want him to bring a different mindset to the work, more attempt at speaking the language (this is Italian!) Maybe it’s just me with kids like that. I know he’s a scared kid, and that is all that that behavior is about. But this age HAS to be the hardest to teach. I’ve done TPRS for nine years with middle school kids and six with high school kids. Give me the middle school kids!
14:40 – good time to get a retell to the group after the partner retells. This should be a part of any story, in my opinion.
15:00 – Throwing the ball to someone, they have to speak a sentence so far. This works to keep focus.
17:40 – This is very interesting in through here. Keri wants to get reps on the problem, first structure, and should do that. But we are working our way up to 20 minutes in the story and we’ve only established the problem. I have changed to where I try to get the problem established earlier and the failed attempt going a lot sooner. If you think about it, the best action happens AFTER the problem is established not before and during.
20:00 – I can’t find anything to critique much in this story. It is just really good. I know you wanted help with that but it is a well-oiled machine. You are doing the right thing by staying expertly in bounds.
20:30 – we see the value of dialogue. It is always effective and the kids always get into it. These kids didn’t even need any coaching. I use the director’s cues when doing this (kept above my whiteboard). Great coaching.
21:00 to 22:00 – great stuff in through here totally comprehensible.
22:30 – great buy in from the football player on acting. I wonder how much buy in we would get from the big guy by giving hime a verb conjugation chart. He would probably have to find different ways of getting attention in class.
23:30 – the first time she let in a new word was at this point with the word “adopted”. That is some kind of record.
Timer: You had a timer going the whole time and it has been perfect. Comments for us on that? (Did the video influence their staying in the TL?)
26:50 – I personally don’t like the ball where if they catch it they have to say something. But this is where we all get to be different. There is HUGE ADVANTAGES in this move with the ball. It keeps them focused. I just don’t do it and that is what is great about this method. We all get to be different.
27:00 – Watch this artistry right here. You – need – a wife – Jason. Keri plays a fully comprehensible card with her hand almost beating out the music with a slight pause between words and very strong loud accented speech. Really effective CI. And all in flow. How can they not learn the language when it’s that many reps? Love that move right there. Just great.
28:10 – Nice work to stick in a date. Boring but we got to do it.
29:15 – And then same thing with the time. Nice work. You hit both the date and the time and then got right back to the story. That’s the way to not let the story lag.
31:30 – This is master teaching. What is being conveyed? Happiness. Pride in Mario, who needs love very much. Happiness in the fun of expressing herself in Italian. Round of applause for the kid. This is real teaching.
32:00 – I just noticed something HUGE. I have heard almost no English for over a half an hour! I am amazed. Wow! I want to learn how to do that. Even with a timer like she has I mess it up. I can’t keep my own dang thoughts from messing up my CI with English. Oh well.
32:30 – I don’t use props even hair props. Jason Fritze says hats and hair are the best. Again, just my style. I find that kids play with them and it gets distracting. And they smell. Distractions with props are not happening here, testimony to the firm hand Keri has on the class.
33:00 – Look at the whiteboard at 33:00. That is very little new stuff for that amount of time of CI. I LOVE how Keri writes out that sentence at 32:50 to make sure they understand it. She’s teaching reading right there.
33:20 – Finally she breaks into a little grammar lesson. Pure Susan Gross. What does this ending mean? PAST. What does “endo” mean? ING. That’s how you do it. It doesn’t have to be as short as four seconds long in this pop up grammar lesson. There are no rules in this work.
34:15 – we can’t miss the little details here. Look at the way she keeps the students in line. I know that has to do with a timer working a clock there in that classroom but just notice. Whatever she is doing, it is something we all want to emulate. She has control over blurting. This class is a clinic in keeping kids in the TL. And she goes right down that row on the right and requires a response from each one about what the woman was doing when Jerry got there at five in the morning. The kids are really well trained!
38:00 – great example of how to run a dialogue here.
38:40 – How did so and so react? This is a classic TPRS skill move from many years.
40:00 – 41:00 – I would have had the actors sit down on stools and stay there. Distracting. I would have pointed to Rule #7 on the Classroom Rules chart by now – “actors synchronize your words with my actions.”
42:00 – this wrapping up is a good way to end a story. Just say what happened. The wallet got stolen. Simple.
42:00 to 42:45 – I would have gone to a big retell right there instead of pair work. While it was super fresh in their minds. Would have not used the actors for the retell, just pointed to the spots they were in. BUT I do like the pattern Keri uses as well of short pair retells and then on kids does a big celebration retell.
42:45 to end: Any further proof needed that this method works? I think not. The student retell is marvelous!
My colleague filmed my Block 2 class today. It’s long, but has many parts. PQA, reading and discussion, partner reading, and Movie Talk. It’s definitely a weird feeling to see myself on film, and I struggle with this group because there are a couple of mean kids that make it not too safe a lot of the time, but anyway, I hope you can post it.
This one of Blaine w some high school kids is from Russ:
So this week I asked both Dr. Krashen and Blaine to comment on the topic.
First, I asked Dr. Krashen to comment on whether this statement I had written was true or not:
…Dr. Krashen, of course, never stopped promoting non-targeted input over the years, but the TPRS community has largely ignored him on that point as they have on many others, preferring to invent their own versions of TPRS….
…not quite. I think that many teachers simply can’t do non-targeted input because they are required to follow a grammatical syllabus….
Then I asked Blaine this question:
…Hey Blaine could you briefly comment on whether you target structures when doing a story? What you prefer to do in terms of targeting? Like in the 1990’s did you target anything before doing a story? I am interested in the progression of it over the years, if it changed or remained the same in your approach to teaching stories….
TPRS started with the idea of pre-teaching all vocabulary. As the stories got longer and the vocabulary got more advanced that became more and more of a problem. I remember spending 2 weeks pre-teaching vocabulary for a story. It was awful. The pre-teaching evolved more and more into teaching mini-stories. It turned out that teaching mini stories was the best use of time anyway.
We do put targeted structures in our materials because I don’t think teachers would even look at our stuff without. They are definitely as a group addicted to the idea of structures.
While I don’t know, I really don’t think they are needed. I have been teaching class all week and I don’t use structures. I look for break down and then practice the breakdown. So when I see breakdown, I then have a structure to work on. The structure comes from seeing where the student isn’t confident.
As long as teachers get the idea of teaching the frequency words, I see nothing wrong with using those verbs as curriculum. I think most teachers will teach better with structures.
I was in a class this week where the teacher was using the word “got stuck” in Spanish. At 2 other schools I asked the non native Spanish teachers if they knew the word. Not one of them did. I think working on any verb that isn’t pretty high up on the frequency list is not a very good use of time.
I do think that getting confident is a frequency verb means that the students are at least confident is the I, you, he/she form in the present tense.
This might have been more than you wanted. It is an interesting idea. Krashen is against structures and he very well may be right.
I replied to Blaine:
This describes exactly where I am with this right now and why I asked you. It is very heartening to hear you say this, as it means I’m on some kind of right track, if there is such a thing, right? This in particular really gets my mind straight on my question:
I really don’t think they are needed. I have been teaching class all week and I don’t use structures. I look for break down and then practice the breakdown. So when I see breakdown, I then have a structure to work on. The structure comes from seeing where the student isn’t confident.
I do think that what Blaine said here is most interesting:
… I think most teachers will teach better with structures….
Notice that he didn’t say that it is better to teach with structures, he just said that “most teachers” will teach better with structures….
I might add that as early as 2001 I could see how Blaine looked for breakdown. The topic of looking for breakdown is vastly under- discussed in our community, I believe. It really gets to the entire issue – the fact is that the conscious TPRS teacher who is aware of when her students break down can be said to not need to target or not target structures. They will be effective because they are teaching their students and being aware of what their students are experiencing as opposed to “teaching a structure” or not. I’ll leave all that alone but wanted to mention how much it meant to me to read what Blaine says about sensing where his students break down. It is such a key concept for me when discussing the process of teaching using CI, and something I am working very hard to improve on in my own classroom these days.
Note: There have been lots of articles on this subject here over the years if you just use the search bar, which is far more effective than using the categories.
…I was able to upload straight from the iPad to You Tube….
Angie so if I videotape a class and my videographer in each class films the class in segments less than 15 minutes each (which is YouTubes limit for regular accounts) I can just sent it straight to publication on YouTube from the iPad after class?
This could save me hours and hours that I don’t have of loading videos into my computer as long as I don’t get all jiggy by making those subtitled comments which require me to use iMovie, which subtitles Lance said – when he posted his he said he needed 1.5 hours a nite – and I agree.
Let me know. This could be a major breakthrough using the iPad – avoiding the computer – to help us get a ton more video here on the blog to share with each other. We don’t even have to clutter up the Videos hard link lists above, which process involves too many steps. We could all – as you have done above – just make a video “comment” as it were.
Doing that would take our ability to communicate here with each other about teaching to the next level. We would not need words to express what we are doing in our classes – we would just post videos in the comments.It would be effortless and solve the problem of posting video.
The only sacrifice necessary would be – if you are thinking like me – that getting those parent releases just to be able to see the kids is not worth it and we could just film with masking tape on the floor to separate our “teaching space” from the kids’ space as I did in that last video I posted. (I think I have proven that it is not necessary to film the kids if you can HEAR them on the iPad.)
As promised, here is another video from my classroom.
This second grader (8 yr. old) is reading the captions of an 8-frame storyboard he illustrated based on the cute Movie Talk clip called, “Paddy Pan.” Compared to how my students used to read in my old legacy life, I am constantly surprised and delighted by my young students’ fluency, accent, and pleasure while reading. To me this is one of the (least celebrated though) most tangible and amazing results of what we do.
What can I say? Comprehensible Input works!
“I am using this method to middle school students with a traditional Chinese book and a traditional cooperating teacher. Some problems come along. The learning environment discourage me to keep working on it. I think I do need some support and encouragement from TPRS teachers at this point.”
I have been training a young lady in CI and TPRS using your materials here in Israel. I invite you to have a look at this video and offer your feedback.
Thanks for all you do,
…I am no longer so intimidated at the thought of sending in videos. I am starting to see them as virtual observations, like if we all taught in some big happy school in the sky where we could just pop into each others’ rooms….
This is powerful. There really are no experts. The so called experts are just regular people don’t the hard work that we do but we mistakenly put them up as some kind of expert. Why do we do that? It is because the approach of CI protects and defends and even illustrates the individual personality of the teacher. So how could there be any model teachers?
Those who buy into that kind of reasoning really have no excuse to just send some video in and get over it. You have a lot of friendly hearts waiting to see your work and share their ideas with you in a loving way.
Then we have a year round conference, which was my original dream for this website.
Here’s the link to Lance’s videos:
This thread could prove to be the equivalent of a graduate course for the people on the blog who dive into these videos like I plan on doing. (And don’t forget you can get Portland State University graduate credits by reading this blog as per: http://www.benslavic.com/blog/ci-810-comprehensible-input-for-language-acquisition/)
Those who have articles jammed in the queue, I again apologize but I want us to focus on these videos for awhile. Maybe we can figure out a way to discuss one video a day. I guess we should all limit discussion to Video #01 first, and then go one by one. They are fairly short. The more comments we make the more we learn.
Hey Ben –
I am in a good position to record a little bit of each class I teach, and would like to chronicle my entire experience this year. Why? I originally wanted to model some routines and MGMT strategies for people new to CI, but after that first day it looks like I might be capturing all the things that can go WRONG when teaching! Upon reflecting, these videos might illustrate real-world “troubleshooting” that seems to be an overlooked area of CI training, which means they’ll still be super helpful for beginners. I’ll keep making them each week.
I apologize for the subtitle speed on this first video. I teach 7th grade Exploratory (8 weeks of Spanish, then Latin, then French). For the record, I haven’t even BEGUN to come close to my Spanish proficiency limit due to the need for constant Crowd Control.
My situation is pretty grim in terms of MGMT, let alone preparing to teach French (of which I know very little) in May. The kids have been running the show all year, and I’m their 3rd teacher. I’ll take unsolicited advice anytime, but I am aware of the following things I’m in control of, and am asking for a few things specifically from the PLC below these two:
– I wasn’t been able to redirect kids quickly because I actually didn’t know all 140 names after the first week in December. That was on me.
– Circling with Balls might not work 1/3 way through the year. Has anyone stepped into a class and had success like that? At the start of the year it rocks, but once the kids are comfortable with each other and have created their own classroom dynamic, the strategy seems to flop. Those kids we target in September already have power, and the rest of the kids sense it.
Advice from PLC:
1) Because at least 5 kids each class won’t shut the Eff up, I am finding that I can’t speak slowly enough in between disruptions, which Effs with comprehension and flow. This also means that class isn’t really compelling because we’re not using much language. Yes, there was ZERO management and accountability from September to December, but I fear that the effort needed to reel in those 5 or so kids from each class in will lose the “buy-in” of others. Is there even a solution here? Get through this year and start fresh?
2) I pose the question: “Can students with behavior issues succeed in a CI class?” I feel the need to remove students (using Bryce’s Think Sheets) so I can teach everyone else who “agrees” to learn Spanish (i.e. I’ve renamed Bob Patrick’s Daily Engagement Assessments to Daily Engagement Agreements…students are agreeing to do the things that allow them AND OTHERS to learn a language). When I remove them, however, they miss out on the language experience. I suppose if the behavior is that severe, they don’t care about learning anything and it might be waaaaay out of my control. The problem is that they aren’t in a position to be compelled by what we’re talking about when I spend so much time dealing with discipline issues. One of my students, for example, has a track record of 5 suspensions this year…so far. One student’s district accommodation plan states that teachers should “ignore inappropriate behavior.” My reaction to that is whaaaaaaaat thaaaaaaa….!? Aside from that odd wrench in the admin/guidance department, clearly, that can’t happen in a CI environment at the expense of everyone else. You’ll see what I mean when you watch that video.
3) Is there anything people would like to see on these clips? Any other suggestions on how to make the chronicle serve its best purpose?
4) Anything else?
This is a tough gig, but I remain hopeful. As always, Ben, thanks for maintaining the PLC.
Here’s my 1st attempt at sharing my classroom T/CI practice via video demo. I want to both up my game and contribute/give back to the professionals from whom I’ve learned so much.
These are beginner 1st graders who’ve had 3×30 or 90 minutes/week Spanish instruction since October. We got off to a very slow start due to two major behavior issue kids who were removed from the class in November. So they’ve had very little Spanish.
Also, the boy came in with the paper crown, and everyone clamored, “We have to celebrate Xs B-day!” They’ve come to expect and do love the celebración en español. It was a very tame celebration compared to the older kids, who get loud and raucous. Notice the blonde girl on the bottom left who is bowing to the Birthday King.
The (background) easel with target structures is for a different grade/MT.
These kids demonstrate lots of comprehension, right?
Enjoy and feel free to share (on the PLC) a window into my world!
Last weekend in San Diego was phenomenal. Hard to say with my highlight was, but my lowlight was not getting to see Robert present on Sunday morning.
I have a request for you and the group. I have to submit my Teacher of the Year portfolio for Central States by the end of the calendar year. Essentially I have just three weeks of classes left. These video clips need to show excellent teaching, so I am gathering a significant amount of video. The problem with that is that when I record 20 minutes of video, it takes me 30 minutes to review it.
Here’s my question/request:
Do you think the members of the blog would be willing to crowd source this review of the video? I will put private YouTube links on the blog.
For Central States (IMMEDIATE NEED) I need clips that are SHORT and EXCEPTIONAL.
I will EMBED them into the portfolio to get ppl to click and see it in action.
IF I WIN CENTRAL STATES, I’ll need ONE, 20 minute section of video that is not professionally produced and has not been enhanced – i.e. unedited.
So, the 20 minute thing is NOT URGENT, but if ppl feel that there’s a segment that’s 20 minutes long that really rocks, I want to know about it to tag it for the future.
Grant adds: … if you are adept at the art of speaking in a way that helps others outside of the TCI arena to understand what we do and why, this is a time when that skill is helpful….
Here is Grant’s formal request of the group:
Here’s a great opportunity for you and a way to help forward CI in the greater community. As you likely know already, I was selected as the MN WL TOY in October. I’ll be representing MN at Central States in OH in March (and, with a great deal of luck, ACTFL in November!). YEA!
Even though there’s no video required for the regional competition, we all know that experiencing it is the best way to understand that TCI is different, effective, magical. I have begun collecting video with the idea of embedding links to 1 to 4 minute clips into my written reflections as a way of encouraging the committee members to see the engagement, the laughter, the authentic interaction present in class that is so hard for me to describe using my impoverished vocabulary.
Look for segments that demonstrate exceptional teaching. If you need guidance, search for sections that touch on the following topics:
Any of the 5 Cs (including discrete ways Culture is infused)
Personalization and customization of curriculum
High engagement, good classroom management
Quality example a particular CI technique, for example One Word Image or Look and Discuss
Sections that demonstrate collaborative leadership model – teacher directed but student driven
Sections that demonstrate culturally relevant teaching
Effective use of student talk
Then, simply comment on the thread with the name of the video, the start and end time you’ve selected, and a short blurb about why you’ve selected that section of video. OR, if you know how, you could even capture and edit that clip yourself and send it to me for posting ( I thnk that can be done).
But, these videos are not public yet, so any link shared here has to be viewed from the PLC and cannot be shared outside the PLC for the time being.
Here are two to start with. Note that in the video 11.24.15p6 I have just received a new student that very day. She’s the tall girl sitting up by me on the left. Look for good segments about how to incorporate new students by weaving them into the fabric of class from the first day.
Here are the links to my first two. I’ll add more at the end of each school day this week and next.
Thanks in advance, everyone.
Note that at the 10:05 mark in the video Joey has a student get up and start writing the story as it is being created on the board in the TL, as per a related post here yesterday about how we can have two story writers in our class
“There is a bit of 3 ring circus and the start of a story. I am going to add the second half of the video next week which completes the story, has some movie talk and the start of a new book.”
Long time no see! I hope this email finds you well.
I think you have heard from Dr. Melisa Cahnmann, who is introducing TPRS in her class Theatre for Reflective Language practice. She asked me to do three classes of Chinese demo for her students. I want to collect as much feedback as possible to help me grow up as a mature Chinese teacher. I was wondering if you can give me some comments about my teaching. I am preparing for my second and third classes for Dr. Misha. I hope I can improve during this process.
Joining your war room last year was the most wonderful experience in my academic life! You inspired me a lot, and I really appreciate your comments and the conversation, which encouraged me to stick to it. I still remember you said that “one day you will realize that when everybody else is looking for a great teaching method, you will have already finished a lap of running on the teaching-track.” So I am determined to continue with TPRS, and I am willing to start my teaching career with this method. I know I’m not going to regret because it is the ONLY way to improve students’ proficiency in Chinese. You are very welcome to give me more feedback, which will definitely help me further improve my steps of practice.
Thank you for your time!
Sandra (Zihan Lin, MAT)
World Language Education
LLED College of Education
University of Georgia