Two of my students came up to me today to show a comic strip they made in Spanish on their own because they’ve been testing for the last 3 days and they missed my class!  It made my day.  I showed a colleague and he immediately pointed out a grammatical error-yo me gusta, instead of a mi me gusta (the truth is, native speakers often say yo me gusta even though it’s not grammatically correct.) Oh well. It made me happy anyway.
I’ve been having doubts about my students being prepared for Spanish 2 in high school, so I sat in on a Spanish 2 high school class, and I’m sitting in on another one at another high school next week. (A few of my students from last year who are taking Spanish 2 in high school have told that it’s HARD and they are working from a textbook, something they didn’t do with me.)
It was SUPER helpful to see what happens at this level. Actually, the teacher was excellent, the students were engaged most of the time.   She doesn’t use TPRS exclusively, but she uses aspects of it.   I feel like I need to incorporate more “grammar” into my lessons and make sure the students know how to conjugate on a T chart or they will be completely lost.   Is there anyone out there who uses a combination of TPRS/CI and a more traditional approach to teaching another language?
Annemarie Orth



4 thoughts on “Mixing”

  1. I would like to hear what others have to say about this as well. I teach Spanish I in eighth grade and students will be going into a more traditional Spanish 2 class in high school, so I would love to hear from people with experience in this type of situation.

  2. By no means am I an expert on blending traditional and CI, but I use the Standard Deviants DVD’s in very short bursts from time to time for grammar. I think there are clips of some on youtube. I have to present grammar to some extent because of the way our school schedules classes, some students will take online/correspondence courses for a semester or two and transition in and out of my classes. I also have students out on extended medical, so I have links on my class website to the studyspanish dot com site, as well as links to online conjugators.

  3. I just want to clarify my own reply. My first experience with teaching grammar only in context was with the reflexive last spring. I was amazed that they ‘got it’ better than previous years with numerous workbook activities that accompanied the text. That convinced me that I had really wasted a ridiculous amount of time trying to pound home grammar with those hated worksheets. Now I am a believer in the importance of context and the ‘pop up’ minimal explanation. However, because of the situations outlined above, I offer the online grammar links for reference purposes.

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