A Colleague Looks Back

Chill sent me this yesterday:
I recently caught up with a friend who was my mentor teacher when I student taught about 17 years ago. I shared my TPRS story and sent her to your blog. She was a totally dedicated professional and has been a dear friend. She still keeps up with AATF, etc. Thought you would  enjoy her comments:
Great talking to you!  If I were still teaching, I would feel all re-inspired and energized from all your ideas.  I watched Ben’s class on You Tube and read his blog.  Wow.  Language in action.   I heartily agree with you that this method seems more fun, practical, effective and meaningful  than the traditional way.  Society changes, and our teaching methods need to evolve too.   I truly commend you for re-training yourself and being open to a new way of teaching.   Kudos to you.  I am decidedly impressed  —  impressed by your enthusiasm, by your professional commitment to keep growing, by your desire to instill a love of learning and by your political astuteness RE the future of your program.  I will be most eager to learn how it all unfolds, enrollment-wise etc.  Do keep me posted! 
I felt frustrated that after 38 years of teaching,  I still never really got my kids to speak.  It seems like I tried every second language acquisition theory and method that came along since my first job in 1965.  I was tired at the end of my career.  I wonder if I could have adapted yet again.  Would I ultimately have been more like your Spanish teachers  –  frozen and too stuck to change?  I would like to think not, but it does become exhausting to have to re-learn and re-do. 
TPRS reminds me a little of Capretz’  French in Action.  I used it in the 1990s.  I found that my students did use the language more, but it was still less interactive than Ben’s lesson.  For example, each lesson began with a 30 minute video with the language and story all done in French.  But it was something one had to sit and watch and pay attention to before practicing anything.  Not too effective if a student fell asleep, which happened more than once.



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