Anne Matava

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5 thoughts on “Anne Matava”

  1. this is the way I feel every time a free write comes up in class! The way I have learned to be confident that I don’t need a dictionary makes me happy every time those ten minute writing periods come up. I am excited about what new story I will tell the reader in my head. The wonderful thing they will say being that they don’t care if I spelled a word wrong. The words come to me and flow through my fingertips and before I know it the ten minutes are up and a page or more stares back at me. I am proud that I can rite like I do in a language not my own.

  2. I have been meaning to get back to your blog Ben, but I have not had a free chance. Let me introduce myself to the community. I am a former student of Anne’s and I am now Majoring in German. The above post is from an email that I sent to Anne, she disguised my identity by changing the gender, but I wrote to her hoping my experience would be shared with this community.
    Ever since my first exposure to German with Anne I was enthusiastic about acquiring language (at times maybe too enthusiastic). In the four years that I learned German with the TPRS method I found that being able to have fast input/output skills in another language was a useful and fun tool to have at your disposal.
    I knew that the college style of teaching languages is much different than the story telling method I am used to. Nonetheless I was excited to be in an environment with other speakers who were passionate about speaking and learning the language. I wish I could say this was exactly what my class was like, however the third semester class that I tested into was very different. Because of Anne’s teaching style I was able to have conversations with my teacher before coming to this school, and thought all my classmates would be able to do the same. To my surprise my classmates were shy when it came to speaking German. I was looked up to by some of my classmates because of my language ability, but I myself felt out of place and confused when we “reviewed” the verb conjugations that we “learned” in High School.
    On the first test that we took I bombed. Not knowing what the Imperative form of fahren of a chart put me at a disadvantage in a completely artificial environment.
    I still love German and intend to continue studying it, but I must first do a painful thing and change the way I was taught to look at language.
    TPRS engaged me in German and made it something that I loved. Without this passion for the language that I already posses I would not have the drive to continue memorizing charts and seeing no positive effect on my language ability. I believe it is important for language teachers to realize that students preparing to continue their education in a language have to be prepared for the road that lies ahead. Language cannot be directly taught, rather acquired by immersion. At some point students who were gifted to learn by the TPRS method should be exposed to the material that the majority of their future classmates were exposed to.
    To close this ridiculously long comment I would like to reiterate how grateful I am for the way I acquired German. I would also like to encourage anyone with doubts about the TPRS method that it works unbelievably well for language acquisition. I believe that if students are armed with their (at least partial) fluency in a language along with the knowledge of how other students learn with different methods, they will be prepared to be successful and life-long learners and speakers of the language.

  3. Jason,
    Welcome to the community! I enjoyed reading about your experience and perspective. You have been truly blessed to have had such a great teacher in high school. I look f0rward to hearing more from you when you have a chance to post. It’s good for us to get that “view from the trenches”, as it were. In my classes I want to prepare students to go on to university classes in German, but I also want to prepare students to go to Germany and simply talk to people on the street. Unfortunately, those two goals often lie in different directions. Your comments help me at least speak intelligently about what to expect. Thank you.
    Robert Harrell
    German Teacher

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