Robert Harrell Retires

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9 thoughts on “Robert Harrell Retires”

  1. I’m so indebted to you Robert, for many lessons, resources and modeling compassion and professionalism, all of which sprung from your overflowing generous heart! I’m excited for the next chapter in your journey! <3

  2. Big news indeed! Robert, perhaps this retirement means we will get to hear more from you here. All the best for you! Not just my teaching craft but my state of being is indebted to you!

  3. Congrats Robert! I know that through your writings I have become more confident, stronger and more knowledgeable as a CI teacher especially when starting. I hope to hear from you more on this PLC and your site.

  4. Congratulations, and it would be great if you found the time to contribute to the PLC more often: I’ve appreciated all your contributions as long as I’ve been a member!

  5. Hello, everyone.
    Thank you for the kind comments. I’ve been pursuing a variety of endeavors and didn’t make it back to the blog as soon as I intended to.
    Here’s the update:
    I am working for Cal State Long Beach as the World Languages Curriculum and Methods instructor and as a Student Teacher Supervisor. It has been a challenge and with the corona virus promises to continue that way.
    I have also been working with Project COACH, iFLT and the Agen Workshop, as well as presenting at local and regional conferences. Project COACH is a local group of world language teachers who coach teachers, present comprehension-based language acquisition strategies, and assist teachers in setting up their own PLCs.
    In addition, I have pursued writing for a more general audience and will soon release an historical time-travel book for Young Adults. One goal is to write more for language teachers before all my experience becomes antiquated. Another project is to encourage language teachers to write books for learners, but not just any book or any collection of ‘stories.’ If one of our goals of instruction is to get learners to roughly intermediate status, at which point they can continue learning on their own, we should also seek material at their acquisition level that will support them. It isn’t ‘authentic resources.’ We need intermediate-level books (readers) that are engaging, interesting, and based on comprehensible input strategies. I can’t produce them alone, so I want to help others by leading them on the path to producing their own. When I get my writer’s website up and running, I will do more with that.
    Oh, and I play the organ, sing in the choir, and lead the missions commission at my church. In my free time …
    Thanks again for all the kind words, even though I saw them only now.

  6. Alisa Shapiro-Rosenberg

    I don’t know how I missed this news but I am at once sad for us and delighted for you, Robert! Do make sure you keep us apprised of your experiences, reflections and insights from ‘the other side.’ I wish you health and happiness. We offer our sincere gratitude for your heartful, articulate and steadfast support of CI teachers and our students.
    All the best as you approach this new adventure!

  7. For those who don’t know Robert or about him, he spent about 10 years on this PLC and has played a big role in its development. If you click on “Primers” hard link above you will see that many of the articles there are from Robert. Reading even one of them will reveal why he is doing so much teacher training these days. He gets CI like few others.
    Perhaps the most impressive thing I’ve seen Robert accomplish was almost singlehandedly – in about 2014 with help from some of us here on the PLC – take on the entire 18,000 member ACTFL “FL Educators” group, who thought at the time that CI was unimportant and just the latest fad in WL education.
    The only way to say it is that Robert opened up a big can of online “WHOOP ASS” – using his superior intelligence – on that group in a kind of online war we got with them. Eric Herman was also in on the beat down in a big way. Every time they tried to defend what they were doing in the classroom, Robert and Eric calmly and compassionately pointed out how their reasoning conflicted with the research. 
    Those battles with the traditional arm of ACTFL happened in earlier days when the pushback on CI by the established national language teaching corps was enormous. Robert’s main trait as a writer is his elegant simplicity where he can make complex theory/practice points about language teaching easily understood. Just check out the above Primers if you want samples to support that point.
    Robert, my brother, I was so happy to see that you had commented here. Thanks for the update. I’m glad to know that your materials are getting developed (North Sea Pirates, etc.) properly. Is there a website we can find those materials?
    Your stamp on this site is so deeply appreciated because now we can say after the intense battles here of five to fifteen years ago (2005 to 2015) we can say that recent years have been different, easier and so in a way we “served the cause” during some very tough years and made the road smoother for those who have come after us. 

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