Nine years ago I met Kate Taluga at a conference on saving native endangered languages in Oklahoma. She also attended a National TPRS conference around that time and presented on building community with students – I believe that conference was in Las Vegas. I remember enjoying speaking with Susan Gross and Kate after Kate presented on how to engage students in class with jobs and with the simple principle of loving kindness. Kate is a Native American teacher of Creek language in Florida. After all those long years, when so much has happened, I got this message from her just today:
Hello Ben –
I return to the TPRS world and the learning of MVSKOKE from a long hiatus of retiring and. caretking. I am now teaching a few adult learners who like myself are trying to revitalize themselves and their language acquistion skills during Covid times.
I love adult learners. They are motivated learners. It might offer language teachers a new funding stream online. I don’t know. I don’t zoom as my students are a doctor and her sister – we practice safe social distancing.
Just glad to see you online still and looking forward to your thoughts.
Kate Taluga in Dogtown, Florida
I found some old posts here from 2011 that describe Kate and her work. I post the links below because their contents echo my own to an extreme degree, and in fact are very much at the core of everything we discuss here, in some way or another. In fact, if I had to go back over the past 15 years in this blog space and identify the teacher whose work and philosophy of language instruction most resemble mine, it would be Kate’s. For more information, spend some time with the links below, for starters. You could also search her name in the search bar here. If everyone could absorb even a little bit of Kate’s wisdom about what kids need most in a language classroom, we would all be better off for it. Kate played an important role in the life of this community about a decade ago, and I am personally thrilled to hear from her again. Kate knows what the deal is in language education, and her work in Florida over the years should be noted by all who wish to bring the principle of simple respect for children into their teaching.