When the kids focus on the message and not the individual words, they learn the language. Words in stories are supplied to the group by students, and not by the school district to the student. The message has meaning because the words are supplied by the students.
This gives the words much greater importance and they are thus really learned. This is yet another way we personalize the TPRS classroom – we listen to what the kids say. The group thus becomes more important than the district’s paranoid need for control.