Cherokee This Summer

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9 thoughts on “Cherokee This Summer”

    1. I know it sounds stupid to ask about native speakers, but where I am there are (few) native speakers of Cherokee. It’s not a dead language, just threatened. In fact, there’s a Cherokee language school about an hour from my school-except it’s an “immersion” school. I’m fascinated by what programing works in Native-American communities.

  1. The Sauk language sessions in St. Louis are forever etched in my heart. There seems to be a whole other layer or realm to witness people sharing their language that has been passed to them by their ancestors. Everything in those sessions was visceral. I can’t explain it. Maybe I am imagining. But it feels very different to me. Like there is a deep reverence for the story or maybe the act of sharing it.??? Anyone else notice this??? I don’t know if Kate is still on here, but she is another one who was working to keep her language flowing to the next generation. Not Sauk, but ??? begins with an M and is from Florida.

    1. Yes, jen! It was visceral! I felt like I was transported to a very different time and place when learning from Wade Blevins in St. Paul last summer.

      1. Agreed. That was the evening I was going to go to bed early, and I think I stayed up the latest of all nights b/c it was so great to hear and understand Cherokee. I can still feel the rhythm of it.

        1. Learning some Creek, or Mvskove with Kate Taluga, one late night in St Louis (along with talented Clarice) might well have been one of the most helpful lessons at that conference. I understood right then that French to my bear cubs, must sound like Creek to me.

  2. “I don’t buy the commonly accepted idea that training someone in this work has to be complicated.”

    Actually, I tend to agree with you here. People have been acquiring language through comprehensible input ever since Babel, ever since there was more than one language to speak. If two people want to communicate and do everything they can imagine to be comprehensible, it works. Comprehensible input boils down to having a conversation with someone who doesn’t speak your language but wants to understand. All the rest, circling,Pqa, etc., etc., are techniques that are sometimes very helpful, particularly in a classroom. And I think that all the workshops and training and methods and coaching, etc. won’t help someone who has not grasped the simple essence at the heart of all acquisition.

    1. I think new people expect it to be complicated. We expect to have to go to trainings and spend inordinate amounts of time learning because we’re doing something so unique.

      The extra stuff that goes with doing something different..bullying, mental health, redefining S&S, communicating with parents and administrators: those are the real “hard part” of teaching TPRS.

      TPRS is not that hard to teach, but it is hard to be different. If you are the only teacher in your building or district (or the only ESL teacher using TPRS nationwide-what’s with that? How is this possible?!)… it gets lonely. Scary and lonely, so we over-compensate, over-plan, and over-conference ourselves out of fear.

      I said it before and I’ll say it again, Ben inviting people to a training session and then getting them here is genius.

  3. Training by way of explanation of the parts, steps, and procedures is similar to language learning by way of explanation of the language. It was realized at some point that it was better just to start TPRS-ing with participants playing either the role of student or the role of observer. When the learners are ready we can do pop-up procedure explanations, following Susan Gross’ dictum to only teach grammar when the students ask for explanation.

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