Colorado LEAP Appendix

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11 thoughts on “Colorado LEAP Appendix”

  1. Oh, thank you Ben! Your timing is wonderful. I just had a pretty disenheartening meeting where the “grammar dragon” of the high school ranted for nearly 20 minutes (including the phrase “and I don’t like what ACTFL is doing”). I came out thinking that I need to keep doing what I am doing, to the point where my students and their grasp of real language are impossible to ignore, but the feeling that battle may be imminent. I generally prefer life under the radar, but just in case, thanks for the ammo!

    1. Just don’t waste your ammo on dragons. We know that dragons don’t exist any longer. I’ve been taking aim at dragons for a long time in embarrassingly quixotic fashion. I’m slowly learning to not do that, and the privacy of our group has helped in that interest more than I would have ever imagined. Of course, if the dragon attacks, then that’s another thing. Always keep your weapon loaded.

      1. I’m going through this TPRS vs. Traditional category and reading this comment made me think of another metaphor here.

        You said that you’ve been taking aim at these dragons (which don’t exist any longer) in quixotic fashion. Which made me think. These “grammar dragons” are nothing more than those “giants” that Don Quijote saw. However we know that they were not giants, they were windmills. Much like how dragons don’t exist, these windmills are no longer functional. I read that many of the windmills ceased to function throughout the 1900s, some as early as 1910, some in the 80s. It begs the question, is it even worth our energy to fight those “giants” when all they are are old windmills from a bygone era that no longer function, serve no purpose (although the ones in Spain are beautiful). Don Quijote looked like a kook fighting those “giants”. Sometimes we’re looked upon as “occultists”. Those windmills no longer function, it was figured out decades ago by a few people, mainly Krashen. So he started breaking ground on a wind turbine factory, knowing that those old decrepit windmills weren’t going to be getting anything done. Blaine Ray was in R&D in that wind turbine factory. He took Krashen’s research on the failing windmills and a blueprint for a new type of windmill and he came up with this really efficient wind turbine. He started training people on building and using this turbine. As more people got involved over the years, the turbines evolved as the employees in this factory starting trying different things, tweaking how the turbines work and we now have these great working wind turbines. The problem is that those old windmills have been standing their forever. And although they don’t work anymore, they just won’t crumble. Some windmills have deteriorated and been replaced with these turbines. Some turbines have been put right beside these old windmills and those old windmills are blocking the wind from hitting these turbines, preventing these turbines from showing just how efficient they can be. And in many areas, people think those old windmills work just fine, they’ve worked that way for decades, they just need some new parts, new motors, maybe they need to be computerized a little bit….that’ll do it! But no, the days of those windmills are over. They will eventually crumble and fall and the sleek, efficient wind turbines will take their place. They aren’t dragons. They aren’t giants. They’re just old, decrepit, deteriorating windmills of a bygone era.

        1. Mark Knowles (U of Colorado blog member) asked me this:

          …but what can moles do? What is there to fear from them? Is it not more the case that the moles have a reason to fear TPRS?….

          Of course, the moles that we are trying to keep from getting into our PLC (I’m up to 48 deletions and still working on it so get your bios in) don’t want those old windmills to be torn down because they are their homes. I answered Mark’s question with this:

          …three of us have ended up in principal’s offices, charged by ignorant moles to be breaking ranks with their ways, and when there are nine of them and one of us, we can (I know of two that have) lose our jobs by the ignorance of these “colleagues”. I myself had to leave East High School basically for that reason, although I chose to leave bc the emotional toll (8 grammarians vs. 2 of us) was destroying my mental health and I’m still in recovery from that and I don’t say that lightly, believe me. So your point is well taken, but at the high school and middle school levels the old guard is still in charge with the weapons in their hands and taking pot shots at us, which seems an odd choice given the way the wind is blowing right now in our favor….

  2. This is right on, in so many ways. Open enough to not be suffocating, but focused on the important stuff, teachers communication with class in TL 90% of time.

  3. I am amazed and so pleased that this stuff is in a formal document. Ah–vindication after so many years of ignominy.

    Could someone (Ben/Diana/Colorado folks) explain:

    ā€¢ Creativity, critical thinking, and innovation can be observed in the following ways.

    I don’t see anything after that entry that tells what those “ways” are. Thank you.

  4. It didn’t hurt that the two former DPS (East High School) AP language teachers, Diana Noonan and Meredith Richmond, were major forces in the creation of this document. If Diana and Meredith, who have had this model in their minds for well over a decade, can quietly each year influence, mold and craft such important governmental statements to actually align with current research about what we know to be true about how people acquire languages, then there is much room for hope. I am amazed at those two on a personal level, because they are truly fearless and, when dragonly confronted (I have seen this first hand), they don’t bristle, they smile kindly and then state the case in no uncertain terms for comprehensible input. If I had to be in a war, I would want these two commanding my unit. They are strong. Come and meet them this summer at iflt here in Colorado!

  5. One other comment – in the original CO LEAP Framework, there was a one-size-fits-all statement for all disciplines that talked about the importance of getting kids talking a lot. We don’t do that. They have to listen first, in my view for at least one year and preferably two before the language fantastically emerges as we know (because we’ve seen gifted students pass the language AP exam in one case by a second year student and often by third year CI students). So that had to be addressed in the Appendix. Just another revelation about the the Cookie Cutter monster plaguing our dialogue in education today.

  6. WOW! This is incredible. We are in the middle of our NEASC self-study, and next year will be when we get the visitations or whatever they are. This document will come in handy for sure šŸ™‚

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