Deena Swenson

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5 thoughts on “Deena Swenson”

  1. Hi Deena,

    Where are you in New York? We are in Washington CT, which is close to the NY border. If you would like to come visit our department I would be happy to show you what TPRS looks like at our school. School starts on the 26th, but I can make time before then to show you how we do things. (Note: don’t expect perfection! We are in transition as well)


    1. Heidi,

      Thanks so much for the invite! I’m in the Finger Lakes with two kids, 12 and 10. I would love to come and visit, I’m not sure the sweetie and the kids would appreciate my absence! I look forward to learning a little bit every day, so I’ve been reading all of the posts from the “Beginning the Year” category. I’m also reading Ben’s book “Stepping Stones” and the related PLC posts. I feel like I’m getting a handle on starting out…and I’m beginning to work out a plan for the first couple of weeks of school. As soon as I learn what my schedule is, I will be the able to see when I can work on planning and tweaking lessons throughout the day. Thanks again for the invite!!


  2. Welcome! If you want your kids to love the language, this definitely is the way to go. I’ve gotten a lot of “this is ‘murica, speak American!” type kids who initially didn’t want anything to do with Spanish eventually really like it and want to continue taking it

  3. Hi Deena,
    Welcome! Last school year at this time I was in about your place. I’d done some CI/TPRS type things, mixed with forced output and textbook drills, and then switched over completely for last school year. I have found this PLC to be incredibly helpful in implementing Comprehensible Input of all kinds in the real world of my Chinese classes. One difference is I have 5 levels to teach, and it sounds like you have just beginners. That would be awesome, because you can learn during the day and tweak things in later classes. Then again, each class has its personality, so some things click with one group, others with another.

    One thing I wasn’t really expecting was that some older classes of mine had some pushback. Another thing was that I thought they’d retain more than they had from previous years (one reason for the pushback – that and they needed to perceive more variety and shorter times for each activity – my students are middle school kids). You may not have those problems since they are new to language learning (?)… but it might still benefit you to explain how your teaching and expectations for them will help them acquire Spanish, and what it will feel like. Some of them will think it should mentally feel like math or science class, when it’s going to be more like drama or band class, and they’ll think it means they aren’t “learning anything” because they don’t realize it.

    Also, I point out to my students how awesome they are doing as they make breakthroughs (praise blesses them and reinforces that this stuff works). I had a great time with my younger students last year. They had an exciting level of real language ability by the end of year 2 with me – all students were better, and some students way ahead of previous years’ class superstars.

  4. ^like

    I started TPRS in Feb after lots of reading and after watching a whopping 6 TPRS classes. In June I threw out 15 years’ worth of “communicative” and other crap. I’m all in like a poker player with 4 aces: TPRS works MILES better than anything else.

    Make sure you explain the method, and why you’ve committed to it. Kids will be interested in how this new stuff works. I asked me kids “OK show of hands, please– whose parents gave them grammar worksheets when they were two?”

    Good luck and ask us all questions: ¡juntos sí se puede!


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