Job Security

Typically, teachers who go to the trouble of making TPRS work for them experience, as a result of that effort, larger class sizes. There is no need to even mention, in this regard, the precipitous drops experienced in traditional classes – it is a fact.
In a large suburban Denver high school, 89% of students quit their foreign language study at the end of two years. If it’s not required, they don’t want any part of it.
Without the language requirement, few traditional language classes would exist anywhere – the product has too thick a coating of boring on it. But, in classes where TPRS is done properly, the product doesn’t suck at all – students enjoy learning a language, and class sizes go up.
In a large downtown Denver high school, in the period from 1999 to 2004, when Blaine Ray was traveling regularly to this school to train teachers and there was a lot of TPRS activity, the number of AP Spanish students went from around 20 to over 80.
The next time you wonder if you should have ever tried TPRS in the first place, think of TPRS as your job security, especially if you are not a Spanish teacher. We guarantee our jobs when we make learning enjoyable for our students.
At some point, language teachers actually have to deliver a viable product, and TPRS is shown to do that. The clientele in languages is starting to smell the stink and give a much closer look at the language products that schools offer. This can only be very good news for us in storytelling.



2 thoughts on “Job Security”

  1. Well put. I tried to make this point on a list serve a few months ago. I said at some point people fall out of love with our classes, as proven by retention numbers, and we need to look at what we are doing to engage students. Of course I was poopooed for a bogus argument.
    I do think retention in our departments are indicative of our successes. So much of it has to do with the negative attitude of level 2. Traditionally it’s a difficult level. Present tense, past tenseS, indirect object pronouns, gustar-type verbs, verbs that stem change in the present and past, direct object pronouns–all things that students really don’t care about.
    I work too hard to have kids turned off… I want my students back.

  2. I have even heard that level two is hard even for TPRS teachers. I heard it from Anne Matava once, and from a few others. Comments? I know what levels I feel best at – 1 and 3.

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