Language Activity Facilitators 1

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13 thoughts on “Language Activity Facilitators 1”

  1. Hmmm…this makes me curious about numbers.. Granted it isn’t really the best way to determine much of anything…but we are very excited in our district because we may (all of the numbers are not in) be offering TWO Spanish 4 classes for the first time in the district’s history next year. ….in an era of declining enrollment!! Two years ago our graduating class was about 135…next year’s freshmen class rolls in at under 100. Percentage difference in students?
    25% reduction.
    Next year’s Spanish 4?
    20% increase!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    (I know I know different classes etc…. ) Generally 15-18% of the entire graduating class remains through Level 4. This year’s seniors the percentage is highter…about 25%. Next year? At least 30%!! For our little rural farming community that is incredible.
    And the reason? Without a doubt is TPRS. CI. Success. Confidence. Interest. and then back to TPRS again…the growth cycle for language acquisition. :o)
    with love,
    Laurie

  2. I don’t mean to take anything away from what you are doing out there, because that is simply awesome to hear. But, I was just talking with a parent of an Iowa H.S. student, and she told me that the three state school are requiring 4 years of language for admission. Now, maybe this isn’t accurate (I know, I SHOULD know) but she thinks so, and so she is pushing her daughter to take 4 years of Spanish. Do you think any of the enrollment increase is due to this?

  3. Take a look at the language choices of incoming freshmen. My overall incoming 9th grade French enrollment is up for September in a year when total enrollment is off by about 50 students – private school. I am thinking that TPRS is a big factor.

  4. In our world a very low percentage of students go on to 4 year schools. For the most part, our 4’s are comprised of the ones that are…although every year I hear from kids (around April) who didn’t take Level 4 and now wish that they had. Overall the world is shrinking every day and I am grateful for whatever reasons they are remaining in class. What I love most, however, is that I no longer hear “Why do I have to take this?”. The first two decades of my teaching career were filled with that question. The most common questions now is “What are we doing today?!” Seriously…what a difference.
    with love,
    Laurie
    P.S. Both our MS and HS principal have taken a very strong pro-TPRS stand in the past few years….whooo hooo!!

  5. I’ve seen you in front of a crowd Laurie, and I do not doubt that kids are flooding into your program mostly because of your delightful presence and strong abilities. And TPRS does rock, no question about that.

  6. Copy that Jim. I don’t know if this might be a factor in the increased Iowa requirements, but David Maxwell, the President of Drake University in Des Moines, may have something to do it.
    I had a few exchanges with him about TPRS some time ago, but that discussion didn’t get anywhere, kind of like the Coalition of Essential Schools people. It surprised me, because Dr. Maxwell is a former director of the National Foreign Language Center in Washington DC, and one would think he might be more open to Dr. Krashen. Hmmm.
    In unrelated news, Dr. Maxwell serves on the Community Board of the Wells Fargo Bank. How cool is that?

    1. I would doubt that Drake Univ would be influencing so much U of Iowa, Iowa State, and UNI, but who knows? Sounds like he would be the “expert” in the room at Iowa university presidents meetings.
      National Foreign Language Center, huh, I’ve never heard of it. You’ve got connections everywhere Ben!

      1. The only connections that have mattered to me have been Krashen and Blaine, of course, but really mainly only Susan Gross and, now that I am in Denver Public Schools, Diana Noonan, who is rocking this district. Those two are at the heart of everything in my opinion. There are big wigs everywhere in the country spouting off about language learning, but, if it ain’t about Krashen and genuine acquisition, then it’s bullshit. See? I couldn’t say that before but now that this is wall is up I can say it. Right on! And thank you for the great programming help to make it happen from Wes Marlan at Lighthouse Web Design – light@lighthousewd.com – and also my good friend Dr. Trevor Van Wyk, the guru behind the entire blog. Thanks guys! I am very happy to be in a small group of people whom I can trust – it makes all the difference!

  7. Thank you for the compliment Jim, but I was the same person teaching the first two decades of my teaching career that I am now. :o) It’s definitely the TPRS!!!
    with love, and so looking forward to getting together with people this summer,
    Laurie

  8. Andrea Westphal

    Laurie, I too teach at a small rural school. This is only my second year teaching French (I used to teach government and economics), and I drank the TPRS Kool-Aid before I took a step into the language classroom. My numbers doubled after my first year, and now we are offering French IV for the first time ever! I attribute all of this to TPRS (and believe me, I’m not very good at it).

  9. Laurie, (and everyone)
    TPRS typically produces a doubling or a tripling of the enrollment in upper levels. Like Laurie said, she was always a kickin’ teacher.
    But TPRS made the language accessible to everyone. And the fact is that most kids enroll in language class because THEY WANT TO LEARN the language. Teachers have consistently underestimated their students by claiming that they only take the language because it is required in college. And they drop as soon as the two-year college requirement has been met.
    I was once invited to give the keynote at the Washington FLTA meeting. I told them that students do NOT enroll because of the college requirement; they actually and truly want to learn the language.
    Evidence:
    1. Blaine walked around a few school and asked the kids them selves why they were enrolled in language class! Huge majority said they want to learn to speak the language. Small minority said because it is required for college.
    2. When taught with CI so that 100% of those who want to be successful can actually succeed, the enrollment in upper levels doubles or triples. Even though the colleges do NOT require students to continue to those upper levels.
    So I pointed out to the teachers that if their enrollment plummets after level two, then they are in fact not giving their customers what they want. The students leave as son as possible.
    Wonder why they never invited me back?
    Ciao,
    Susie

  10. Right on, Susie. In particular this:
    …but TPRS made the language accessible to everyone….
    That concept is powerful. So different from what is actually happening right now in our nation’s classrooms! It is a big reason I am so focused and passionate about this stuff. How it addresses the Achievement Gap fuels my passsion like no other aspect of TPRS.
    By the way, I should say to any very new members of our group family who may not know about Susie and her work:
    Susan Gross is the dean of the whole thing. Her presentations are superb. Blaine invented it, Susie delivers it. We are SO fortunate to have her involved in our small group here. So thank you Susie. Unless you want to, you don’t have to do your homework on the bio blurp thing because most of us are even doing TPRS in large part only because we have heard you speak and you have coached us. I have heard that in privated emails for years now that they went to a Susan Gross workshop and something clicked on a deep level and now they just want to get better at. Bryce and I go back a decade now with you. Actually, it would be fun to read about how you yourself got involved with TPRS. Either way, having you involved here, especially on the video piece as it grows, is going to be VERY important for us. I once watched the Director of the Metropolitan Ballet teach my daughter a lesson. She was retired and living in Myrtle Beach, SC at the time. She seemed to say a very simple correction – just a few words – and all of a sudden as if by magic my daughter’s dancing position would improve a thousand fold in the space of a few seconds. This is what you with your vision of what best CI is can do for us in this blog space and especially on the video. So we look forward to being with you in this space and thanks again for being part of our group and also for all these ten years of mentorship to me, and I am certain that Bryce shares that sentiment.

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