Meredith Gleason

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13 thoughts on “Meredith Gleason”

    1. Jennifer in NJ


      I know we have emailed a few times and you had sent me some things but I can’t remember if you sent me anything like what Meredith is requesting. It’s buried in my mail somewhere. Would it be possible for you to include me in that email as well because I just got the Mark Davies frequency dictionary and was going to backwards plan like Scott Benedict suggests on his site but some pre are plans would help. My email is
      I would so appreciate it! I was just going to ask the PLC for suggestions like this but as always, whatever I’m needing someone else here has already discussed! It’s amazing.

    2. Bradley in NYC


      I’m a 1st year teacher also looking to start TPRS in my second year. I hope you don’t mind that I email you for some of the materials that you use as well. My first year was somewhat CI-based, but I’m looking to do so much more next year.



  1. I was in the same boat as you this year. If I were you, I would look at the tprstalk website. The FAQ section there was VERY helpful as was the section called “must reads.”

    I started TPRS this year with only reading and 2 days of observation under my belt. I was able to jump in and build my materials as we went along and the kids overwhelmingly like it, but they are getting a bit tired after 5 months of stories. It works best with people who have not had Grammar Grind/”communicative” teaching prior but even for those poor victims it works better and it’s a LOT more fun.

  2. Here is a list to make your life easier–all are ideas from this blog and NOT MINE.

    180-day Objective: Students will comprehend and use Spanish to describe preferences, people, places using contextually appropriate vocabulary and grammar.

    Do Now(s): word wall, shoot the shit (¿Cómo estás? Qué tiempo hace hoy? ¿Cúal es la fecha de hoy? ¿Quién tiene noticias?, review vocabulary from day before, do a short retell from the day before, short reading, with Spanish II, III, IV classes I’ll throw up some news headlines from CNN en español, etc…

    New Material: target structures X Y and Z

    Guided Practice: basic story skeleton

    Independent Practice: Retell, Dictado, Draw Pictures and caption them,

    Exit ticket/Assessment: quick quiz, write for 2 mins about the story–this then turns into Laurie’s Embedded Reading.

    Hope this helps. These categories can grow. But if you have to turn in lesson plans, this will help you get there.

  3. Chris, thank you for the website suggestion, I will check it out.

    Drew – thank you! That is definitely a nice way to merge the LP format I’m “supposed” to use at my school and is very helpful for planning. Our periods are going to be 10 minutes shorter next year (something I’m happy about – 65 minutes is an awkward amount of time) and that will fit perfectly with the flow I’m looking for. Definitely going to come back to this as I start planning for summer term and the fall.

    Chill and Jennifer – I will get an email sent out soon!! Thanks!

  4. Robert Harrell

    Meredith’s comment about Scope and Sequence gives me an opportunity to toss out something that I have been pondering. Tell me what you think.

    We all know that a grammar-based Scope and Sequence indicates nothing useful for acquisition. We also know that, as Bertie Segal says, “Language is first of all acoustic”. We further know that receptive skills precede productive skills and that it takes “a flood of input” before students can give a “trickle of output” (Wynne Wong).

    Where I haven’t seen much discussion – and traditional approaches get this all wrong as far as I’m concerned – is in the recognition that both reading and writing are quite different from hearing and speaking, with writing being a skill that develops last.

    So, if I were free to design a Scope and Sequence based on ACTFL, Krashen, SLA, etc., I would have something like the following:

    1. In the first year students are introduced to oral language through interpersonal communication in the target language on topics directly related to them and their immediate environment (e.g. personal description, family, friends, and interests) with the emphasis on hearing and understanding spoken language. (90%+ target language in the classroom and out) As their ability increases, students are given ample opportunity to produce language spontaneously and without coercion. Cultural literacy and competence are developed through embedded culture, just as grammatical and syntactical competence is developed through embedded grammar and syntax. Additionally, students “learn how to learn”, i.e. the conditions and procedures that support maximum acquisition of a language.

    2. In the second year students continue with oral language development through interpersonal and interpretive communication on topics related to the students, their community (including school) and their environment with emphasis on hearing, understanding and responding to spoken language. At this level students are introduced to written language through reading of graded readers. [N.B.: I think this would put most “level 1” readers at the correct level for maximum benefit.] Students are supported by techniques such as Scaffolded Literacy, Embedded Reading, Essential Sentences, and Embedded Culture, Grammar and Syntax.

    3. In the third year students continue developing oral language through interpersonal and interpretive communication on topics related to them and their larger environment with emphasis on hearing, understanding and responding to spoken language. They begin oral presentational communication. Students continue developing literacy and improve their textual interpretive communication skills through reading increasingly complex texts (both graded readers and authentic texts). Toward the end of the year students begin to develop their written presentational skills, aided by such devices as Sentence Frames.

    4. In the fourth year students expand their ability to communicate in all three modes of communication (Interpersonal, Interpretive, Presentational) through listening, speaking, reading and writing about themselves, their environment and the world at large in formal and informal settings. They continue developing cultural literacy and competence as well as their ability to manipulate the language through strategic use of multiple time frames and perspectives. Students also learn how to continue language acquisition in formal and informal settings both inside and outside the classroom.

    Rigor and Relevance are addressed by empowering students to discuss things that relate to them, connect to real life, and are novel, engaging and involving, and then pursue those things in depth with integrity and sustained focus

    I think that I may submit this to my district for consideration as Scope and Sequence for at least French, German and Spanish. It is based on students who are true beginners (not heritage/native speakers such as we have in Spanish and Vietnamese).

    1. I am thinking through this kind of scope & sequence right now, Robert, as I begin to think ahead to next year. I have been thinking about the goals for year 1 especially, and how to explain that (as needed) to 5th graders… my year 1 students. I agree that the first year needs to involve direction instruction on how languages are acquired and I think, how that “feels”. I have concluded that after challenges from older students who didn’t initially think they were “learning.”

      What would you do with quarter-long exploratory classes? I now think it’s somewhat different from a class for acquisition. My exploratory 8-week classes are with very young children – grade 4 – which adds to it. Then they make a choice about which language to take for 4 years.

    2. Sabrina Sebban-Janczak


      I really like your scope and sequence, for several reasons.

      1) It is informed by research and what we know about second language acquisition.
      So The three modes of communications are used in an order that respect the natural order of acquisition. We know that tons of aural input is needed before we can produce some output. So you start introducing Presentational Communication in year three which is very reasonable and doable in a comprehension-based classroom.

      2) The themes that you choose are broad enough and less restrictive than some used in traditional textbooks, yet relevant to the the lives and interests of our high school student population.

      3) It takes into account the idea that its design targets TRUE students of a second/third language and not heritage speakers which always complicates things

      4) Culture and Grammar are both embedded, scaffolded and not viewed as single/discrete items which is the case in traditional classrooms.

      As always Robert, a BIG THANK YOU. Let us know how it is received by your district as it may become a template or a starting point for some of us who would love to be able to design our scope and sequence and align it more with the way we teach.

    3. Robert Harrell

      Thanks Diane, Sabrina and Greg for the replies.

      As with many things on the blog, this is a bit of thinking out loud, and I haven’t ever followed through on this completely. It’s in process, and I simply used Meredith’s question as an opportunity to articulate my thinking.

      Diane, an eight-week course cannot possibly do much in the way of acquisition; on the other hand, I wouldn’t want to sell either the process or the students short. To me, the main goal would be having students experience acquiring the language as both enjoyable and practical.

      Sabrina, I appreciate your observations on the nature of the scope and sequence. I genuinely tried to base it on research and express it in terms that aren’t a straitjacket.

      Greg, as I perceive it, the first-year class reads short texts (a paragraph to a page long) based on stories and PQA. I guess you could call it pre-literacy. It’s sort of a nod to our text-based society because if Krashen and Ben are correct, the entire novice-low (and into novice-mid) period should be aural and oral. Still, the major emphasis is on oral language rather than written language.

      1. Robert I love this! I am definitely going to use it next week in our department meeting. I know that “Curriculum Mapping” is on the admin. agenda, so thank you for this timely piece.

        I especially appreciate the reminder about the heavy aural/oral emphasis in year 1. I remember Krashen and Ben saying that ideally level 1 should be all aural/oral. But definitely using shorter texts as opposed to novels is the way to go. I have made the mistake 2 years in a row of introducing too much reading too early. No more though!

        You are so great at distilling things to their essence. I cannot express how helpful this is to me.

        Separate subject…stay tuned for some student feedback on Pirata del Norte. It is part of the final exam 🙂

  5. Thanks for sharing, Robert! Your descriptions for each year are a huge help in organizing my thoughts in terms of what my over-arching focus should be each year to guide what my students are doing. I’m printing this out to use as a reference when I have to explain my goals and/or rationale to administrators. It’s short, sweet, and concise. AND, it leaves room for the teacher to practice their craft creatively and tailored to the students. This is a true scope and sequence, unlike other scope and sequences I’ve seen before which are essentially nothing more than vocab topic areas and grammar sequences.

    I do have one question. It seems like you don’t do any reading at all with your first years. Is that true? You mention finding that the “level 1” readers have maximum benefit in year 2, which makes sense. But, do you do anything with your level 1’s as “pre-reader” reading (i.e., short readings based on PQA or stories)? Would love to know your thoughts.

  6. Carmen Ordonez


    This will be my first year teaching Spanish in a small private school. I will be teaching Preschool to 8 grade.
    I will be using TPRS/CI aproach. I will build my own curriculum and I have been thinking about lesson plans and I do not know where to start.. .

    Would you like to e-mail me samples of your lesson plans. I have some ideas but I would like to see a sample.

    I will appreciate your help.

    Muchas gracias,
    Carmen ordonez

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