NT 1

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11 thoughts on “NT 1”

  1. Ben, you are one of my heroes like Tina, James Asher and Stephen Krashen.

    I believe you can’t imagine how grateful I am to have found your PLC and your NT-approach. And my only misgiving is that I didn’t find you much earlier – have you been hiding from me? – I hope not!!
    I encountered targeted TPRS only last year after 27 years of searching for better ways to bring the language across and bought Susan Gross’ DVDs on recommendation. I was fascinated by her performance and decided that this was my dream come true, but at the same time I already felt apprehensive of the amount of circling requested. And then my guiding angel brought me to you. I bought your first books and by readindg and rereading them in a short time I got convinced that you were true to your word and I got the feeling that you made an effort to be not judgemental (hope it’s the right word). Only then did I join your PLC (and realised that you had moved on to NT-work) and have never been disappointed so far.

    I hope you’ll live a long and healthy life bc your experience is invaluable to every teacher who can listen to you with an open mind!!!

  2. It’s a subtle observation Udo about my hiding. I was not hiding but rather buried under the TPRS hoopla. I don’t mean that as negative toward TPRS, but as it all got “heavier” (heavy circling vs. Blaine’s original vision, for example, w more and more targeting happening each year) I felt more and more alone, weird, an outcast within a very strong TPRS district in Denver Public Schools.

    Nobody seemed to know or care that I was in the closet with the ideas that have taken form w the Invisibles. All I know was when I came out of the NT closet I felt, finally, to have found my real teaching self. The fear of teaching a story was literally gone w the Invisibles.

    BUT w/o Tina, whose mercurial wisdom and ability to use the internet to share and defend and illustrate all the NT strategies that were born and tested here on this PLC (an example is the ever-changing work of art that I consider the Classroom Rules to be), I would have retired in 2016 and never looked back.

    Thanks for the kind words. I can report to you that you fall into a very small percentage of people who have validated what I can now see is the very purpose of my forty years in the classroom, where most would rather attack. It is wonderful to read, esp. here on my own site which has served so long to further honest discussion. Thank you.

    I would rather be acknowledged in this way by a few like you who obviously have done your own deep and ruthless search to find what teaching means to you, than be acknowledged by large groups of teachers who – no blame – see it more as a popularity contest about winning a war of IDEAS devoid of a real schema, process, or FLOW in the classroom, one that we can actually DO with confidence and a happy heart.

    This work, in order to mean anything to me, at least, as one individual, and I really have taken 40 years to grasp this, must be about compassionate FLOW and loving human interchanges, and not about delivering instructional services.

    1. The way you express yourself shows me again that I have found THE community of dedicated teachers and persons I’ve been looking for during the long years of my teaching life. I don’t feel alone any longer although it would be even nicer to meet you face to face.
      I’ve partnered up with a colleague of mine (we have the two groups of one class) and she is so open to all this kind of work and this also is good for me/the two of us bc we meet once a week and talk about the kids and what we are doing.

        1. Thanks! Lovely Beatle song, great pictures!

          Instead of “the long years of my teaching life” I believe I should have said “the long and lone years”.
          I assume that many teachers feel alone bc the majority of teachers (colleagues) don’t seem to be interested in language aquisition research (eg I have yet to meet a Waldorf teacher who is interested in the research) and I actually don’t understand that. Perhaps their workload is too much, they are stressed out. Maybe another reason is the education of teachers – I don’t know.

  3. Ben, I first was exposed to TPRS via my old jaded master teacher who only told stories in the TL with Gaab’s Cuentamemas — book. No Breaks, no personalization etc… I then looked for much more and couldnt find anything only you.

    The main push for me to learn more was through this PLC! It is a treasure trove of wisdom, survival and distilled tears and sweat. Thank you Ben. I am having an awesome year with OWI, Special chair and NT in general.

  4. The last few months have been transformational for my career. Since finding this PLC, reading lots and then attending a workshop with you and Tina, I have discovered a freeing way of teaching a language that includes all learners and values them for who they are. It feels very natural to me to teach this way and I know that my students like coming to French class. Thank you for putting yourself out there, taking the risks to do things differently and share it with others and to make us question what we’re doing.

    That said, there are still pieces I’m struggling with, but I hope that I’ll be able to figure it out with time and more experience.

    You have no idea the gratitude I feel towards you and Tina. It truly has changed my career path as well as my personal life.

  5. Thank you Dana. Just a few hours ago Tina and I were talking about positive people and Tina said how much she wanted you to come back here and work in Portland and she asked me how long you would stay in Delhi and I said it may depend on the pollution as it did in my case and then we remembered you are Canadian so we got bummed out.

  6. Ha ha! If I were to move to the US, the only place I’d consider living would be Oregon. I think it’s the only place that would support my hippie ways! 😀 If we can’t handle the pollution, we’ll be heading somewhere else overseas. This lifestyle is for us. I was thinking that once I get more experience under my belt, I’ll try to bring this to more international schools. I need some longitudinal data to prove that this way of teaching will help students succeed in the IB Diploma program. It’ll be interesting times!

    1. All the HS teachers at the American Embassy School thought I was a weirdo but wait until those current 8th graders you have – my sixth graders – get to them. Then, as I hope happens in the Atlanta Public Schools, they see what CI can do FOR THEM when the kids started out with it so early w input, input and more input. Then their vertical alignment meetings might have some substance. But most of those kids in those diplomat families rotate out after three years so they won’t ever know. Dommage!

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