On Writing

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben's Patreon at $10 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

4 thoughts on “On Writing”

  1. That’s great Ben. I will add this to my collection of “evidence” for the value of TPRS. It makes me remember teaching with a book which was set up using PPP (Presentation, Practice and Production). I’m sure there are others out there who had this experience. In the presentation stage a grammar point was given, usually first in a short reading (not usually anything of interest to students) then a grammar focus. This was followed by the practice, which was usually a variety of fill in the blank, finish the sentence, recognize the error, type activities. Then there would be what was supposed to be a communicative activity (Production) meant to elicit the grammar in focus, usually first in speaking, then in writing. I can remember my and my colleagues frustration when few if any students would produce the target grammar or vocabulary (and then most would fail the institutionally produced, multiple choice, accuracy based final exams which were meant to test how well students had gotten the language focus–and how well we had taught it).
    Now with TPRS (or input teaching) I am amazed at what my 7th and 8th graders can do with the language on the timed writings. I don’t tell them what to produce–other than: just tell a story. There is no target grammer per se. (When I read them I am looking for indications of use of things I have introduced and circled, and intelligibility, but not for a grade–as feedback for future stories.) I am amazed when students use “advanced” grammar like “que” as a relative pronoun. I never taught that even as pop-up grammar. They heard it repeatedly, they read it in stories, they produced it spontaneously. It is a far cry from the PPP units about relative pronouns I have explicitly taught (in levels much higher than my “stage 1” Spanish students) that resulted in little if any production using relative pronouns.

  2. And when you say this, Doug, I feel less alone in this seemingly unceasing, homely, strange, and fractious schism with seemingly right thinking people who, without the knowledge and experience we have, and easily taken in by the data clown, yet give themselves permission to judge what we do. God bless their hearts.

  3. Totally what I need to hear right now. I just got two emails from the Spanish teachers in my school, and they are giving their first common writing assessment tomorrow. They asked me if I wanted to help with the rubric (I have another commitment.) But I am bound and determined NOT to have my seventh graders who are LOVING French start hating it because they can’t spell or they don’t use the apostrophe in the right place. I just won’t do it. I’ve already given a common writing assessment in 8th grade (required by my school) and my kids totally panicked (although many of them did will). That affective filter just skyrocketed. So I will give what I have to give (job preservation, CYA) but I won’t make it a big deal and I won’t do it to my 7th graders until I have to.

  4. Your testimony above echoes research that Krashen outlines in his book, The Power of Reading; namely, that writing is not a skill developed via direct instruction, but is instead developed indirectly via a large amount of language input (i.e. reading). It is exactly this type of acquisiton and automaticity that I am so hungry to see come from my students! I still do not understand why I did not see the light sooner on this most fundamental question of language ‘instruction’…actually, I think I did know that its ‘just’ a matter of immersing the students in the language, but I didnt know how to ever make that happen. God bless this TPRS Inner Circle – its truly worth so much.
    Ben: You personally: will you stick with that same amount of writing this year that you mention in the blog post above (very little) or do you plan on more frequent free writes?

Leave a Comment

  • Search

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Related Posts

The Problem with CI

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

CI and the Research (cont.)

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

Research Question

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

We Have the Research

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

$10

~PER MONTH

Subscribe to be a patron and get additional posts by Ben, along with live-streams, and monthly patron meetings!

Also each month, you will get a special coupon code to save 20% on any product once a month.

  • 20% coupon to anything in the store once a month
  • Access to monthly meetings with Ben
  • Access to exclusive Patreon posts by Ben
  • Access to livestreams by Ben