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35 thoughts on “PLC Map”

  1. A suggestion: can we add a quick link (at the top of every page, like where it now has Home, Training, Videos, etc) that says “PLC Member Map” or something?

    1. I like that idea. I see, Diane, that you a green pin for your location. I think it would be cool if all Chinese teachers marked themselves with a green pin. And red is a good color for Spanish.

  2. So Jessica and the Latinists, do you choose lavender?
    French yellow?
    Spanish red?
    Chinese green?
    Speak up now before this is all decided. One thing to keep in mind however is that for us to work together regionally in meaningful ways we can work across language groups and in fact it is better that we do, because a lot of our regional coaching will take the form of teaching each other our languages.

        1. Does the age of a language matter? I like the sound of the language – to me that is what makes it cool. What makes a language cool, class? That’s right! How it sounds!
          I feel like we have the right colors. Any dissenters? So, last call:
          Chinese: green
          Germans: burgundy
          French : yellow
          Latin: lavender
          Spanish: red
          Gaelic: light purple

          1. I went with light purple to represent the Scottish thistle that helped the Gaels fight off the Norse if one believes the legends. 🙂 However, any color works for me since I’m quite a minority just now.

          2. Jason you may be in the minority but if you read in the categories here devoted to endangered languages you will see that the passion of the members of this group for sleeping languages is intense, to say the least. We went through a thing with the Sauk Nation of Oklahoma a few years ago that was really intense.
            You see, it’s different now. Languages don’t have to go to sleep forever. Languages can finally wake up. Look at the Latinists here! We in the PLC strongly feel that the work we are doing can help wake any language from its temporary slumber. So the fact that you are there in Scotland teaching Gaelic is of intense importance to us in this group.
            According to Wikipedia (
            …the 2001 census of Scotland showed that a total of 58,652 (1.2% of the Scottish population aged over three years old)[7] in Scotland could speak Gaelic at that time,[8] with the Outer Hebrides being the main stronghold of the language. The census results indicate a decline of 7,300 Gaelic speakers from 1991. Despite this decline, revival efforts exist and the number of younger speakers of the language has increased.[9]….
            That means that in your region over 50,000 people still speak Scottish Gaelic. To me this is a figure of immense significance and importance. There is real hope in that number.
            What you are doing in trying to learn and apply comprehension based instruction in your classroom takes on an entirely different tone than the one we who are not in your situation experience in teaching. Like someone said here about three weeks ago (Sean? James?), it must be intense for you to have the weight of a civilization on your shoulders. No pressure, dude….
            I said in a comment earlier today, in a joking response to a comment by Diane, that the age of a language is less important than the beauty of its sound. Both are deeply important. I have heard Gaelic spoken in movies and it makes me want to weep when I think that it may disappear from the earth. And so it has both great beauty and great age, and that makes it a special language among languages.
            And we who are in a real position to help you and thus help the Gaelic language wake up, because we no longer use the failed methods of past centuries to instruct our students, must do so with loyalty to you and determination.
            Here is an idea. If we each donated $10 to a “Gaelic Fund” here we could get you to a summer conference next July. Just thinking aloud. You could stay with someone in Chicago for NTPRS next year or come to Denver for iFLT, or both. We could try to get Blaine to give you a full scholarship and talk Carol into something as well. Why not? I see no reason why a group comprised of almost 300 members cannot think in those terms, given what is at stake.
            So yes, you may be in the minority here, but you are intensely important to us and the work you are doing on that Scottish island, the real work of reaching really important kids in the real way with this real method, is not unnoticed. The fact that you represent such a minority brings immediate critical status to your work and we in this group should do all we can to get you the training you need.
            And your choice of “light purple to represent the Scottish thistle that helped the Gaels fight off the Norse” – that is just poetry. Any window into the past will be opened only with the hands of language. Does this not make our work important?
            Sorry, didn’t mean to go off on a rant there. But I know that I am not the only reader here who, when seeing the word Gaelic, when hearing the word Gaelic, pays attention. It’s because of those who lived before.

          3. Great idea for us all to chip in for Jason’s trans-Atlantic expedition!
            I love the thistle connection, too! Thanks for the poetic image, Jason.
            So, why did you choose yellow for French, Ben? Tournesols? Fromage?

          4. Hey Jason, I live in Chicago (real close to downtown) and extend a warm invite for you to stay at my home if you decide to go to the NTPRS conference here this coming summer. Please do consider this. Feel free to send me an email (
            You said you’ll teach me some Gaelic? Well, it’s a deal then.

          5. Wow. I’m touched that you folks would want to support me. It means a great deal to me.
            Sean, cheers for the warm invite! I would be most happy to teach you some Gaelic if I can make it over to Chicago this summer. I’m heading back to the states to visit friends and family anyway and will see if I can make a plan around NTPRS (and possibly iFLT!) once the dates are published.
            Thank you again for the invite!

  3. I picked burgundy for German, since red and gold/yellow (as in the German flag) were already taken. And black is just so boring. If anybody prefers a different color for German, go right ahead 😉

  4. I love this map idea! What is the link to a previously-mentioned Carol Gaab map of teachers?
    My next question may make sense to ask here. If not, delete it and move it to the forum. . .
    Does anyone have an accurate sense for how the number of TPRS/TCI teachers has changed since Blaine started TPRS? I would like to get a sense of the percentage of primary and secondary teachers teaching with CI, i.e. how much of a cult are we? haha.
    I’m sure this would be hard to measure. . . I don’t mean the number of teachers attending workshops, because more often than not, those attending teachers don’t ever try, give up on TPRS, or consider TPRS just 1 more tool in their box of junk. And you can’t just count the number of teachers on the moretprs listserv, since many aren’t active and being a member doesn’t mean you teach with CI.

  5. I don’t know if Carol still has that map up. I couldn’t find it at her site It had people by state on the moretprs listserve.
    I would venture that the number is indeed very small on who is actually walking the walk on this work. Like you imply Eric, most (1 of every 100 according to Susan Gross) take a look and walk away. Of the few who stick, most don’t stick long. So we are indeed a very small cult. Although that word is probably not accurate, since a cult is generally skewed away from what is good in people in some way, and we, as a small group trying to make a good career for ourselves with valid and honest and real instruction for our kids, are doing much good work. Even those who oppose us, when they see it done right, have nothing to say but good things. When they see really involved kids, they can’t argue with that. But yeah, I think we are far fewer than we may think. But nothing good happens fast. I would like to hear how others with experience in the trenches respond to this question.

    1. My sense is that there are a lot of Chinese teachers interested in or dabbling with TPRS and CI methods, but not many who do this entirely. Most who are partially there feel a need for more training and concrete samples (watching others teach), but they think it’s good teaching and would like to be more successful at it. I am very hopeful that will happen over time as those of us a little more experienced keep helping others who are newer.
      I heard once that the TPRS % of German teachers was really a high proportion for a minority — like 33% or something? I think that Chinese has to go that way, too, personally. It’s another language that intimidates, and with the considerable differences from English, you can’t fudge your way through at all. Traditional instruction will be a great hurdle to any but the 4%ers to learning Chinese.

    2. How many TPRS/TCI teachers are out there? I certainly don’t know but I have a student, Ahmani, who said that her sister’s Spanish teacher teaches this way in a state university in Missouri. Ahmani’s buy-in to my teaching style most definitely brought the others in the class on board (super-valuable). And my English teacher colleague said her German teacher at the University of IL – Chicago taught TPRS (funny thing… this colleague of mine tried a “Teach Like a Pirate” day to teach her ‘College Writing’ class German by trying out the TPRS method). AND the wife of the dean at my school supposedly presents at conferences with Blaine Ray while teaching Spanish at a charter HS on the South Side of Chicago.
      I’m very lucky to be around these people at my school who are familiar with this good stuff, especially because the principal at my old school once said to me during an evaluation-conference, “I don’t want to hear you talk about TPRS again!”
      A friend (in his late 30s) told me a few years ago how much he loved his French class (in Highland Park HS… affluent suburb on the North Shore of Chicago) because the teacher just had relaxed conversations with the students. It hits me know just how significant this teacher was. Take note; we’re talking about the early 90s. Where the heck is that teacher so I can expose her to the world and give her an award?

      1. Your dean’s wife is maybe Tawanna now-I-forgot-her-last-name? She was going to present on classroom management at a conference I attended last summer, but something made it impossible for her to be there. She’s a South Side Spanish teacher though.

        1. Yup, that’s her, Diane. Tawanna serves as an instructional coach at her school. Classroom management must be her thing since her administration wants her to share her know-how with the rest of the staff there.
          Classroom management (note: an over-used, tiresome term) is unique with us TPRS/ CI teachers. When students in other subjects spend a lot of time in small group dynamics and in presentation dynamics, that is not the case with us. We have to keep our students attentive and engaged in the spoken word, spoken by the teacher. I’m realizing how unique of a talent it is we have.
          I’m reminded of a school counselor in a West Side Chicago school I taught at a couple of years ago impressing upon us teachers that we had many normal-seeming students who frequently hear voices in their heads. These voices that students hear arise from experiences of abuse and neglect at their homes. I remember it being something like 20% of our kids at the time. How do you teach these kids? How do you expect them to respond to you? I’d like to think that we can help them escape from their troubles in our classrooms; escape with the fun stories we create and “cute” comments we share and personalized dialogues.
          I just wish those people in power that are closing schools in Chicago acted upon what they know to be true in their hearts: our most troubled kids need stability in their neighborhood schools.

  6. I’ve noticed that some members have 2 pins on the map, one right next to the other. Ben had that going on (which I think was my fault), and I went ahead and deleted one of them. I’m inclined to go ahead and delete the extra pin others have, unless anyone objects.

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