Report From The Field – Chris Roberts

I saw this on moretprs. A cambridge study saying that language learning is unconscious:

In other news, I went to a workshop today with Teri Wiechart.  It was a session for teachers who are already using TPRS and it was, what she called, a “teacher talk” session where she answered questions about our problem areas or anything bothering us.  It was great.  I’ve had a lot of previous contact with her before and she asked me if I wanted to practice circling in front of everybody and get coached. I obliged.  It’s scary to do that, especially with natives in the room, but I think I did okay, she was very complimentary and praising, it was nice.  One of the best things about the workshop was I got to meet Jeff Brickler and Tamula Drumm of our PLC!  They are great people and I was very happy to be able to meet them.  Hopefully I’ll be able to meet more members of our PLC in the future.  We talked up the PLC quite a bit (I felt comfortable doing so because there weren’t any teachers from my district) so you might see an influx of Ohioans.

Speaking of Ohio, has the regional coaching workshops with you, Bryce and Sabrina idea fallen through?

Chris Roberts




7 thoughts on “Report From The Field – Chris Roberts”

  1. Thanks for posting that, Chris. It was so much fun to meet Chris and Jeff. It was like we are part of the Ben Slavic PLC family. We shared a lot of what we have learned here. I talked about the dictee and Jeff talked about the jobs, among other things. Chris did a great job of getting coached in front of all the other teachers . . . I would never have been brave enough!

    Ben, do you need me to resend my bio?

  2. Yes, Thank you Chris! It was so nice to meet you and Tamala. It was great to see so many people devoted to the same cause. Chris did an awesome job circling with one of our participants. I was really impressed.

    I was also glad to get the validation that I needed. It is so difficult to be a lone man teaching this way. I am the only one in my district and I am the only Latin teacher in the city, maybe even the state doing it this way.

    Thanks to everyone here. I really enjoyed Saturday although I spent four hours driving up, four hours at the session and four hours back. I would do it again.


  3. Funny Chris should include that link. Just today, I mentioned something to a colleague about a curriculum guide from a different district we were told to consider. In every unit, the most students were expected to be able to do with the language seemed to be memorize. We agreed we should just tweak our own. I told the colleague that I felt that memorization was so low on Bloom’s that it upset me to think we’d consider adopting it as our own. She nodded and then said, “…But memorization does play a role in acquisition. It’s important.” (I’m paraphrasing slightly.) my response was that memorization and acquisition are two separate things. What else would you have said? I felt awkward.

  4. Her goal was and is to keep you feeling awkward as long as she can. That’s just the way she rolls. But memorization is the opposite of higher order thinking, which takes place up the taxonomy while the real work is done without the brain even realizing it is acquiring, in the deeper mind. So however she frames it (“memorization does play a role in acquisition”) she will be wrong. Memorization plays no role in acquisition, bc it is a cerebral activity done by the conscious mind, whereas true and real acquisition takes place in the unconsious mind as a result of rigorous focus on meaning in class via context. She loses. But, if she made you feel awkward, I guess she won something. Bless her heart.

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