Safely Arrived!

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47 thoughts on “Safely Arrived!”

  1. Hi Ben!
    So happy to see you arrived safe and sound in India.
    Can’t wait to hear how it all goes for you and the differences in educational system over there.
    Just finished a lovely conference in Agen as well as my immersion workshop.
    Fabulous two weeks in southwest France.
    Happy to see old friends like Martin, Chill, Anny Ewing, Teri, Nina and many more as well as making new friends. Finally got to meet the one and only Robert Harrell. There were 47 teachers from 13 countries, just amazing. Amazing presentations, including one on vPQA by Chill.
    I’m in Paris for a few more days and then return to Chicago and Denver.
    Good luck to all returning to school in the next few days!

  2. So glad to hear from both you and Sabrina!!! Take it easy Ben….you are going to be there for a while!!! Force yourself to meditate, listen to music…whatever it takes. You will need your energy back in the classroom. Can’t wait to hear how it goes for you and Landen once school starts.
    with love,
    Laurie

  3. Wow.
    Ben, I really admire what you are doing. Going to the other side of the planet and sharing your gifts as a teacher is awesome. Glad you made it there safely and I am jealous that you will be have the opportunity to teach with Linda! Support is everything!
    The conferences were WONDERFUL this year. We have an amazing community of teachers. I get the feeling that TCI is now in its rightful place as an effective perspective of teaching language. The diligent work and plural efforts of all the caring teachers is now starting to show/grow everywhere.
    I hope everyone gets some rest before heading…I also look forward to hearing what others took away from both conferences….

  4. Glad you enjoyed the Tour de France but…. The problem delay caused a cascade of debacles causing me to miss my train to Agen – trying to cross Paris during the end of the great race is a bad idea. Bottom line… I was “forced” to spend the night , last Sunday, in Paris. Hope you were not staying near Montparnasse or I will be very sad to have missed you. About the CI acronym. I almost prefer the unapologetic TPRS. I learned this week that teaching with CI is in the eye of the practitioner! Bonne route mon ami!

    1. Chill, I watched over the years as the CI/TCI acronym took hold in Denver over the TPRS term and quietly felt as if it was just really TPRS. As the term CI widens in its definition to reflect what is becoming a more and more diffuse cloud I wonder what the correct term should really be. Perhaps neither. I just very much appreciate your observation here:
      …I almost prefer the unapologetic TPRS. I learned this week that teaching with CI is in the eye of the practitioner!….
      What if everyone starts doing their own version of CI and the cloud gets bigger? Then the attention to the genius of the Three Steps of TPRS, which are the true DNA of this way of teaching – establishing meaning of one or two verbal structures only, creating something from them in which every sentence we say has one of the structures in it, and then creating a reading in which the driving force of the reading are those same structures – might be lost, the cloud might become far more diffuse than it is even now, and off we go into subjectivity and the eventual loss of our treasure.
      Just sayin’.
      And yeah we were a few metro stops from each other. Could have had dinner that night! I was over there at Maubert-Mutualité having found a little Air bnb for $70 a night a stone’s throw from St. Michel and the heart of the Latin Quarter. Dude. Oh well. I am really glad to see things poppin’ in Agen. Agen right now seems like the old days of early TPRS when, as Laurie famously said, we felt like we were all going to summer camp to hang out with our friends. I would think people crazy not to plan for Agen next year if they can fit it in.
      I’m very glad you presented on vPQA. I’m glad you get it. Those who want to add another set of booster rockets to their year will be doing lots of vPQA this year. I certainly will! Congrats on the Agen conference, ya’ll!
      How could it not be a big hit given that Sabrina was there, right?
      Judy – La Reine de France
      Sabrina – La Reine de Paris
      Chill – La Reine de New Jersey

  5. “What if everyone starts doing their own version of CI and the cloud gets bigger?”
    Actually, I think we need that bigger cloud. I can only imagine NOT having to explain myself to other language teachers, and that seems great. If there’s another way to do CI, we can separate ourselves by fousing on those magical three steps. Still, there would be a general consensus that just isn’t there right now.
    I am looking to get TESOL certification in order to expand local teaching options, but in the end it feels like an issue of [insert language here]-teaching along side people who don’t embrace CI.

    1. I agree with Lance here in that TCI is an umbrella opener. It’s the acronym that explains how we approach our methodology. TPRS is a method. Is TCI a method or a philosophy?
      When I go into my classroom and talk to the students for an hour about their weekend plans, is that TPRS, if I don’t read it? There’s really no story, it’s just the PQA, which I’m not so sure that TPRS can own. And MovieTalk. You can make it more like TPRS as Mike demonstrated at iFLT, but on it’s own it’s not. Talking about soccer with my students a la Robert’s really cool soccer curriculum. Singing a really simple song or chanting some goofy chant is something TPRS may suggest but cannot have claim on.
      That being said, I agree that TPRS is a superior method to teach language. It makes up the lion’s share of my classroom time (if I include SSR and extended PQA as TPRS). So I am also an unapologetic TPRS teacher. But that doesn’t seem to include all the things that I do and the only way I teach.
      And the whole “TPR Storytelling” acronym still confuses the layperson… my principal calls me a TPR teacher regularly, after nearly 8 years there teaching this way.
      Perhaps most importantly is to call out non-CI when it claims to be CI. Nobody owns it. Doesn’t a great primer on What CI Looks Like exist somewhere? I think the point that Robert made over on the ACTFL forum is most important to keep in mind for people who abuse the CI term… it should be considered “comprehended input”, because the word “comprehensible” only states potential whereas “comprehended” states reality. (Oh boy, I hope my paraphrasing is comprehended.)
      And as always, I greatly appreciate the discussion. IFLT rocked and I loved being with you all for the week!!
      Ben, great to hear you made it. What a cool experience for you two!

      1. The 3 steps ARE the magic formula. Is TPRS synonymous with “3 steps” as you all see it? I mean, is TPR, for instance, TPRS because it establishes meaning? Is SSR also TPRS because it is step 3 reading? Is MovieTalk TPRS because it provides the storytelling/narration piece. Also any kind of discussion with class… only TPRS if the structures segue into a formal story?
        I don’t expect answers to these questions… just asking, somewhat rhetorically.
        It’s not a coincidence that nearly everyone uses TPRS when wanting to demonstrate the best method of TCI… it’s the bomb.

        1. I get this, Jim. I thought about posting something similar. I think TPRS as a term is being used to refer to more things. It’s a copyrighted term, and I wonder how Blaibe Ray thinks. I usually say I am CI teacher but don’t disagree if someone says I’m a TPRS teacher.

        2. Jim, I know your questions were rhetorical but I wanted to answer…
          “The 3 steps ARE the magic formula. Is TPRS synonymous with “3 steps” as you all see it?”
          Jim, simply I think yes!
          “I mean, is TPR, for instance, TPRS because it establishes meaning?”
          Great question Jim. I believe that over the years TPR has been one of the options for establishing meaning. In the Green Bible we see it somewhat dropped in favor of direct translation. I think this is controversial among TPRS teachers but it is still used by many. TPR is especially important for preliterate students. I even heard a story about an old school TPR teacher (that traveled/presented with Asher) walking out of a workshop because TPR wasn’t being taught as a way to establish meaning. I say…who cares how one establishes meaning as long as it is done in context in order to build implicit language knowledge/competency.
          “Is SSR also TPRS because it is step 3 reading? “
          I think FVR and SSR are the goals of all the oral storytelling we engage students in. We are building L2 literacy and for good reason. Maybe not exactly step 3 but definitely a step IMO. We do not have the instructional time to build “real” fluency. We are building high frequency language fluency with the hope that students can continue developing outside of the classroom.
          “Is MovieTalk TPRS because it provides the storytelling/narration piece? Also any kind of discussion with class… only TPRS if the structures segue into a formal story?”
          I think MTs are now a staple in TPRS. HOWEVER, I think we have to educate each others and be mindful about how to keep MTs authentic to TPRS. I think MTs need an “ask a story” component along with a reading of some type to fit the TPRS mold. If we only narrate and paraphrase we are missing an opportunity to link the aural input to words on paper.
          “It’s not a coincidence that nearly everyone uses TPRS when wanting to demonstrate the best method of TCI… it’s the bomb.”
          I could not agree more with your last statement Jim. Every teacher at iFLT and NTPRS is a master TPRS teacher. The demonstrations are a based on a foundation of solid TPRS teaching. When someone wants to ditch the acronym TPRS in place of TCI my BS meter goes up because you can’t remove TPRS from TCI. Now can we simply teach with comprehensible input…I think so but there just is not enough “stuff” under the TCI umbrella to separate it from TPRS. TPRS is like Pac-Man gobbling up every good idea in its path and adopting and adapting it as part of the method.
          These are just my late night ramblings…I would love to hear other ideas too!
          PS. After #NTPRS15 Blaine Ray is now using MovieTalks in his workshops. 🙂

          1. Hey Mike, rhetorical or not, I always appreciate feedback on questions and thoughts. Thank you.
            I personally would never suggest that we ditch the term TPRS in favor of TCI, not that you were saying I would. Rather, again, I see them as two distinct things: a method and a philosophy. I agree Mike that you cannot have TCI without TPRS, not right now anyways. But I don’t think TPRS gets to gobble up other methods, unless by “gobble up” you mean embrace. Like with MovieTalk. I love that Blaine Ray is still open to new ideas after all these years of success with his genius invention. The guy is one of my heroes for sure. He never stops trying to make our profession stronger.
            I’m so pumped still from iFLT. All I want to do is write and talk about it right now at 10:00 as the kids lay in bed and I sip a gifted imperial stout on couch, but alas, my computer keyboard is on the fritz and writing this has been frustrating enough. I hope to get it fixed soon. Happy last days of summer comrades!

          2. My perspective:
            SLA researchers don’t talk about methods. They talk about “principled approaches,” which are based on theories of language, acquisition, and learning. Remember Long’s 2011 article we discussed? He listed 10 principles, each based on research. Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) is one method under Long’s principled approach.
            I think of TCI as a principled approach that allows me to pick from a handful of methods (TPR, TPRS, MovieTalk, FVR) that all fit within my principles. We could easily list the principles behind TCI – they’d likely all be tied to Krashen’s hypotheses. The confusion I have is where Natural Approach fits. Natural Approach and TCI may be synonymous – both based on same theory of language acquisition. Natural Approach subsumed TPR, reading, and communicative activities. But I feel traditionally the Natural Approach allowed more student-to-student input and was often based on a more traditional and topical syllabus. Even today, Krashen recently shared how the new Natural Approach text (Dos Mundos) is teaching with a sequence of grammatical structures.
            Before I go any further, I want to address another issue already touched upon: i.e. what is CI? Does understanding a decontextualized word count as CI? What about understanding one clause of a sentence? Does CI mean getting the meaning from a complete sentence? Does CI mean getting the meaning AND accurate grammar? Obviously, it’s a continuum. And a good point was made that it has to be CI from the learner’s perspective: comprehensible vs. comprehended. Practically speaking, we have kids all over the continuum all the time and we don’t know moment to moment where each kid falls. Students talking to each other in groups a la Communicative Language Teaching also delivers substantial amounts of CI, albeit poorer quality. The lack of a clear definition from Krashen has been one of the critiques since the theory was put forth, although I think Krashen would prefer to define it as “semantic comprehension,” i.e. getting the gist of a message and that message can range from 1 clause to paragraph discourse.
            A while ago, I proposed that the “T” in TCI be used to not mean “teaching” but rather “transparent” or “targeted.” Then, only those teachers targeting and establishing word-for-word meaning would be considered TCI teachers. TPRS would be one method of Transparent/Targeted Comprehensible Input, but you could also deliver TPR, MovieTalk, and FVR in this manner. This approach would include Krashen’s hypotheses (which remember were originally only about grammar) and also principles from findings of vocabulary acquisition researchers, such as the % coverage by frequency, % coverage for comprehension, and repetitions of vocabulary.
            Personally, I don’t think TPRS should subsume every method teaching with CI. To me that doesn’t appreciate what came before it and what comes after it. Rather, I think we can identify the skills/techniques/procedures that TPRS brought to FL pedagogy that were unique to TPRS. To me, the big hitters are: circling, storyasking, and the 3 steps.
            Even the 3 steps are problematic. How many steps and in what order and based on what content in order to be considered the “3 steps of TPRS.” We could take a conservative stance and say TPRS requires all 3 steps to be completed, in that order, and all based on the same few targets within the context of a story. Anything else is only partially TPRS, but ultimately incomplete, but could still fall under Teaching with Comprehensible Input or Transparent/Targeted Comprehensible Input.
            Taken alone – PQA, Special Person, Circling with Balls, TPR, storytelling, and reading – are not “TPRS.” Separately, each method/procedure is a Natural Approach/TCI activity applying TPRS skills.
            We could be even more conservative as to say that only Step 2: StoryASKING is definitively TPRS.
            I hesitate to call TPR what we do in step 1 to establish meaning with a gesture. TPR is its own well-developed process with its own offshoots: e.g. live action series/Gouin series and 3-ring circus. I don’t think simply establishing and using a gesture makes it TPR.
            Of course, Blaine and Contee could do everyone a favor and avoid considerable misinterpretation by changing their title of the Green Bible to “TPRS” and not “TPR Storytelling.” And they could change storytelling to storyasking.
            What is clear to me is that TPRS cannot be separated from targeted comprehensible input and storyasking.

  6. Ben,
    I love what you and Carol wrote. The term Teaching with Comprehensible Input was a nice idea for being apologetic/diplomatic in the eyes of those that opposed TPRS. It was a way to help them understand that student comprehension is paramount in our classrooms. I now see it as a generic umbrella for teachers to call any type of teaching CI. Recently a flyer from Teacher’s Discovery advertised teaching with Comprehensible Input on one of their French expressions poster…scary stuff!
    I am a little Dr Jekyll/Mr. Hyde with this TPRS versus TCI thing. I want to welcome those new to TPRS into the mix gently while avoiding any stereotypes of dogmatism or “cult-like” comparisons but you are right about the DNA of TPRS. TPRS is specific.
    I think maybe younger novice TPRS teachers are getting the wrong message about TPRS and TCI. If we are doing “listen and repeat” in a TPRS class… we have missed the mark. If we are explaining grammar in English for more that 15 seconds… we have missed the mark. If we are turning our classrooms into L1 project-based learning…we have missed the mark.
    At both conferences all the ROCKSTAR teachers in my opinion were TPRS masters. They may have established meaning in a variety of ways depending on the age group and/or topics but they all were pure to the TPRS method and process. I did not see one teacher that simply taught with a general idea of Comprehensible Input… they all told stories while engaging students so that students would be ready for Read and Discuss activities. The only thing that I witnessed that was “TCI” had to do with target language brain breaks (which were brilliant BTW). The DNA of the teaching at both conferences was TPRS.
    I think this year I will be joining Carol Hill with an unapologetic TPRS…Wow…I didn’t think I could get fired up this time of year…Thanks!

  7. Glad to hear you’ve arrived safely in India, Ben! May the jet lag quickly fade.
    I’ll be interested in your first day of school articles. I return on 8/5! But the kids return 8/24. All language classrooms got moved so the first tasks are getting my classroom unpacked and organized, something I like to do.

  8. I have barely opened my laptop this summer, but I needed to get on here and say how amazing iFLT was for me. It was so fun and amazing to meet a lot of you in person and I really appreciate how friendly and welcoming everyone was!
    It won’t be long before I’m back in the classroom and catching up on my blog reading but I had to stop in real quick to say hi…
    🙂 🙂

    1. Right back at you Leah. It was good to meet y9u and good to see you work. The war room concept is not an easy one in that we are at war with our fears and you just stood in there, felt the burn and got some real visible progress made in that time you were up there. The war room was designed for exactly the kind of work you did, a deep exploration of the moment to moment unveiling of content, so congrats on that. We’ll keep growing this year again!

    2. Those posts should all be up there by the 25th Diane but if they aren’t it is very similar to what we did in the WR in MN except that we used “looks for” and “finds” and not the Linda Li trio of verbs. Speaking of Linda, she got back from the US today and I got to meet her family and officially launch our working together along with Zach Al Moreno in the AES Middle School.

    3. Leah was also a great roommate! And I agree about iFLT. It took me about a week to get used to being in normal life again. My analogy is that it was like being at a rock festival, but one where you not only get to hear your favorite bands, but also meet them in person, and sometimes play along with them. (Ok, never been to one of those outdoor musical festivals, but this is how I imagine a really good one would be.)

    4. It was great meeting you too, Leah! I learned from your steady delivery during the War Room practice. Funny, the connection to the conferences to rock concerts. We have admit that we CI teachers do take center stage in our classrooms.

  9. Ben, next time you travel, check out the Argonne diet (on Wikipedia it’s pretty well-explained). Right now, if you can eat a high-protein, low-sugar/simple carb breakfast and lunch, and high whole grain carbs for dinner with low protein, you’ll get over your jet lag faster.

      1. I heard another jet lag idea that if you stand on the soil of the new place in bare feet it does something to align energy flowing through the body. These are all good ideas but I feel that what is really helping is that, in spite of the sleepless nights – here I am writing this having been up for two hours at 2:28 a.m. India time – is the wonderful group of really fine people I keep meeting on the staff of the American Embassy School. Yesterday felt like a party and yet the topic of the day was tech training. There were so many cheerful people willing to help on so many levels, and then at the end of the day we got to go to a carpet party and plant party where we looked at for possible purchase some of the most beautiful rugs I have ever seen. And the food served there, really, I felt like I was in a movie. I could never begin to describe the treasures that are here everywhere in India, so I won’t even try. And as far as that book, I do have one, “Cracking India” about the time of the partition of India, but it is far from boring. I never thought I would be able to start in on a new literature system in this life, after having devoted so much of my earlier life to French literature. How lucky I am to be in this great country. Truly, God gives with both hands!

        1. So the best cure for jet lag is the TCI/TPRS diet? Glad you made it safely. I still cannot believe you are in India, to ask stories, in retirement. I am really looking forward to hearing your experiences in the classroom now that you have had a year to reflect and revamp.

          1. Nathaniel we should all be able to take off a year and just reflect on our practice. All of the time off, writing that book, helped me refocus. I feel as if I am just starting my TPRS practice, if that is even possible to imagine. The main focus? Going slowly and using classroom space and boards and posters in the most sparing way possible, so that I do the best possible job I can to make sure that my students fully understand each and every single word I say. The other main focus? Verbs.

  10. Hi, Ben! The best way to beat jet lag is to ignore it and adopt the eating and sleeping rhythm of where you are at. And a big, rather boring book to read when you wake up in the middle of the night.
    All my thanks to those on this blog who helped make our workshop in Agen a success: Carol Hill, Anny Ewing, Robert Harrell were valuable additions and Teri and I are most grateful.
    We often discuss how hard it is to get through to those who use communicative activities, etc. One of our participants was obviously not “getting it” and with 20 years of being a rather successful teacher in France, was eager to show us how it’s done. Her doubts were vocal during most of the week. The last couple of days she had less to say. Today I received this “testimony” from her which she invited me to use. I’ve posted it on Facebook and Twitter, but wanted to share it here. I suspect that Carol and Anny’s presentations helped open her eyes. Or as she said to me, “take off the blinders”.
    “I thoroughly recommend this one-week programme for all language teachers – whatever the language they teach, however experienced (or inexperienced) they may be, and whoever they have as students: children, teenagers, adults. This programme represents a wonderful opportunity for teachers to question their own pedagogical practices, expand their creativity, and deepen their motivation. Bravo to Judith and her team for creating such a rich experience!”

    1. Bravo to that teacher, Judy, who after twenty years was willing and able to even admit to all the varied and different things you guys were presenting there. That is rare as you know well, having dealt with it for your entire professional life there in France.
      I like the blinders image as well. All of the horse images seem to work well for us, especially with your own, and our Robert’s, equestrian background. I was thinking about this topic today. How can we ever attack our fellow teachers simply because Kashen may not have been fully explained/embraced in their teacher training course.
      Perhaps our mantra for this year should be more tolerance, and trust in the timing of this kind of work we are doing. Yes it is very frustrating when we are attacked, and we will soon, no doubt, hear more stories resembling those of last year where PLC members come to the group wounded, cut and bruised, or worse (John Bracey), just plain beat up, We must publish and hear those stories here each time they happen. We all need solace so much in this profession!
      But to lash out at those many horses that just don’t get it, just don’t get comprehensible input, because of the blinders, like that teacher you mention above, is sheer folly. Look what you were able to accomplish with her just by setting out to “have a TPRS conference in France and see what happens”?
      That is the way to roll, with sugar offered. Or in the case of John Bracey and others like James Hosler, triple your class sizes in a few years (to where John and James have more Latin students in their high schools than Spanish students and in James’ case must take on extra classes and with a new baby at home. Gee, I think I am starting to get why we haven’t heard from James in awhile.
      But yeah, thanks Judy. Great work to all who make Agen work! Can’t wait to see what you all have on the menu for next year! People do like French food!

  11. Glad to hear that you arrived safely and are adjusting well to New Delhi, Ben.
    The Agen conference was excellent, and I’m glad I was able to make it – and at the same time sorry I missed iFLT and NTPRS (but I enjoyed the time with students in Germany). At the final lunch on Saturday I sat at a table with Martin Anders (thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him a bit better during the week) and a couple of others. One of them, Mike, said that he had come to the conference reluctantly, thinking that it wouldn’t have much to say to his teaching situation. To use his term, “on Wednesday the penny fell”, and he was quite enthusiastic about implementing TPRS with adults and returning to Agen next summer. Mike and I also discussed Vygotsky and Chomsky; it was quite interesting.
    I was very pleased with the reception of my session for the conference. It was basically about using Reader’s Theatre plus a few more ideas for revisiting a text: how to get repetitions without being repetitive. During discussion after the session, we talked about learning vs acquisition and using the unconscious to power acquisition. I used my experience with the four-cylinder vs V-8 pickups and pulling the horse trailer to illustrate the idea, and several people said the analogy helped them understand.
    My own journey home was long. Because I was working with a deviation from a group trip, I had to go with what I could get. First, I hung out in Agen until after 10:00 pm (fortunately the hotel I stayed in had Wifi in the lobby, so I kept myself occupied.); then I took the TGV to Toulouse and caught a night train to Paris. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a couchette so spent the night in a reclining seat. In Paris I made the short walk from Gare d’Austerlitz to Gare de Lyon and took a train to Geneva. That was actually an error because I was working with two different travel agents and thought I was flying out of Geneva to Düsseldorf; instead I was flying out of Zurich, so I then took the train from Geneva to Zurich and spent the night in Zurich.
    On Monday I had a long day, flying from Zurich to Düsseldorf and then to Los Angeles. My brother was going to pick me up but had to take a couple he knows to the doctor’s office, and that took longer than anticipated. Then he got a call from another friend asking if my brother could pick him up later in the evening. So, I wanted at the airport from about 4:00 to around 8:00 pm when my brother arrived. We went to dinner and then picked up his friend a little after 9:00 pm. By the time we got to my brother’s house, where my car was parked, it was after 11:00 pm, so I slept at his place and got back home this morning. Now I’m getting caught up on everything that I wasn’t here for during July.
    Tomorrow I will get started on getting ready for the COACH workshop on 15 August, the workshops for Garden Grove USD, and the start of school. And people think we take the summer off.

    1. Robert, I thought my trip to Agen was the long and winding road but your trip home sounds much more taxing. Great to have seen you in Agen. Bonne rentrée !

    2. Thanks, Chill and mb. I have pretty much recovered by now.Still have lots to do, though. Fortunately, I don’t report back to school until September 1, and students don’t come back until September 8. This summer is a long break, but next summer will be a short break.

    3. What an odyssey, Robert! But I am glad you and Chill have safely returned home. I am happy having finally met you in Agen. I agree with Judy that you have contributed much to the success of the conference. So thank you again to you both, Sabrina and all the others from the US who came to Europe.

    1. Hey chill I’m on a stationary bike these days at the school. Miss my bike but made the right decision to leave it at home. Speed is not necessarily something you can get going on a street in Delhi.
      Robert and chill I am so glad you presented this summer. I love that our PLC is well represented at the conferences. We have much to say, born of the rich conversations here over the years.

  12. I have to say that Chill and Robert were great presenters and helped make the Agen conference a big success. We’ve received fantastic testimonials from people who had a lot of doubts at first. I think we made some important connections this year.

  13. Great to hear about your travels, Ben.
    My wife (also a teacher) and I have been playing with the idea of moving to Qatar. She met a handful of teachers at a reading workshop conference who were moving there to teach. Supposedly, Qatar loves American teachers and will pay your full rent AND plane tickets back to the States for the summer. Coincidentally, one of these teachers comes from Denver, saying that the cuts in Denver salaries have prompted her to take this adventure.
    Qatar also likes teaching couples… 1) paying one lease for two teachers and 2) less likely new hire will get lonely if they come with a partner.
    Well see how this year goes and consider it a possibility in the near future.

  14. Sean had I known about the international circuit (it’s really a circuit for teaching couples when those schools can get them and if they are good) I would have been on it years ago. I just had no idea of the benefits. No taxes in the states up to $90K earned abroad, either. A good number of our faculty here in India are teaching couples. With the current dismantling of our schools at home, I urge you guys to look into it.

    1. Whoa Ben I am very happy to hear those numbers. I have had for years a circle of friends that have been teaching all over the world. One of them is a former Spanish teacher at your school… just ask around about “Crazy Alicia.” I think Linda Li said she is a counselor now. These teachers get to travel all over the place and usually have pretty good teaching conditions.
      I would love if you start a blog section about your adventures in India even if it non-TPRS/TCI info!

      1. Dude I am holding off on the adventures until I get to where I dream of being with my CI instruction. I’ve had a year off to dream and classes start tomorrow! My AP was jogging to and from India Gate and got attacked but not touched – she fell down though – by a pack of monkeys. You hear stuff like that. Wild, intense, and yet the people are just so kind and considerate and intelligent and helpful and I could go on and on. And yes, I met Alicia and she is so nice, and yes she mentioned you. Such a small world! These are super good people to work with here. Honestly I am blown away so far at how cool this place is.

  15. …not to mention the invaluable (incalculable) benefits to children raised partially or wholly in other countries. They will be able to see and learn things about this planet that cannot be taught.

  16. Hi Ben,
    It was great meeting you and others at iFLT. I learned a ton in the War Rooms. I was also at Place de la Concorde for the Tour de France finale a few weeks ago! I started there, then moved to Rue de Rivoli and near the Jeanne d’Arc statue/tunnel opening for the last few laps. So thrilling. It inspired me to take several bike rides–one from Amboise to Chenonceau, which brought me through fields of sunflowers (a dream of mine); one along the North Sea in Dunkerque, and one from Dunkerque to Bergues (the town where the film Bienvenue Chez les Chtis was based). It was good for me to be in France and Belgium for the last few weeks so that I could let all the iFLT stuff sink in. Living in the moment, tasting each food, focusing on conversations with family and friends, smelling the scents as they came–all good reminders to keep things simpler with my students this year. Now, I’m making my lists of priorities for the beginning of the year and am trying to focus on just a few things at a time so I can keep this feeling of simplicity. At iFLT, I learned that I’ve been trying to do too much. I need to keep things simple and comprehensible. I want more time and space to just be with my students in the moment! Space and simplicity are my goals this year. Hope you are well! Emeka

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