Some Questions about the Invisibles – 1

A new member of our group has explored the two (brand new) Invisibles books and her first reaction is positive. That is important to me because she has a background in TPRS, and I am claiming that my newest books are better than TPRS as a vehicle for introducing comprehensible input instruction into the foreign language classroom. For those who are now moving from TPRS to the Invisibles, I am happy to share my responses to her questions about the mechanics of the Invisibles. I’ve actually been waiting for a long time to do this here. The Invisibles are getting some traction now beyond just ANATS and ANATTY, and my position with the new books is that ANATS and ANATTY don’t dive deeply enough into the Invisibles to make them actually happen for teachers who want to use them in the fall. Indeed, I wrote the two new books for that reason, to get deeper into them. Why? Because they are so wonderful, of course! Look, I don’t brag much here but in this case I make an exception to my reserve because the new Invisibles books are the best books I’ve ever written on TPRS/CI.

Lots of topics happening here in the dead of summer! Don’t worry, I’ll keep posting on classroom management as we currently are discussing the classroom rules. Even if is is turning out to be a busy summer here, it’s fine because there is no resting when it comes to the change we are in. And you don’t just lay down and take a snooze on a battlefield unless they got you. Don’t get got. It’s an exciting time to be on the language education battlefield!

Here is the email from our new PLC member, and then in the next posts we will get to her twelve specific questions about the Invisibles while continuing, as I said above, our look at the Classroom Rules:


First of all,” Bravo! ” You are so right about the changes that you have made!

Although I agree completely with you, I really need help using/integrating your approach in my teaching. 

Firstly, after being trained periodically by Von and his colleagues over the past two years, some teachers in our district are using aspects of TPRS, a couple of teachers have fully integrated TPRS in their classroom, and I was going to use it in my French 1 class this fall, but keep traditional teaching in my French 2 and French 3 classes.  After reading what you have sent me, your approach makes more sense to me. So I’d like to at least use in French 1 entirely, and sometimes in French 2 and French 3. 



2 thoughts on “Some Questions about the Invisibles – 1”

  1. It’s funny to still go to conferences and hear things like “Britney Spears going on a date with so and so or that the character went to the section of dead cats in the grocery store.”

    Or also to hear things like “If you can make the kids laugh you have a chance.” (Gosh, TRYING to be funny to teenagers? That will set you up for failure. One quality of teenagers is their ability to sniff out people that are being fake.)

    The Invisibles is SUCH a better way.

    I mean if the kids truly want Britney Spears in their story (they don’t) they can do so but isn’t it freeing to be able to do a story that might not even have a problem or a solution and that doesn’t have to be funny?

  2. Great points, Greg. I don’t understand why they are still doing the same things at the conferences as 20 years ago. Britney Spears? Really? You describe the issue very well above.

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