TPRS vs. Georgia 6

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7 thoughts on “TPRS vs. Georgia 6”

  1. Okay, Ben, since you talked in TPRS Curriculum stream about writing more on the “how” of TPRS, I’ll add this because it seems to fit here. I have been trying to front load verbs from my new word wall in all my classes this first week. Next week, I’ll follow Sabrina’s advice and do about 10 to 15 minutes of this per class.

    In my Chinese 3/4 they are all so brilliant that they get restless but I know they need more reps so we did a mini story. The terms were:
    don’t (bie)
    hit my head (da wode tou)
    cry (ku)
    laugh (xiao)
    and review of a little word that shows completed action (le)

    Quick story with actors and props (inflatable giant soccer ball):
    Jack and Liam were playing ball.
    Jack hit Liam in the head.
    Liam cried and said, “don’t hit me in the head.”
    Jack laughed.

    They heard the story twice, I circled with just a few questions. We retold with each student telling a line, then 3 students retold the whole mini-story. We had 3 minutes left so they did a 3 minute retell to a partner.
    It was the Friday of the first week of school and the periods were shortened to 30 minutes. This group is in “too cool for school” mode and just wanted to socialize. The mini-story got the reps in that I needed and kept them from wasting time (they were trying to get me off topic with English questions). I would have spent more time on this kind of story if it were in a lower level class. Next week, this group will do a little TPR off the word wall each day then get into more complex structures. This is the first time I have tried this kind of mini-story, no reading or anything extra. It went well.

    1. OK this goes back to something skip has constantly returned us to in our discussions here over the years – simple scenes and no worries if no story happens. This is huge advice for us Tamula. Just let me repeat back my takeaway from your comment:

      We start our instruction with single words and in your case you went right to the driving words of CI – verbs. We frontload verbs – to begin class and to begin the year. Sabrina said fifteen minutes. Absolutely yes. This is the Word Association phase described in my new book.

      New people may ask how you can teach a verb using CI for fifteen minutes and the answer is in the example you gave Tamula and you are spot on today with this advice. We all need to hear it esp. if our classes start classes on Monday.

      Jenny in Dresden this is what I want you to read as you prepare to dive off the high dive on Monday morning with CI. You identify what you want to teach and you just play with those target stuctures in every utterance. You keep adding details and circling until you run out of room. It is the downward spiral shape of a tornado.

      (I asked Blaine once what you do when the tornado gets too tight for you to keep circling around – i.e. you’ve added all the details you can – and he said when that happens you add in a new event or character to what has already been established via circling and that starts a new tornado. He didn’t say the word tornado but that is what best describes this process that we all need to have total command of if our comprehensible input based classes are to get off the ground. We need to stress less about WHAT structures to teach and focus entirely on getting plenty of reps and on the HOW of this work. That is why I disagree with those who think Matava scripts don’t provide an organized enough basis for a curriculum. It doesn’t matter what words we target, it matters how we target whatever words emerge organically into our classes that week. It is a philosophical point and we all will have a position on this put it speaks to my point about simplicity. We don’t need to plan so much. We need to relax and just enjoy ourselves on the weekend and that allows us to be fresh for our classes on Monday. The tornado image is a powerful one and will blow away all your fears about using CI once you learn that you are free to target anything and that all you have to do is slowly circle whatever target it is and make it personalized and have fun. Want to have fun. Want to find out from the kids via their cute answers – Rule #3 on the posters page of this site – what happens next. I did a CWB demo for DPS a few days ago and I found out that my student Becky does yoga with Jay-Z behind MacDonald’s. I remember really wanting to know what happened next – I wasn’t faking the interest – but the session was over.)

      Tamula’s target structures were:

      don’t (bie)
      hit my head (da wode tou)
      cry (ku)
      laugh (xiao)
      and review of a little word that shows completed action (le)

      Jenny you would never do this, of course with a beginning group. The above targets are for one of Tamula’s 3/4 classes who have been with her all along (would not work otherwise due to not enough CI in the tank from previous years). I would guess Tamula could use them for two hours if she wanted to.

      Discipline yourself to never say anything that does not have one of the targets in it. Circle a lot, goings slowly, use your laser pointer every single time you refer to a target EXACTLY as Tamula has done here:

      Jack and Liam were playing ball.
      Jack hit Liam in the head.
      Liam cried and said, “don’t hit me in the head.”
      Jack laughed.

      Isn’t it funny, Tamula, how smart they are when they are properly instructed? I’m looking at your target structures and thinking how fast they must indeed be if they can do all that in fifteen minutes. But if they are involved, and you have created compelling stuff there, lots of energy and humor, they will succeed.

      Thrice B.I.N.G.O. Tamula.

  2. Since I felt the “don’t” (bie) was actually a really important new word, I also did about 1 minute of choral translation of bie plus all of the verbs on the word wall we had worked on this week or they already knew. I exaggerated my emoting to give a tiny bit of context:
    don’t cry
    don’t speak
    don’t look
    don’t listen
    don’t stop
    don’t go
    don’t hit
    etc.
    I could have worked on this all period but, like I said above, they were in “too cool for school” mode on Friday last period so it worked better to do loud and excited.

    1. …I exaggerated my emoting to give a tiny bit of context….

      So important. We exaggerate the verb. We make our teaching physical. If the verb is send, we send something. We send a football through the air. We send a letter with great happiness to our friend. We send a kiss across the room from a girl to a boy. She resists, too cool for school. So we play the Annoying Orange Card:

      https://benslavic.com/blog/2012/10/29/lame-students/

      The girl doesn’t want to play? It’s Monday and she is nervous. Let her be. Pick the right kid. Nobody wants to play? Too cool? YOU send the kiss across the room.

      Live this work. Feel this work. Learn to teach in your body and heart and not just in your mind. Go out of your mind. FEEL IT. FEEL THAT VERB.

      Send is a great verb. Not all are as great. Big deal.

      Sabrina you asked Paul for the verbs he is doing this fall at East. He gave them to me to give to you when I give you the posters on Monday. Here they are, for those who feel the need to target verbs:

      Week 1:

      is called, calls himself, etc.
      likes, loves
      says to her/him “I love you”
      goes

      Week 2:

      wants to have
      speaks
      looks at

      Week 3:

      gets angry
      works
      has to pay a lot
      lives in

      Week 4:

      buys
      drives
      steal, flies
      needs

      Week 5:

      takes a trip
      wears, carries
      hugs
      meets

      Week 6:

      looks for
      finds
      loses
      sees

      Week 7

      costs
      is hungry
      eats
      I would like

      Week 8

      hears a noise
      is afraid
      wakes up’
      sleeps

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