Archive for October, 2011

Purpose-Written Texts

Having problems with free reading? Free reading is a great idea, but to get reading happening, you need texts that are 100% comprehensible, even to students who have never seen the written form of the language before — even if the language is a non-simple script language. Enter the purpose-written text. Purpose-written texts look a […]

Themed Units and Curriculum Tagging

One reason why some folks aren’t keen on TPRS® is that it doesn’t embrace the themed unit. Most textbooks and curriculum documents are organized into themes. “My Family.” “School and Home”. “Celebrations”. Those are great, if you believe that giving people the ability to say a whole lot about a very little is the way […]

Is “free” reading what it’s really worth?

Free-reading is great. Everyone wants a classroom library. Everyone wants to have kids sitting quietly, absorbed in authentic materials in the target language. But is it the best use of acquisitional time for a novice-level learner? I say no. Because free reading is less-than-100%-comprehensible immersion. I am thinking of novice-level learners here: first- or possibly […]

Differentiation: is it needed for acquisition?

So everyone’s going nuts about differentiation around here, with the new teacher evaluation standards and so on. And the admins are thumbing through their lists and saying, “You TPRS people aren’t differentiating.” Should we be? Differentiation is for LEARNING. Being able to diagram sentences, conjugate verbs in charts, or list the four principal exports of […]

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