Archive for September, 2016

Flashcard it you should not


Yoda here again. A little problem with Luke Skywalker I am having. Wishes to use nuclear device instead of light saber he does. Why would Yoda care? Why should we care about how the enemy is killed? Isn’t it better to kill a whole lot more Stormtroopers at once, anyway? And why should we care […]

Powerpoint it you need not


On a teacher’s list, a language teacher recently asked: I am doing my best to incorporate ideas of TPRS/CI. Does anyone have suggestions of HOW and WHEN is best introduce new vocabulary? Well, TPRS makes the question of when to introduce new vocabulary really easy…you introduce it when it’s used for the first time. So […]

Balance bikes forever…?


Balance bikes. The next great thing. Lets little kids — even as young as 18 months — “ride” a bicycle, because there are no pedals and no drive train on the thing. Their feet always touch the floor. Sure, they can’t get going very fast, unless they end up heading down a big hill, and […]

Don’t be blinded by the disco ball


On a discussion group, a teacher recently made a comment something more or less like: My 8th grade dance students have been invited to participate in a countywide dance judging contest. You know, the ones where they have to judge dancers on twenty dimensions of technical merit and give memorized reasons why they placed the […]

A steaming cuppa Joe-Outputs-In-Spanish-Class

Pairwork. Mmm.  Soooo good (say the administrators and observers). Students working together, taking responsibility for their learning, in a student-centered environment. (Whether or not these are really true is up for grabs. But we digress.) It’s like that cup of coffee your mouth is watering for right after I typed the words “cup of coffee”. […]

Step away from the chair

On a teachers’ discussion group, one new TPRS teacher made this comment: Have been feeling like I’ve been dying all week. Kids are not into it yet at all and just look at me with bored expressions even when I’m standing on a chair acting ridiculous. Ewwwwwww….everybody knows that feeling, like you’re Ann Coulter at […]

Lights, camera…evaluate!

On an internet forum, in the context of ideas for how people could improve TPRS skills if no workshop was readily available, the suggestion was recently made: I highly recommend watching you-tube videos that teachers have posted of themselves. And who wouldn’t agree! Video available for free on the Internet is an amazing thing. You […]

Is your last name Brown, by any chance?

The question was recently asked on a teachers’ group: What do you find is more beneficial for students from your experience? Typing up the class story as it is told and having student read it for step 3 or creating a similar story and have them read it? To answer this, let’s think about what […]

Grandma’s got the moves

A request for information was recently posted on the internet:  I have a colleague that wants me to help her find a book that teaches about CI but she is not interested in TPRS. That’s kind of like saying you want to meet your long-lost cousins, but not your grandmother.  TPRS is the grandmother of […]

Memorization: something to keep in mind

On a discussion board for a prominent language-related association, the following came out of a discussion on homework and memorization in foreign language teaching practice.  …some form memorization is vital to learning anything really; it is one of the  building block of knowledge construction. Anything…except languages. Well, yes, memorization is vital to *learning* languages. Fortunately, […]

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