Archive for September, 2016

White-collar TPRS

(Get it? “Management”? <groan>) The question recently came up on a teaching page: How do I manage my TPRS classroom? My answer will probably be disappointing. You manage it the same way you manage any classroom. Management precedes instruction. You can’t teach anything, using any method, if you can’t manage your classroom. All of the […]

Just a wild and crazy guy…

Or, “Steve Martin was great, but how could I ever be that awesome?” On a teachers’ page, someone recently commented something to the effect that: I thought that I understood everything at the conference, but now I know nothing. Ooh, if we all had a nickel for everyone who ever said this (including ourselves!) Couple […]

1. Pre-teach the new words with a TPRS story…

But what IS a TPRS story, anyway? Before reading a novel, we want the students to know the language in the novel. Heck, before reading much of anything, we want the students to know the language in the reading. And in TPRS, the way we get the language into the students is (usually called) a […]

10 Myths about Whole Class Reading

Whole Class Reading  (WCR) for the purposes of this post refers to using any modality of reading instruction with the entire class at once, including the various types (yes, plural) of reading instruction detailed in the Reading chapter of TPRS With Chinese Characteristics, which apply (really!) to all languages. 1. Whole Class Reading is boring. […]

NCIS: “I found this great song that teaches…”

No, this isn’t about all music, and all the ways music can be used in a CI classroom. This episode of NCIS focuses on songs that Teach Something. Songs to help kids remember the verb endings, or the direct and indirect object pronouns, or the declensions, or whatever. This one doesn’t get a take-down by […]

NCIS: Teaching Question Formation

NCIS: Not CI Stuff More and more, we are seeing helpful links posted to various groups that are supposed to be focused on teaching with Comprehensible  Input. Of course, everyone likes sharing. Sharing is a good thing that.s spread good ideas and reduces the time teachers have to spend prepping for classes. The only problem […]

Out of the frying pan

A recent post on a teachers’ web site makes the claim that: We have gotten it wrong, really wrong, in the language classroom. Well, I’m with you there. We have definitely gotten it wrong for many years. And realizing that you’ve gotten something wrong means that it’s time to really, really change it. Not just […]

Tone smackdown: ears vs brain

So, Chinese has tones. Yeah. The thing everyone fears, and talks about, and comes up with practices and apps and all that stuff to “teach”. And yet it’s really, really easy to get tones into students’ heads. 1. Lots of input. I mean lots. Nope, more than that. Lots of input they can understand, showing […]

The costume party

Everybody loves a costume party. Especially educators. (I deliberately use this word in contrast to teachers. Teachers teach. Educators….well, they seem mostly to hold meetings, these days, and come up with new ways to say the obvious, or new Ideas that Absolutely Must Be Implemented or Every Child Will Be Left Behind. But I digress.) […]

What is targeted input?

or, “I do not think this word means what you think it means”. Krashen (2013) argues reasonably against a grammatical syllabus, but fails to comprehend the nature of targeting within a TPRS classroom. While he admits that “TPRS probably succeeds in reducing the problems of the grammatical syllabus”, he assumes that targeting of “items” for […]

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