Archive for the ‘Curriculum’ Category

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 […]

TPRS from a Textbook

Every so often someone asks: how do I teach TPRS from an “uncooperative” textbook? Like, one that has massive lists of vocabulary? I had to do this in the past with Buen Viaje (al Infierno), and this is how I did the organization work before starting the year. First, goo through the textbook and make […]

Should I use the Dothaki adaptation of the well-known Spanish TPRS textbook?

At the risk of angering those who have produced these materials — which are wonderful for the languages they were produced for — My observation has been that trying to use existing TPRS materials written for other languages (Spanish and French, primarily) to teach Chinese, Japanese, etc. does not work well for languages that are structurally […]

“Grit” in the world language class

Grit is the new educational buzzword of the month. These days, every teacher is supposed to be teaching students “grit” in every class, all the time, in between those assemblies and standardized tests and music lessons and I don’t know what all. We might even get some time to make them proficient in a language, […]

Non-targeted CI: best thing since sliced bread?

On a language teachers’ discussion list, a comment was recently made that  “the idea of targeted structures in inconsistent with what we know about language is acquired.It also makes in hard to make input interesting”. I think it could be. But only assuming that the input CAN otherwise be natural TL, unfettered by any need to “hit” […]

Stories with time words?

Someone recently asked on another list for ideas for stories that have time words in them. In my way of thinking, there are two types of “things” in language: things that occur in sets, and things that don’t. Things that don’t become the “meat” of stories. They are the events that occur in the stories, […]

But TPRS is so unstructured!

On a discussion board talking about learning Chinese, the comment was recently posted: It was only after I’d been learning Chinese for a while and had acquired most of the grammar structures that I felt comfortable learning Chinese in a non-structured way. This statement seems logical on the surface. After all, you have to “learn” […]

Question Words and More

Posting the question words on the wall in plain view, with their native/shared language translations, is pretty much standard practice in TPRS, and for good reason: these words are used frequently in the TPRS classroom, as we circle, and without an immediate aid to establish meaning for them, the efficient circling of new items through […]

Tagging for acquisition

We can’t see exactly how the brain works its magic in generalizing from many examples to just knowing what structure to automatically use to express a meaning it has never tried to express before — which is what fluent speakers can do. What if we think of it in terms of tagging? It’s sort of […]

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 […]

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