All TPRS is is comprehensible input plus endless varied repetition
plus personalization. The first one lets the brain understand the
language; the second cements it in the brain, and the third gets the
kids to “buy in” to listening to all that input.
So, tell stories, use a book, use actors, don’t use actors, read the novels — it really doesn’t matter. As long as you have the basic formula going it doesn’t matter what it looks like.
I think my school is already freaked out enough that I don’t use a textbook. But now I’m wondering if I won’t devote the entire second semester JUST to reading and spin-offs, maybe about half and half. If you think about it, two days of stories and two days of reading are the same as four days of half-and-half. For Chinese, this might be even better, because that would mean we progress through the novel at a much slower pace per day, and that in turn means it’s more feasible for me to do things like dictations with them without scaring them out of a year’s growth.
It’s wonderful, though, to know that there’s all that curriculum and all those class sessions packed into that little tiny book. Never a moment wondering what to prepare!