NTPRS14 Chicago – The fifth day – Friday the 25th of July

And again time flew! Already the last day! The last day is always a half day up to and including lunch.

Betsy PaskvanFrom 8.15 – 9.45 I went to Storytelling to Reading Japanese in an Hour (or so): Learn to read with the hit film Frozen! by Betsy Paskvan. As ever I’m the barometer, but Betsy knows how to repeat so often in a not-boring way, that I get what I need. And it makes me remember very well to takes this into account when I’m teaching myself: to give my students what they need!

From 10-11.30 I hesitated going to Raising Enrollment and Achievement by Focusing on Comprehensible Input: One District’s Journey to Transform Language Education by Grant Boulanger or to Navigating Novels: Plundering Literacy Treasures by Mira Mira CanionCanion. I went to the last one. I alwasy get the idea that Mira wants to tell us so much, that it’s in fact too much. Her speed is very high because of that, but it’s for me as an imageformer too fast; it does not stick. I think it’s beter to do less, but deeper and a next time give your next points. Her slides are also very filled. Compare it to Grant Boulanger. He wants things to be simple. His slides contain little text.

NTPRS14 closing luncheonAnd then from 11.45-1.30 already the closing luncheon!

Carol GaabThe keynote speech was by Carol Gaab. Unfortunately I had to go to the airport to catch my flight and I had to leave at the beginning of her interesting story how she got into TPRS. Hope I an read or see it still somewhere!

I went with the shuttle to the Chicago metra, but the train was too late because of works. I was afraid I would miss my plane, so I took a taxi ($40…). The taxidriver happened to come from Congo and so we spoke French. He happened to have had Leslie Davison also in his taxi the day before (he showed me her cart). He already spoke English quite well, but he had asked her how to improve his English. She had told him to watch television with subtitles. He told me he did not agree with her and that it was a bad idea. I asked him why. He said that the subtitles went so fast, they already disappeared before he could read them entirely. I told him that this happened to me too when I was young. In the Netherlands all foreign television programms, films, series etc. were subtitled. In the beginning I could not read all, because the subtitles disappeared to fast. But with practice my reading got faster and faster; so I told him this would happen to him too if he persevered. With my explanation he could agree. Fate first brought him Leslie and because he did not agree I was brought to complete the details ;-).

NTPRS14 conference programmWhen walking to my gate I happened to meet Bernard, native French teacher and one of the coaches. He told me we also went to the airport before (I had forgotten, but yes, we did); so it was bizarre we now met again at the airport before leaving. And if we had known: he also took a cab to go to the airport on his own ($40…).

Well, and then my flight from Chicago left with an hour delay, so we got in 10 minutes after the last departure to Albany (from Minneapolis – I had to fly from Minneapolis). So I had to stay in a hotel and the next morning to get up at 3.45 to get the shuttle of 4.00 and have a plane to Atlanta (!) at 6.30 and then a plane to Albany from there. All planes for Albany or near Albany were completely (over)booked! This was the only possibility in the daytime… With a direct flight I would’ve had to wait until 7 pm…

And then I sat next to someone in the plane twice or three times my size. You should have seen my face: there he was sitting in the seat next to mine, partly sitting on my seat and half in the pathway. I thought it would not fit with the three of us ont those three seats, but somehow we managed, but I could not avoid ‘getting in touch with him’ (literally). How I was happy when we arrived! But I had Dave Burgess’ book “Teach like a pirate” to entertain me, so I managed to forget (mostly).

Here you can find all the downloads for NTPRS14.

 

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NTPRS14 Chicago – The third day – Wednesday the 23rd of July

Workshop Blaine and Von Ray The power of going deep - NTPRS14Wednesday I first went to the advanced workshop by Blaine & Von Ray: The power of going deep. This year the advanced workshops were from 8.30 -11.30, then a break of two hours and then the workshops continue for two more hours from 1.30-3.30 p.m. Then a short break of a quarter of an hour and then sessions from 3.45-5.15 or open coaching & exhibitors. Then a break of a quarter of an hour and then showcases by masterteachers, like Blaine Ray, Michael Miller, Mira Canion, Laruie Clarcq, Bryce Hedstrom, Karen Rowan and Jason Fritze.

In The power of going deep we had to work in small groups and work out ideas for stories. Blaine stressed again how imporatn it is to try to find out where the students break down through: hesitancy, comprehension, lack of confidence.

Bryan KandelDuring lunchtime = Wholefoods time; we go there with a small group of TPRS-teachers (only female…). It’s nice to have such a long brak in between, to having some time for yourself, to go outside in the sun, to talk to each other.

In the afternoon I went to the sesson by Bryan Kandel “Student-driven Curriculum”. Here you can find his slideshow as pdf. It was in fact all about PQA. His image of a little devil whispering bad things about his deficiencies in his ears and a little saint (Blaine) giving him positive advice was very funny.

Afterwards to Mira Canion’s showcase; it’s amazing how she can Mira Canionthink on her feet and react always so quickly! BTW, very hard to make a picture of her, because she hardly stands still (like a lot of TPRS teachers..)

In the evening were the immersion dinners, but somehow I did miss where the French teachers would meet and when I returned from Mira’s session and dropping my things in my room, everybody had gone. So I decided to walk to Wholefoods, along a busy street with lot’s of cars because it was rush hour. On my way I met one of the Turkey’s military language teachers who was already going back and on my way back when it was already getting dark, Betsy Paskvan was walking behind me – at first I did not recogize her and I thought “Why is this woman walking faster and faster towards me?” . She also happened to have been at Wholefoods and we went back walking & talking and like this time flew and we arrived at the hotel when it had become dark.

My roommate and French teacher Michele Kindt returned very late and I heard from her that the French teachers went to a restaurant in Naperville, where they had been singing all evening and that the aother guests had also been singing, so they had a great French evening. What a pity I missed it all!

 

 

 

 

NTPRS14 Chicago – The second day – Tuesday the 22nd of July

Betsy PaskvanToday I went to the advanced workshop by Betsy Paskvan: TPRS Strategies. She learned us Japanes and this way she showed us all kind of strategies she uses. Bess Hales wrote about it at her blog “Mme Hayles and the TPRS Experiment” and it’s a very good description of the workshop and I do not have much to adjust to it, so do read it here. What I have to adjust is that Betsy uses 8 embedded readings and this way she builds the text gradually up. Betsy sacrifices language time for the social-emotional learning – in order that the students get to know each other & bond.

The first thing Betsy does in the morning is play a song and show a slideshow with explanation with pictures. With us she used a very well known song and gave cultural information about it.

Betsy’s workshop was very practical and inspiring! Here you can find her PowerPoint: TPRS Strategies at Work and Play : Sequencing TPRS Activities for Optimal Learning

Jason FritzeIn the afternoon I went to Jason Fritze’s workshop session: Tools for thriving. Because Bryce had written on the white board with an unerasable marker, Jason learned one of the first person’s entering how to erase it with an erasable marker by writing over the unerasable text and then it was possible to erase. And this person had to learn to a new person entering who did not know this trick how to do it and so forth, like an erasing chain.

Jason’s workshop had a few of the same points of his workshop at iFLT, but also a lot of new information. He had us form groups of three or four and made us do all kind of group works every once and a while and before doing this he had us point at all the participants of the group. When I met the two ladies of my group the next day I felt that we really were somehow closer because of this pointing and working together.

At the end of the afternoon was the exhibitor’s reception. Everybody could have a look at the books and dvd’s and buy them and there was a buffet and drinks. There Judy Dubois introduced me to Alparslan, the french teacher of the Turkish delegation. We contacted each other a while ago on Linkedin, but we did not know of each other we were going to iFLT and NTPRS! We talked for hours and that’s one of the nice thing of these conferences: meeting your colleagues and talking with them.

Monday evening I got lost when trying to find Wholefoods and Tuesday I went there during the lunch break with a  group of colleagues in the shuttle of the Sheraton hotel.  I bought a warm lunch at Wholecheckbook as Jason called it and a big salad for later on and the most expensive tarte au citron (or in fact: lime tart) I’ve ever bought… I could not resist…

Lime tart Wholefoods