Hieronder vind je het verhaal van Blaine Ray, ‘the inventor of TPRS’. In Nederland en België kun je voor trainingen, studiedagen, workshops en materiaal over TPRS en TPR terecht bij Taalleermethoden.nl.
Today was the second day of NTPRS15. The programm started again at 8 o’clock. I first went to the workshop of Alina Filipescu: How to expand a 2 day TPRS story to two weeks. Here’s the hand-out of Alina’s workshop. Alina is a 7th and 8th grade Spanish Teacher, Kraemer MS, Placentia, CA | Blaine Ray Workshops Presenter | TPRS/CI Teacher Trainer at Foreign Languages Academy and Tutoring, Placentia, CA. The description of the workshop as mentioned in the schedule: “In order to learn different Comprehenible Input (CI) techniques, participants will acquire Romanian through PQA, TPR, TPRS, and embedded readings. CI brain breaks will be added throughout the workshop such as games, songs, etc. In addition to the CI techniques, teachers will also learn how to use fun movements that accompany expressions requiring all students to show participation throughout the lesson
(i.e. How sad!, What a shame!, It is a problem, etc…). These movements make the lesson fun and interactive and will be added unexpectadly in the storytelling process. Participating teachers will see samples of some of the ideas presented via pictures/videos of middle school lessons.”
At 10.45 was the second part of the Chinese Mandarin lesson for beginners by Linda Li and Bryce Hedstrom. Because there were so many participants yesterday, the workshop was replaced to another, bigger room. But again: full house! There happens so moch in Linda’s lesson, too much to tell about. it’s good bryce is there to debrief. What I liked very much were Linda’s speech bubbles. And she has a beautiful and clear handwriting!
During lunch time I went swimming in the pool to have some physical exercice and then at 2.15 PM I went to Carol Gaab’s workshop Developing a flexible personalized curriculum. There was overlap with the workshop at iFLT, but this one was longer and had more hands-on. In the schedule it is decribed as: ” If the thought of writing curriculum makes you shudder, cringe and/or grimace, you definitely do not want to miss this session! Come learn how to efficiently design curriculum that is engaging, flexible and effective for SLA. Learn how to use themes to give lessons direction and purpose, how to backward plan from any source, whether a textbook, a vocabulary list or a novel and how to use authentic resources as a compelling source of CI. Discover unique resources that will help you create a rich, comprehensive curriculum, along with quick and easy strategies for organizing a student-centered curriculum with minimum effort and maximum creativity. Participants should bring at least one source (i.e. vocabulary list, a novel, a textbook) from which they will backward plan and begin the design process.” Keywords: Define- Refine-Combine. Carol uses a lot of traditional ways a having more repetition e.g. by reading with multiple choice questions and basing the reading on a short video or (funny) commercial. Carol’s hand-out: NTPRS Curric. HOGaab
At 5 PM a new round of sessions started and I went to Blaine’s : Using yourself as a parallel character. Described in the schedule as: “All TPRS should have student actors. Student actors are taught to answer a question and if they can’t answer the question they read it. Part of that questioning process might include yourself as a parallel character. If the main student has a problem, then the teacher doesn’t have a problem. If the main character goes to Spain, then the teacher goes to France. This allows a great amount of conversation between the teacher and the student actors and the teacher in the class using first person. It works amazingly well.” Blaine did a demo with to participants and then we worked in groups of three ot practice this skill – one was student/character, one was ‘class’ and one the teacher.
At 6.30 the exhibitor’s room opened and there was a reception. I first went to my room and when I arrived there it was not very busy anymore. I bought some books and then I went to look for my Dutch colleagues to go to Michael Miller to record the Dutch part of the song for Michael’s slideshow on Friday.
De zevende uitgebreide druk – april 2015 – van het Engelstalige boek van Blaine Ray en Contee Seely is uit! Dit is hét basisdidactiekboek voor TPRS, samen met `TPRS in a year` en `PQA in a wink` van Ben Slavic. In deze zevende uitgebreide druk van ‘Fluency through TPR Storytelling, achieving real language acquisition in school‘ worden de meest recente ontwikkelingen van TPRS vermeld.
Via TPRS/CI kunnen de leerlingen al vanaf dag 1 alles begrijpen wat ze horen en lezen in hun nieuwe taal en ze beantwoorden talloze vragen over verhalen, over zichzelf en over elkaar. In de eerste weken verwerven de leerlingen een basiswoordenschat en de meest essentiële grammaticale structuren. Binnen twee à drie maanden zijn de leerlingen in staat om zichzelf vloeiend uit te drukken, passend bij hun niveau. Docenten zijn dol op wat hun leerlingen allemaal al kunnen doen en de leerlingen zelf zijn er ook weg van. Deze zevende editie bevat talrijke vernieuwingen zoals:
- Aangepaste TPRS materialen en hulpmiddelen
- Herzien en uitgebreid onderzoek m.b.t. TPR Storytelling
- Multi-Level klassen en sociale verscheidenheid
- Overstappen met de sectie naar CI/TPRS
- Samenwerkend klassenmanagement
- TPRS en CI op de basisschool
- Overtuigen van schoolleiding en ouders
- Embedded Readings gebruiken, gebaseerd op TPRS verhalen
- Free Voluntary Reading (FVR) & Sustained Silent Reading (SSR)
- Doceren om verschillende schrijfsystemen te lezen
- Jezelf als een Parallel Personage inzetten
- De “Events” Techniek
- Niet beginnen met TPR
- Diepe Personalisatie
Taalverwervingsexpert Stephen Krashen zegt, “TPR Storytelling is veel beter dan al het andere elders”
Er is een Nederlandstalige versie van de vijfde druk.
Wednesday 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.
During 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 think 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!
Today 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
In 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…
This morning at 8 o’clock started NTPRS14 in the Sheraton in Lisle, Illinois. We gathered in the ballroom and Lisa Reyes opened NTPRS14. Blaine did a few words and Lisa presented all the teams and all countries and US-regions had to stand up in order to show with how many they were. The big group from Turkey is also present at NTPRS.
This year NTPRS has special workshops for :
- the beginning TPRS teachers,
- The intermediate TPRS teachers
- the advanced TPRS teachers
So there is one level more: the intermediate TPRS teachers. The advanced workshop has, unlike last year, one presenter and the intermediates also have one presenter, one of which is my roommate Michelle Kindt. The workshops are longer now: there’s a part in the morning and a part in the afternoon.
I first went to the workshop by Carol Gaab: Reading, an advanced workshop. Carol’s workshops are always a delight to attend. They have a lot of variation, you learn a lot of interesting tips and tricks and they’re fun. I made a lot of notes and hope to use it all the coming schoolyear. See the link for her hand-out.
During the lunch, Diana Noonan held her keynote speech. She told that she’s not the type for speeching and that she didn’t want to do it, but finally she gave in. She told us how she got into contact with TPRS and how she introduced it in her district. She started small, one teacher at a time. She invited a lot of TPRS presenters. The teachers can choose if they come to the professional or not. The next piece was assessment, because you have to prove that you are improving the students. They had funds and the teachers came together and started writing. They have the data: thousands of students did the tests. Diana filmed 9 teachers and put it on Schooltube. Teachers ahve to be able to observe each other. At the end Diana gave the message: Do what you know what is best for kids. If you meet roadblocks, remember (she finished with a cute video): “don’t stop, don’t give up, keep trying, keep trying (sung by of a cute little girl).
After lunch Carol’s workshop continued and besides new tips and tricks she also gave us pages from TPRS novels in order to prepare a readers theater lesson.
After Carol’s session I went to Gary DiBianca: Big picture planning: how to use CI to make meaningful; units filled with content and culture. He gave an overview of backward planning, how to reflect on personal and professional passions to engage students, how to present so that students acquire, learn and manipulate language. He gave the ACTFL 5 C’s: Communication, Connections, Culture, Community, Comparisons. He adviced to make cross connections within your lessons and units – do not isolate them.
What’s your students base knowledge in and with the target language? How do you adapt or retool your in-class target language usage? Is it all comprehensible? How do you organize instruction/content/language?
What is your passion that you could share as a teacher? CONNECTIONS. Think about “Teach like a pirate” by Dave Burgess, who mentions 3 passions.
At 6 there were two showcases by Blaine Ray and Michael Miller and after it a research masterclass, I’d have loved to attend to them, but I was too tired to attend. It was a long day already…
Already back in the Netherlands and it’s only now that I have time and energy to continue to write about the last two days of NTPRS13. Thursday evening we had Openmic night and I went for a swim afterwards, because I really needed to have some physical exercice after sitting for so many hours the whole day and all those days and I also wanted to be outside. (The swimming pool is outside, on the 9th floor).
We really should have more reflection time during NTPRS! Less is more! So much is happening at the same time and of course we want to do as much as possible (which we strictly speaking of course are not obliged to, but we only have this chance once a year… and after travelling so far and so long I don’t want to miss anything…)
Thursday the 25th I first went to ‘Reading Strategies for the Language Classroom’, although I also would have liked to go to Michael Miller’s “TPRS: the next steps“. You can find handouts of Carol’s workshop at the TPRS Publishing site, Freebies – Free downloads, Misc. Handouts, Novel Novel-activities.
Grand Bryan A was packed ! Because guided reading can become boring, monotonous and predictable, Carol makes reading into a play, .e.g. by using 4 different colour groups and all groups get different tasks during the reading. She uses a laserpointer and it’s NOT just straight reading, but she shouts out colours and they have to perform, and not only going forward but also repeating, answering questions.
She recommends to implement just one fun-technique per week and perhaps wait a while still using them with the lower levels.
Carol told us again a lot about the sportguys she teaches English and with whom she uses a.o. these techniques; and who in fact mostly don’t like to read and don’t read. But this way they do! Carol puts signs in the text where she wants to ask personnal questions, context questions, cultural comparisons and connections.
After the morning break I went to ‘Fast and easy speaking & writing assessments‘ by Scott Benedict. Scott has online workshops about assessment at his website Teach for June. He talked about ‘Group Speak'(TM) : small groups tell a story in front of the class, using only group-drawn pictures, using only known vocabulary, multiple sentences. He developed speaking rubrics, in order to assess the students individually. Students are familiar with these rubrics and they get them long before they are assessed, so there are no surprises for them.
He wants the students to feel successful and so the rubrics are called: F = beginner, D = novice, C = intermediate, B = proficient and A = advanced
He always writes one positive comment on the rubrics and adds one goal for the next time.
Scott also indicated that writing assessements are a pain to grade, but Scott’s secret: he uses the same rubrics as for the speaking assessments, only replacing ‘speaking’ by ‘writing’ and ‘speech’ by ‘spelling’. Scott has his students write every week and he starts with a 10′ timed writing and then it gets less in the year. Goal = 100 comprehensible words in 5′ or less (Scott arrives at it around spring break).
Scott stresses the importance of positive feedback.
Why are Team Speak (TM) and timed writing effective, according to Scott?
- they are spontanous and not rehearsed
- it’s fast – the students have them back the next week
- it’s a quick snap shot of a students ability
- there’s not time to edit on timed writings
After lunchtime again the choice for me between Micheal’s workshop and ‘Movie Talk‘ by Michele Whaley and Betsy Paskvan. The room was too small for their audience. Lot’s of us were even sitting on the floor!
Movie Talk was started by Ashley Hastings with ESL students and it seems to be 5 times faster than traditional methods.
It’s narration that explains a movie:
- name objects
- describe actions
- explain characters
- explain their emotions
A few important points:
* Listening comprehension is a prerequisite for speaking
* Language students cannot speak above their own own comprehension level
I already used Movie Talk once with my CEF level A1 group (then last year’s beginners) and I used the price winning clip ‘Love recipe‘ of 5’ that Kristin Duncan put on her blog. The class and me talked for an hour about it! Lots and lots of PQA and lots to tell about the clip itself too.
Betsy and Michele showed several clips; Michele did it the traditional Movie Talk way with Russian and Betsy showed a TPRS version in Japanese (which I found much more comprehensible; but if you can not use e.g. translation or even written words, then it should be more TPR-like, I suppose).
At the end the showed us : the black hole (Kristin put it at her site too). Betsy and Michele asked us to make a Movie Talk lesson with this film, in groups.
A great workshop, with a good combination of interesting and practical theory, good practice examples and hands-on for the participants. BRAVO Michele and Betsy!
After the break I had the difficult task of choosing between ‘Backward planning’ of Carrie Toth and ‘Power PQA‘ by Scott Benedict. I chose the latter. Scott developed Power PQA on the original idea of Ben Slavic of Circling with balls. It’s described in Ben Slavic’s ‘PQA in a wink!’, chapter 2. He does it when a new school year starts. Scott adapted it. He utilizes student-drawn pictures as basis for comprehensible input and to get to know the students. It engages the students
Because there happened to be not much news in it for me, I went to Carrie’s workshop but also to Señor Wooly’s. Being a French teacher there’s not in much in it or me unfortunately, but I like music and songs and I was very curious, because I read and heard so many positive things about him. And it was great! I’m jealous! Of course we French teachers have Alain Le Lait and he is wonderful, but Señor Wooly is even better! How creative! So much humor/humour!
From the programm: Backward Planning- Incorporating Culture in the Classroom from End to Beginning – Carrie Toth: “How can I help my students gain proficiency in the language while drawing on resources available to me through modern technology? Many teachers ask themselves this question as they try to navigate the waters of language education in the 21st century. Through backward planning with Wiggins and McTighe’s Understanding by Design, participants will learn how to set appropriate and meaningful goals for their students and then plan the instruction needed to reach them. Participants will be encouraged to find ways to incorporate culture and technology into the classroom as they design units that will help students achieve not only their language learning goals but greater fluency as well. Examples will be given in Spanish but will be applicable to all languages.”
I also mentioned it before, I’m using a Multiple Intelligences scheme and that help’s me put in these resources in a really very simple way. It helps me addressing all 8 intelligences as mentioned by Howard Gardner and because of that addressing students ‘as a whole person’. Because TPRS also addresses students as individuals, a persons, as humans, MI and TPRS match very well!
Today I even went to the coaching session, together with Joyce, also from the Netherlands. You can see how filled this day already was; and then the Open Mic night was yet to come!
We went to a higher level station and we both observed someone teaching and being coached. Then the level changed to a lower level and we changed to a new station and there I asked Gary DiBianca to coach me when I would be teaching Dutch. Because ‘veryfying details’ is something new to me, I decided to be coached on that topic.
I wrote a Dutch structure on the dry erasel paper and several words more, I picked an actor and off we went.
Gary gave me good feedback afterwards and I was allowed to choose a small sticker to stick on my name tag. (He advised me a green one, which matched my clothing ;-).
Because I work a lot with adults, I did not use actors a lot, because I thought they might feel slightly embarrassed by being an actor and being in the limelight. But every time when I’m being taught Russian or Japanese or Chinese or any other language I do not know, I always feel the strength of the visual part of actors, of seeing a story coming alive, in combination with hearing this language in a comprehensible way.
I only went once to the coaching sessions, and that’s not because I think it’s not important, but because I was tired after all those sessions all day. And because there is little time to process everything you’ve heard, which also makes you forget easier. So I think it would be a good idea if the coaching could be immediately after the workshops and then anouther round of sessions after that. Or even be more integrated in the workshops, like in Von’s & Blaine’s veryfying details workshop or Betsy’s and Michele’s workshop.
Before going to the Open Mic Night Joyce and I went to our favorite restaurant Zenna, (The Tai-Japanese one, where we went to the first night) and we happened to find there lots an lots of colleagues! And not only at this table, but everywhere!