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.

 

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

 

 

NTPRS13 – Monday 22nd of July – the first day

IMG_0931NTPRS 2013 started this morning! There were some technical problems and so we started a bit later. It was great to be there together again and to listen to Blaine and to Lisa’s enthousiastic openingwords. Lisa o.a. introduced the workshop presenters and the coaches. At the end they showed us the countries where all the participants come from and Lisa said it should in fact become an ITPRS in future. From Europe there were participants from Germany, the Netherlands and from Spain.

IMG_1001The first workshop I went to was the workshop of Carol Gaab and Kristy Placido : “Thinking on your feet”. They are a good team and always have higly interesting and inspiring workshops which are very well structured and have a good pacing and they are ‘compelling’ and they teach what they preach: “the brain craves novelty” and that’s what they take care of, not only in their lessons but also in their workshops. Carol calls the pacing something like “ebb and flow”, but I always call it “breathing in and out”. A lesson need variation between acitivity and rest.

This year the beginners learn how to TPRS and in the meantime they learn Russian from Katya Paukova and Donna Tatum. The advanced workshops are this year on three mornings instead of the four of last year, which I think is a pity, because now I have to choose between two workshops which I’d like to do both, but if it had been four days, I could have done both… New is also that the workshops take all morning and a part of the afternoon, which gave us more time to practice also ourselves. I liked it very much we had to discuss in Carol’s and Kristy’s wokshop in small groups which structures we would use for movie talk with a very funny film about a lady how is flirting with guys in a lunchcorner and how we would make a lesson out of it. This kind of thing we should do more often!

IMG_0971TPRS thrives on problems and today we started with a technical problem and during the lunch we had a problem of another order: our keynote speaker Dr Stephen Krashen had forgotten he had to take the airplane to go to Dallas… But now technics came to our help and we could follow his speech in the big room where we were having lunch, because he was sitting behind a webcam and we could see his face bigger than life on three big screens. Nevertheless, technics was not infallible. The sound was not too good, so unfortunately it was difficult to understand his speech very well…

IMG_1016After the teabreak I went to Contee’s workshop about TPR and he talked about some theoretical concepts and also did TPR with us and had Charlotte Dincher do TPR in German. We flew to the park and to Best Buy. Contee also showed the three ring circus of Berty Segal. She did a workshop about it at iFLT and you can find the hand-out at the TPRS Publishing website in the free download section – see the 3. Wed-Fri workshops – page 21 up to and including page 30.

After the sessions we could go to the coaching sessions, but Charlotte and I helped Contee to set up his table in the exhibitors room, so tomorrow I’ll go to the coaching room! There is also at least one self-coaching group that’s even coaching themselves in the evening! How about being enthousiastic!