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.


NTPRS13 – Friday the 26th of July – day 5

Today already the last day!!! How sad! Time flew! IMG_1464Went to ‘The brain and reading‘ by Mira Canion. She talked about the book ‘Story Proof ; the science behind the startling power of stories’ by Kendall Haven. It’s only about 200 years ago that we started reading on a large scale. There is no dedicated area of the brain for reading; that’s why we have to teach kids to read.

Kendall proves that our human brains are wired for stories. Storytelling started 100.000 to 300.000 years ago, for archiving information. IMG_1486

What is story? What is the opposite? Is there an opposite? Is there a word for non-story?

Story is how content is organized. It is the most effective delivery vehicle for your content.

Haven says: “Teach all the content this way.”

Summarizing the text (Macon et al, 1991):

  • Somebody
  • Wants
  • But
  • So

IMG_1497The last workshop round I went to Gary DiBianca’s ‘Teaching Advanced Structures‘. It was a very structured workshop, I found. Gary showed us how to get a good personalized statement from your class by using a pre-determined structure.

Context: problems of teenagers/of your students – discussion about something moral. Gary used e.g.

  • I recommended him/her to watch and he talked about a tv-series/ film (would you recommend it to your parents; why ? would you recommend it to me?
  • Before someone is going out with a girl, what should he have done? What should he do the next time? What would you have done?

Here you can find Gary’s PowerPoint about ‘Teaching Advanced Structures’.IMG_1514

Gary, like all presenters stopped exactly in time and that was my last NTPRS workshop for this year…

The last part of our conference was the closing luncheon. Katya Paukova was the keynote speaker of this year and she told us her story of moving with her family from Russia to the US, of becoming a TPRS teacher in a dynasty of hardcore traditional linguists and that the news of her pregnancy seemed even almost a little bit less important because of the stunning experience she had in her first TPRS workshop.


Daniel from China gave us a power workout and he ended with the words: “If you canIMG_1552 dream it, you can achieve it.”

And finally Michael Miller’s traditional slideshow with pictures of the entire week; did we have a good time! And thank you so much Michael, for all the work you did all week and even presenting too! And of course thanks to Lisa Reyes, Carol Sutton, Amanda, Kristen and Thristy and Blaine and Von as our hosts and all of the presenters and coaches and the hospitable hotel!