A Good Question

I got a good question from a colleague in her
“…fourth year of teaching but my first using TPRS.  I’m not sure how I stumbled across your blog, but I can’t tell you how encouraging and insightful it has been!…I am teaching in a private school and am not certified, but I am looking at various graduate programs and was wondering if you knew of any that are forming foreign language instructors in the Language Acquisition Model.  I took one class that presented TPR – not even TPRS – as “one model” of foreign language instruction, but I was hoping someone somewhere is doing things…umm… correctly?” 
Thank you so much for your time!
I told her that in my opinion the work of teaching for (real) acquisition vs. (fake) learning is being done by educators who are actually teaching in elementary, middle, and high schools, trying stuff out, and learning like that, with their boots on.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe someone has some information about something happening in universities re: acquisition models that may be in use in various teacher training programs. I asked Dr. Krashen and he might respond on this as well.



6 thoughts on “A Good Question”

  1. I don’t have anything to suggest, but I did want to share something that happened today.
    One of my students has an older sister in Spanish. My student told me that it seems like we aren’t really learning anything because we just talk about lots of different things. Then she hears or reads something and knows what it means. Or she talks to her sister and can’t understand why her sister doesn’t know some of these really basic things in Spanish. In addition, we are reading “Arme Anna”, and my student realizes that she knows a lot because she can understand basically all of it – and it’s a “real” book, not a children’s book with big print. In fact, I probably should have started “Arme Anna” earlier, because my level 1 classes are telling me it’s a little bit boring.

  2. Dr. Krashen did respond in an email this evening to the above question, saying simply:
    “Nope! This is a real problem.”
    So our endeavor here is to find graduate programs in the U.S. where foreign language teachers are trained in the Language Acquisition Model, and the floor is now open for discussion. Again, we don’t need to get into anything gnarly or combative, we just want a list of schools.

  3. I wonder about the graduate program I did at the School for International Training, in Brattleboro, Vermont. They offer a Master of Arts in Teaching for French, Spanish and ESL. TPRS had not begun when I was there (1989) but we did have a lot of practice and discussion with comprehension based instruction. I think that this may be one place to start looking.

  4. Just checking in – Pam the UIowa FL teacher educator here. This was a question that I raised during our discussions back in December. The answer that I came away with was that this blog was not the venue to discuss TPRS in university FL teacher education. But I’d be happy to talk about what I have seen done, and why, off-blog if anyone would be interested in contacting me at pamela-wesely(at)uiowa.edu.

  5. Hello Pam!
    Frankly I would like to see the NTRPS 10 in Chicago and the California conference invite, and cover at least the conference cost of, two methods teachers who are interested in learning more about TPRS. These two conferences look to be the places to really begin to understand not only TPRS but also the people, energy and passion behind the CI movement. If we welcome people, they will come. When I make my first million, I’ll sponsor you!! :o)
    with love,

  6. “…this blog was not the venue to discuss TPRS in university FL teacher education…”
    Pam I apologize for my lack of clarity. Let me try again: this blog is not the place to discuss the relative merits of comprehensible input methods vs. traditional methods or whatever terms – eclectic, etc. – fit in that latter slot.
    Rather, it is dedicated to teachers who want to get better at comprehensible input strategies and techniques. Some jibes, comparisons, comments, and insults, of course, will make their way onto the blog, as this split is indeed tempestuous these days and as we are in the middle of a rather messy battle.
    But I would like to minimize such discussion in the interest of having this blog simply help teachers who wish to get better at how they communicate with their students in L2. I keep saying that I am not an expert and I say it again. This space is about sharing ideas to make us better at what we feel is best for our kids.
    Any thoughts, therefore, that can shine a light on what is happening re: how Krashen’s work is being used at whatever level of language instruction are most welcome. Please feel free to contribute in any way in that spirit. Again, sorry for not being more clear on this.

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