Here are some words of hope for those who “can’t get” TPRS/CI with its current formula of massive reps, circling and targets. Working without targets allows:
1. More freedom because it is a softer approach to the work of CI that puts the heart first.
2. It is not about crowd control but about helping people come together as a group.
3. It is free flowing and fun and easy and one never feels in danger of messing up – the group dynamic is different from the old teacher-centered storytelling dynamic of the “gifted teacher riding around the room on a high horse being wonderfully entertaining”. The instructor can be vulnerable, can explore, and not have to be right all the time, nor have to entertain, since that part in a non-targeted CI classroom comes from the kids a lot more than from the teacher.
4. The instructors are less “experts at language teaching” and more “co-learners.” This is true in training as well.
5. One can be natural and be oneself in the classroom.
6. One doesn’t have to do rote circling practice at trainings “till you get it”.
7. Training is about demos and coaching, which is a natural way to learn to teach, because it is based on teacher intuition and not getting the TPRS skills checked off by the judging trainer.
8. Training is not about coaching from a formula, but rather about coaching from intuition.
9. Assessment is lighter, which raises the quality of instruction, since the kids can trust more those who don’t judge them so much “what they can produce” when they are so new to the language.