There is an excellent video of TPRS available online at vimeo.com. It was taken by Sylvia Duckworth (AIM) of Norm Veilleux teaching a level one French class in Toronto. Here is the link:
http://www.vimeo.com/10121629 – password is TPRS
I recommend a close look. Here are some observations I would like to offer:
2:30 – notice the class buy in. The flow is great, simple one word responses by the kids in TL. Remember that if it is not a one word answer then it is not circling – this is circling. Norm is also not jumping around the room like some of us. He displays balance and could probably do this for hours. I love the sense of calm. The flow of comprehensible language in an interesting way, which is the key element in authentic acquisition – is there and very strong. It’s so simple. Norm just keeps asking questions, the vibe is that he will absolutely not deviate into English (expectations totally clear), the kids answer in flow, and it just rolls along.
6:30 – Norm stays in a moment of uncertainty there, refusing to rescue the situation. It resolves naturally. Calm teaching presence. This is all done without actors, and yet works just fine.
9:10 – output is there by a kid and it is just so effortless. Norm did not force that output. I really like that unforced output. The kids don’t feel pressured at all and seem, as per Krashen, unconscious of learning. They’re just involved and absorbing the language!
12:45 – he got a retell and kept expanding on it. The addition of a celebrity – Halle Barry – sparked things. A good example of how the introduction of celebrities always spikes interest in TPRS. Norm keeps a nice clear orderly whiteboard that, I am sure, helps the kids a lot.
17:00 – wonderful use of “mes amis” througout the lesson to keep a nice bond with the kids. Retells to hands, as per Susan Gross.
Overall there is a wonderful flow of comprehensible input. We see in the first two minutes excellent use of circling and some point and pause. The result is massive repetition and a high degree of clarity in the minds of the kids. Great mood in the classroom – not theatrical, crazy, just a fun feeling of focus on the language. The kids are being bombarded with non stop comprehensible input and this is really what I think TPRS must look like in order to be effective. Norm doesn’t waste time on anything that isn’t CI.
Admins don’t actually read the research. They don’t have time. If or when they do read it, they do not really grasp it. How could