Perhaps the tipping point over to CI has actually been reached. For fifteen years in this space (eleven of them private), I have heard teachers expressing their concerns that CI cannot be fitted into every single curricular/philosophical model being used throughout the entire school building. Their concerns have always been sprinkled with a low grade fear that someone in the building will “find out” that they are not aligning with the curricular initiative that all the subjects taught in the build are required to adhere to.
But with the advent of Cameron’s two “Square Peg Round Hole” books, that is changing and today in an email I read a most welcome and refreshing sentence from a member of our community, Elizabeth Palmer in Iowa, here:
…in the preservice PD the focus will be on Marzano’s Art and Science of Teaching, so I will see how I can see that through the lens of research based language acquisition. Any new initiative in which they embark us is going to have to fit and serve the CI/Natural Approach….
This is the statement of a strong teacher who will not back down in defending the research!
Elizabeth adds:
…this is my transition year, and maybe I’ll stump and bump but I do not want to look back….
I am very happy that she said that. Most people get weak on this point. She is exhibiting a winner’s attitude. Is it not, in fact, a very true statement that we should base everything we do on the research and the standards? When we are forced by the powers-that-be in our buildings and by freaks at the district level who understand nothing about how people acquire languages, shouldn’t we simply inform the people for whom we work that their model, for our field only, does not align with the research? (See David Young 2015 post – link below – for more on that point.)
When we are forced to bend the truths found in the research and the standards to agree with a dusty, blurred lens/curricular model (think common assessments and a whole host of things that for too many long years now we have been stupidly asked to pair our instruction with in awkward ways), then shouldn’t we challenge that model and, as this teacher says so well above, make the models “fit and serve” the research?
(There a few articles from the past on Marzano. Here is a good one from 2015:



8 thoughts on “Marzano”

  1. I believe this is an excellent position to take. After getting to know the philosophy or curriculum protocol, we can respectfully agree with some aspects of it or can negate it 100%. As teachers, we should empower ourselves to be open and receptive to other perspectives… but only to the extent that it also support our own research of language acquisition.

  2. In 2017 there was a presenter at NTPRS in San Antonio that gave a presentation on Marzano and TPRS/CI and how they completey align. Maybe their work is still up on the Sched.

    1. My friend Leslie in New Jersey uses TPRS and CI only and she gets very high ratings on Marzano. She has done a terrific job educating her supervisors and her colleagues, all of whom are not on board. Just from my travels around, I believe the scale is tipping if it has not already tipped.

      1. Leslie is in the League of Saints bc she has been able to educate her colleagues. It is no easy task! Yeah, whatever the barometer is, good teaching is good teaching and so I remember specifically that year when our focus in the building was Marzano I made a conscious effort to not give a rip. Nothing happened. I think I got credit for listening to them talk about Marzano.

  3. I actually trained my students into a routine. Whenever we got observed I stopped what we were doing and we got the boxes checked. The kids always got into it. It was like a challenge for us. As soon as the observer came into the room, right at that moment I smiled at the kids and we knew we were on. I had them translate lists of words from the word wall in chorus, totally useless but impressive to ignorant observers. I knew when to put them in groups to get that box checked (that is now in the Reading Options materials). Lots of stuff that I don’t remember anymore bc since I started NTCI those boxes get checked automatically.

    1. Funny, I just realized that this happened to me too but without explicitly telling the students. After a few lessons, some open honesty and empathic statements to kids they just get that it’s time to get those boxes checked. There’s a trust that is unsurpassed. Off the cuff, we should have our Aces in our sleeves ready… partner to partner summarizing, exit tickets or dictations with the last few sentences.of our CI experience with “feedback” to the students to “improve”… when really we can’t expect them to master any particular structure. They can only begin to communicate with single words and body language.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Search

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Related Posts

CI and the Research (cont.)

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

Research Question

I got a question: “Hi Ben, I am preparing some documents that support CI teaching to show my administrators. I looked through the blog and

We Have the Research

A teacher contacted me awhile back. She had been attacked about using CI from a team leader. I told her to get some research from

The Research

We don’t need any more research. In academia that would be a frivolous comment, but as a classroom teacher in languages I support it. Yes,



Subscribe to be a patron and get additional posts by Ben, along with live-streams, and monthly patron meetings!

Also each month, you will get a special coupon code to save 20% on any product once a month.

  • 20% coupon to anything in the store once a month
  • Access to monthly meetings with Ben
  • Access to exclusive Patreon posts by Ben
  • Access to livestreams by Ben