When Failed Kids Succeed

I have turned the comment below from Judy into a separate blog post. As Ardythe’s words make the conceptual/theoretical point about how people really acquire languages, Judy’s makes the point from the actual classroom. It supports what we do in a way that I consider the best way, the most convincing way. It shows what happens with kids wh0, when told that they can’t do something, turn around and do it after being moved into a nurturing and not a judging envrironment. Maybe Kate and others can use it when talking with their administrators about comprehensible input:

I was working on the structures “goes to” and “wants” for it. I haven’t done too much embedded reading with these kids because we’re just starting out this month. They are seven kids who got failing grades in English in the first trimester and their teacher asked me to take them on. Instead of going to his class, they come to me and we do TPRS. They have the option of returning to his class if they want, knowing that if they stay with me their maximum grade will be 12/20. I am working with four groups like this and so far only two students have asked to go back to the regular class (who were not failing but had been sent to me in the first place to get them out of the teacher’s hair).

I’m really having a ball with them, and the kids are progressing so fast! I think that by volunteering to take on the students that are failing in a traditional class, I’ve convinced some of my colleagues that there is something to TPRS.

My comment: people who aren’t convinced unless they see some numbers/data about the best way to teach languages, which they already have from Dr. Krashen and others anyway, may want to do some field study of classes base on comprehensible input vs. the old way of teaching languages. They would find countless such stories as the one above. Do they count for anything, or are we to continue needing proof for everthing about something that cannot really ever be truly measured.

o turn this comment from Judy into a separate blog post. It supports what we do and maybe kate and others can use it when talking with their administrators about comprehensible input. As Ardythe’s words make the conceptual/theoretical point about how people really acquire languages, Judy’s makes the point from the actual classroom: I was working on the structures “goes to” and “wants” for it. I haven’t done too much embedded reading with these kids because we’re just starting out this month. They are seven kids who got failing grades in English in the first trimester and their teacher asked me to take them on. Instead of going to his class, they come to me and we do TPRS. They have the option of returning to his class if they want, knowing that if they stay with me their maximum grade will be 12/20. I am working with four groups like this and so far only two students have asked to go back to the regular class (who were not failing but had been sent to me in the first place to get them out of the teacher’s hair). I’m really having a ball with them, and the kids are progressing so fast! I think that by volunteering to take on the students that are failing in a traditional class, I’ve convinced some of my colleagues that there is something to TPRS. My comment: people who aren’t convinced unless they see some numbers/data about the best way to teach languages, which they already have from Dr. Krashen and others anyway, may want to do some field study of classes base on comprehensible input vs. the old way of teaching languages. They would find countless such stories as the one above. Do they count for anything, or are we to continue needing proof for everthing about something that cannot really ever be truly measured.

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2 thoughts on “When Failed Kids Succeed”

  1. Strange… I have a girl who failed French 1 getting an A+ with me in Spanish one. Using the French I have acquired from the hours of studying your DVD’s Ben, I try to parler un petit peu avec elle. She just stares at me and says I know absolutely no French because I can’t learn it.
    Yep… can’t learn French.

  2. The big hit up the side of my head, something that gets to me really more than anything, is how that girl has no idea that she is not at fault here. That as you infer, Drew, her teacher has lied to her about her abilities in life. I call that abuse.

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