Friday, February 29, 2008

The Journey Begins

I took a Blaine Ray workshop in October and starting after Thanksgiving, I jumped into the azure blue waters of TPRS. I told my students it was an experiment that we would do until Christmas, but I knew I we weren't going back . . . it was a long time in coming, but I only had to spend a half an hour in the workshop before I made the decision to ditch the grammar books; I haven't wavered from my decision since.

What was the allure? What enticed me to leave the "safety" of the shore? After all, I'm a 4%er and a grammar nerd . . . but now, I'm a recovering grammar nerd. I have always been smart enough to know that kids hate grammar, but for some time, I thought it was just one of those necessary evils.

The hook that convinced me of the methodology is comprehensible input. I think I first heard that expression as a grad school student 12 years ago, but even though I knew about CI and Krashen's work in language acquisition, the college professors I had couldn't really explain Comprehensible Input and especially what it would look like in a language classroom. I remember thinking at the time that CI would take the form of a teacher talking in the language every class period for a year or so while the students would just soak in the language. It seemed very teacher centered and my own experience told me kids just can't sit there and listen for that long. In short, it seemed like one of those theoretical pie in the sky ideals of a college professor who had no experience actually teaching kids. How wrong I was.

More later.

1 comment:

Elicia said...

Hi Michael. I'm a TPRS teacher in Utah and would love a mentor/friend/workshopper.

You can contact me at e li cia car de na s at gm ail dot com.