Shayna, an AP Spanish teacher and reader of this blog writes:

Hi Bryce,

I’ve spent my 10-year career teaching Spanish at a private high school.  I am very intrigued by CI, but as an AP Spanish teacher, I’m concerned that if I abandon some of my traditional teaching methods, my students  will not be prepared for the exam.  I’m interested in course(s) and/or trainings that prepare AP Spanish teachers to teach their curriculum with CI.
I would love the chance to work with you and very much look forward to your reply. 
Thank you so much and happy New Year!


Hi Shayna,

I understand your hesitancy about teaching with C.I. / A.D.I. It seems like a big risk, but rest assured that it works. Let me explain how and why.

I taught both college and AP high school classes with Comprehensible Input for more than 20 years. I taught some grammar, but less and less the longer I taught because my students were well prepared for the exam. In the beginning, I taught with explicit grammar, but when the college board decreased and finally dropped the grammar component (2005?), I mostly phased that out. I did occasionally familiarize students with conjugation examples and the vocabulary of legacy teaching in case they went on to a grammar-based teacher in another school or in college classes. I didn’t want them to feel dumb or drop out of Spanish altogether.

I replaced worksheets and conjugation charts with vocabulary-controlled readers and meaningful contextualized stories that were invented together with the class.

MATERIALS: Here are some materials that I developed and used successfully to prepare AP students:

Reading El Alquimista:

Reading Harry Potter:

Class story with a grammatical component for Level 4/AP:

The process of using contextualized grammar in reading and speech has to start early, so I wrote and developed these as well:

Spanish 1 Stories:

Spanish 2 Stories:

Spanish 3 Stories:


METHODS: Here are some links that describe and validate teaching with TPRS/CI/ADI:

Here is a study by Spanish teacher Darcy Pippins and Stephen Krashen describing how her students were well prepared for the AP test just by reading and discussing texts in Spanish. A similar approach has worked for me. Some techniques I have found useful have been:

1) READING: Whole class reading, daily Free Voluntary Reading, weekly reading aloud to students, and other reading strategies as described in my book Hi-Impact Reading Strategies. Regular focused book reports, Reading Reaction forms, and other assessments are also important for accountability. This engages the Interpretive Mode.

2) SPECIAL PERSON STUDENT INTERVIEWS: These interviews engage students with interpersonal language like nothing else. They are described in detail here. This engages the Interpersonal Mode.

3) STORYTELLING: Creating stories with students mostly based on this list of important verbs. This engages all three modes, but especially the Presentational Mode. Here is a document about creating stories that require the use of the present subjunctive.

I do not have any specific AP or college workshops coming up, but here are some live online seminars I will be doing this semester with BER about reading:

Here are some live online seminars I am doing with BER about Best Strategies for teaching world languages:

Neither of these are AP or college specific, but the strategies in both seminars will apply to your situation and will help.

I also do many custom trainings for school and school districts. Let’s talk about setting up a training for your school.

LATIN: By the way I am still putting these ideas into practice. My daughter asked me to teach Latin at the classical school she was developing, so in the last two years I have acquired Latin. I have taught Latin as a volunteer instructor twice a week at her school for the last year and a half. I’ve done a grand experiment on my own self by acquiring the language with comprehensible input. I have read more than 75 Latin readers and many other materials in Latin. I am now at the intermediate level in my comprehension. I have purposefully stayed away from explicit grammar in my own learning and also in my teaching.

My students are reading, understanding and producing mostly grammatically correct Latin–with very little explicit grammatical instruction. And they are enthusiastically learning the language. Before Christmas break my high school students wrote and produced a play in Latin, They rewrote an embedded reading I had written and added more speaking lines so that all could participate. They also wrote their version of the play in Latin and English so that other students in the school could understand. They did a wonderful job of taking ownership of their learning and wound up understanding and producing more language than any lesson I could have planned.

My 4th grade granddaughter, who is in my Latin 1A class, wrote an original story in Latin for me as a Christmas gift. Mostly correct grammar, based on stories we had read and created together in class. Another example of ownership and creativity in learning. Results like this never happened when I used legacy methods.

If my explanations are too brief and if you have questions, I would be happy to set up a Zoom meeting for us to discuss all of this this further.

Best regards,