In September I was a guest lecturer in Nyssa Knarvik’s Teaching Methodology for Foreign Language Instruction graduate course at Colorado State University. I talked about Krashen’s hypotheses and gave a demo of a TPRS-style story. I have been invited back in November. Here are some questions the students have about TPRS/CI. These are good questions by a sharp group of graduate students, all of whom are currently teaching. I have some answers in mind, but I am interested in finding out what members of the group are thinking.
Please share what you would add or alter in the responses below. I will add my responses in a few days, most likely altered by your input.
Here is Nyssa’s letter and her students’ questions about CI/TPRS:
Dear Bryce, First of all, I want to tell you that the students have not stopped talking about you since your visit. You are constantly referenced in class – they were all very taken by your talk and the methods that you helped them to understand.
Also, class has put together a list of questions that we have for you in case you might like to address some of them during your next visit. We’re all looking forward to your next visit!
Assistant Professor of Spanish
Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Colorado State University
- Do you discuss these methods with students? Are they aware of the reason(s) for choosing these methods?
- The verbs that you chose to demonstrate for our class were relatively easy to act out but what happens if you have verbs that were more difficult to use with motions? Like deber or gustar?
- What are some strategies for pitching the CI and/or TPRS approach to Administrators that may be skeptical or committed to more traditional ways?
- Do you think it’s appropriate to assign homework in a CI or TPRS class? When and why?
- Is it ever too early or too late to start teaching using TPRS?
- How does one get better at improving their CI and TPRS teaching skills?
- Do you have any particular strategies for introducing difficult concepts such as preterit and imperfect to lower level learners?
- Do you have any recommendations for resources to learn about different learning styles particularly ADD/ADHD?
- Can we use CI and/or TPRS to teach writing in the L2?
- Do you have any specific examples of working with IEPs with this method?
- How would you apply this method to a college level setting where we have much less time and flexibility than in a high school?
- What constructive feedback have you received from other teachers and students about this method?