Classroom Observations


A Short Glossary of Insults and Off-Color Street Spanish. Find the whole list here Among some groups, I suppose this vocabulary could be considered high-frequency, but not in polite company. This material was originally published in Conversational Spanish, a textbook I wrote and used in my college classes for almost 20 years.  It is intended to inform adults. I have never taught my upper-level high school students units on cussing in Spanish, despite their ardent pleas over the years. Although I agree that it would be useful for them to be aware of some of the curse words in Spanish, I never [...]


I have recently posted many classroom observations by a variety of teachers on this blog. Here is an previous observation from 2012, when a teacher relatively new to TPRS observed me teaching an intensive language lab course to a diverse group of high school age learners at the 2012 iFLT conference. I have refined a few aspects of my teaching and have added a some new techniques since then, but the overall tone and approach remain the same: Empathy, Connection and Interesting Comprehensible Language Use. This last week I had the privilege of presenting at the second International Forum on Language Teaching [...]

By |2018-04-11T11:13:17-06:00April 11th, 2018|Categories: Classroom Observations, Differentiation, Teaching Slowly|0 Comments


I have been very fortunate to have been visited by two master teachers in the past two weeks: Connie Navarro and Karen Rowan. Now here are the observations by a set of fresh eyes. Noah is a second year teacher from a Christian school in Denver, full of ideas and hope, who had asked to visit my classroom. Here are his observations. I had heard about Bryce through some colleagues in the Spanish Teaching world. When I read that this was his final year teaching, I decided I better try to observe him while I still had the opportunity. When I [...]


Connie Navarro visited my classroom on March 8, 2018. Her observations are particularly valuable because she has so much experience observing CI teachers. Connie has been a Peer Observer in the Denver Public Schools for the last five years and is the president of the Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers (CCFLT). She made the trip 50 miles north to observe my classes at the end of the day on the last day of the week (also the end of the quarter). It was such a pleasure discussing her observations afterwards. Since she has observed so many teachers she was [...]

An Unusual Classroom Observation

The way we teach with comprehensible input has applications to other disciplines and we are barely scratching the surface of ways that teaching like this can positively affect education. Last week I was pleased to have an unusual visitor in my classroom. Larry Currey, a math teacher at Liberty Common High School in Fort Collins, Colorado, was in my classroom the last three periods of the day on Friday. Most observers that stop by my classroom are understandably language teachers, but Larry was interested in observing because his son-in-law, a Latin aficionado and a big fan of Justin Slocum Bailey, [...]

By |2018-02-23T07:07:39-07:00February 22nd, 2018|Categories: Classroom Observations, Daily Routine, Teacher Training|0 Comments


Here are the reflections on a recent classroom observation by Bridget Webster, a middle school French teacher. Her heartfelt and keen observations will help to encourage teachers that are considering taking the plunge into Teaching with Comprehensible Input (TCI). Bridget has been teaching for three years and is relatively new to TCI. She devoted an entire day to observing my classroom and she, as well as her colleagues, stayed well after the school day to discuss what they had seen. Looks like she gets it. Bridget has since implemented many strategies she saw, particularly the use of the "I don't understand" and [...]