Eres Tu Valentine's Day Activity This is an activity for the majority of students that feel the vomit rise in their mouth when they see over-the-top Valentine's Day expressions of puppy lust. All. Day. Long. It's been a hit with students for years. Use it as a brain break or as an activity to teach the original song Eres Tú to your students and allow them to have fun with the language (and their inner evil emperor. Think of it as an "Occupy Valentine's Day" activity for the 99% of students that do not have a romantic partner and feel awkward [...]


"Si al comienzo no muestras quién eres, nunca podrás después, cuando quisieres."  "If at first you do not show who you are, you will never be able to afterwards when you want to." From El Conde Lucanor, Cuento XXXV, by Don Juan Manuel (Medieval Castilian writer, 1282-1348). The first week of school is a magical and vitally important time. This is the honeymoon period, those brief few days when it seems like every single one of your students like you, like the class and like each other. Almost every year the honeymoon phase will trick you into thinking you don't [...]


This book will make your life easier and your teaching more effective. It is a compilation of the best comprehension checks for reading that I have discovered over 30 years of teaching and researching Free Voluntary Reading with my students. Whether you call it FVR, Sustained Silent Reading or Light Reading, when students read on their own magic happens. When it is taught well, self-selected reading is the best way to differentiate instruction and engage students. This book will show you how to do it--even with reluctant readers. With these best trade secrets from expert reading teachers you will be [...]


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


Ray, a high school Chinese teacher, was recently told that his level I, II, and III classes will be combined next year. Having read the original article by Gerry Wass about multi-level classes on this blog, he contacted me asking what I thought Gerry would advise. I forwarded Ray's main question to Gerry: "If a student took his Spanish class four years in a row, would he/she see the same TPRS lessons/vocab/grammar patterns every year but engage at a different level or would there be new material each year that wasn't there before.  In other words, did he cycle new material in [...]


These are the results of Special Person Quiz #2, the second full week of school. This week we interviewed just three students. Since the verb "tiene" (has) had been added there were many more opportunities for questions, answers, comments, clarifications and follow up than with the meager vocabulary student had last week. Students were to write at least 15 sentences with no notes, and I told them  not to hold themselves back. They were to "show what they know" and impress me by writing as many sentences based on what had been shared in class by the three interviewees. Students [...]