Classroom Conversations in Foreign Language


As you get ready for school and begin thinking about what kinds of questions you will ask to get kids engaged and responding in Persona Especial student interviews, think about using some questions like the ones below. These are some questions that students have said they would like to ask one another when they have been given the opportunity to ask questions on their own to their classmates. All of the sample questions below are in the present perfect, but you could easily adapt them to the present tense for comprehensibility. It is interesting that the hot items tend to cluster [...]


These are some of the questions that students said they would like to ask one another using the present perfect. It is interesting that the hot items always cluster around the same themes. Questions about four topics are always winners, and they showed up here. These Top Tier Topics are: • Music • Pets • Sports • Cars All are engaging topics. Kids will have an opinion about them. They will always have something to say about those. But other topics also showed up. These may be considered Second Tier Topics: • Travel • School • Work • Food These [...]


Rachel got to observe an unnamed teacher in an unnamed school and gives her thoughts about the what she saw, comparing TPRS to traditional language instruction. I was impressed with her mastery of the terminology and categories, as well as how she captured the difference in tone, even though she has not taught in her own classroom yet.   Today’s experience only fortified my resolve that TPRS is in most ways, if not all, superior to the traditional methods of teaching foreign language.  This fall I will be teaching English in France and hope to use TPRS.  I am nervous about jumping into [...]


The administrators at my school were all replaced three years ago and I have been working to explain C.I. based teaching to them with frequent visits in the halls, invitations to come observe and forwarded emails.  I recently was observed by our assistant principal and her comments below give me hope that she is getting it.  I have been concerned about how my TPRS teaching would be evaluated with the new rubrics for teachers we have here in Colorado. I am sharing this not to boast, but to give hope and some strategies for those that are under skeptical scrutiny. . It [...]

Socrates and Teaching Foreign Language 11/2/11

The main thing that many students learn in a foreign language class is that learning another language is just way too hard for them.  They mainly learn that they stink at it.  They think that becoming fluent is beyond them and that they will never get it.  But they are wrong.  All students can learn another language.  They can learn if their teachers will skillfully ask series of questions that lead them to fluency. It has been said that reading about Plato is much more difficult than actually reading Plato.  Philosophers and professors have written such complicated essays about Plato [...]