[TFLA-list] Textbooks / curriculum...

Castillo, Sonia scastillo at acisd.org
Mon Apr 3 10:01:06 EDT 2017


Thank you for the discussion. Often we are using methods without labeling them. When asked what I can improve, I usually say matching terms with methods. I am busy finding ways to reach students with a negative attitude about the course or culture they chose to take. When only one LOTE course is offered at a school, then we have to listen to "they are making me take this." Now with computer programming being offered for a LOTE credit, the arguments may begin about music theory being LOTE as well.


Sonia Castillo
Spanish 2, Foreign Language Department
Rockport-Fulton High School
Aransas County ISD
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________________________________
From: TFLAlist <tflalist-bounces at list.tfla.info> on behalf of Elizabeth Glidden <elizaglidd at sbcglobal.net>
Sent: Saturday, April 1, 2017 11:02:05 AM
To: 'Michael Wagner'; 'Annette Lowry'; tflalist at list.tfla.info
Subject: Re: [TFLA-list] Textbooks / curriculum...

Thanks so much for all the info on using CI. As you say, it is not a new methodology, although there have been many advances in it over the years.
And of course, no one actually believes that memorizing rules and vocabulary and doing worksheets will actually result in anyone learning to communicate in a LOTE. Too often teachers just don't know a better way, or get bogged down in doing something that is familiar as the path of least resistance.

A wonderful resource is Rose Potter, a master Spanish teacher and professor in the UTeach Liberal Arts program. If you know Rose, you know what an innovative, engaging and inspiring teacher she is, and she gives training in Comprehensible Input. You can contact her through the UTLA link here:
http://liberalarts.utexas.edu/uteach/faculty/index.php


-----Original Message-----
From: TFLAlist [mailto:tflalist-bounces at list.tfla.info] On Behalf Of Michael Wagner
Sent: Friday, March 31, 2017 4:28 PM
To: Annette Lowry; tflalist at list.tfla.info
Subject: Re: [TFLA-list] Textbooks / curriculum...

When I was first introduced to storytelling (almost 20 years ago), it was in it infancy. At the time I learned about it, I had started using but had difficulty convincing the teacher that was here at that time that we should look into becoming a CI department. Unfortunately, the teacher was very content just teaching grammar and having students simply memorize rules and vocabulary lists and doing worksheets and did not want to change. So, yes, I did dabble in CI about 20 years ago and I wish I had stuck it and not worried about rocking the boat. But that is water under the bridge.

Yes, TPRS has changed greatly and the process is way different from what I was first exposed to. When I finally got back into the world of CI, things with story telling had made a major shift and the process works so much better. Instead of telling a story and the actors responding (which was somewhat akin to TPR at that time), you now "ask" a story which allows the audience to give suggestions as to what details make up the story (meaning the story is not set script, but more organic and can take on the personality of the class).

I currently have two Spanish 1 classes and four Spanish 2 classes and the story, though the skeleton is the same for Spanish 1 or for Spanish 2, I end up with very different and distinct stories (and yet I am teaching the same structures/vocabulary and it is fun and refreshing for me because of the differences between the stories).

Sounds scary and at first I would find myself losing control of the story as it unfolded. But I now have learned how to control the story and still allow the students to make their contributions which gives them a sense of control and ownership. Do I get right every time? Nope.

Michael E. Wagner
McGregor High School
903 Bluebonnet Parkway
PO Box 356
McGregor, TX 76657

Tele. (254) 840-2853
Fax: (254) 840-2489
Email: mwagner at mcgregor-isd.org

On Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 3:16 PM, Annette Lowry <alowry1 at sbcglobal.net>
wrote:

> For me, TPRS is Total Physical Response Storytelling.  Times have
> changed that, I guess.
>
> Annette Lowry
> --------------------------------------------
> On Fri, 3/31/17, Michael Wagner <mwagner at mcgregor-isd.org> wrote:
>
>  Subject: Re: [TFLA-list] Textbooks / curriculum...
>  To: tflalist at list.tfla.info
>  Date: Friday, March 31, 2017, 8:22 AM
>
>  Many who responded to my email want
>  to know what is Comprehensible Input
>  (or CI). Over the the last few days I have pondered how best  to
> answer this  question since discussing teaching using CI strategies in
> an  email may not  convey all that one could get out of actually being
> able to  see and  experience it in action.
>
>  But this is good for me because it causes me to look at and  analyze
> my own  practices in the classroom. So, here we go...
>
>  In a nutshell: "Comprehensible Input is language that we  receive
> (read or
>  hear) that is comprehensible to us (we understand it)."
>  [Quote from Martina
>  Bex's website: The comprehensible classroom, May 8, 2015
>  <https://martinabex.com/2015/05/08/tprs-101-teaching-
> proficiency-is-really-simple/>
>  ].
>
>  Instead of me having to reinvent the wheel, I think that  reading
> this  particular page (be sure to scroll down past the picture of  the
> girls  learning to ride a bicycle) from Bex's website will give you  a
> better  understanding what CI is and a few of the instructional
> strategies that  provide comprehensible input. Once you have scrolled
> down  past the bicycles  and have read what she has there, then you
> can scroll back  up to the other  steps she has listed and explore
> what else she has to say  about CI.
>
>  Here at McGregor we are a small department of three Spanish  teachers
> and we  all use CI as our guide for how we approach and teach our
> classes. Starting  on the first day of class (yes, even with Spanish
> I) we  start our classes  using Spanish. We have found several
> different activities  that are CI  worthy and allow us to use the
> target language with total  understanding on  the part of our students
> starting with day 1 (if you had  told me this about
>  6 or so years ago, I would have probably rolled my eyes and  would
> have said  "not possible").
>
>  One of our goals is to be able to use the target language  90% of the
> class  time as established by ACTFL. Are we there? No. But as we
> learn more about  CI and strategies that provide comprehensible input,
> we are  finding that it  is becoming easier to maintain class in the
> target language  and that  the students are much more receptive.
>
>  What are some strategies that we use? Here is a list of some  the
> more  frequently used one:
>
>  TPRS (*T*otal *P*roficiency through *R*eading and
>  *S*torytelling)
>
>  Please, please, please, do not confuse *TPRS* with *TPR*  (Total
> Physical  Response). TPRS and TPR are extremely different from each
> other. The only  thing they have in common are the first three
> letters.
>
>
>  *TPRS* involves lots and lots of story telling (which the  students
> love) in  the target language followed by tons of reading that
> recycles and supports  the target structures and vocabulary being
> learned.
>
>  I love TPRS, especially if the story turns out better than  expected.
> TPRS  provides the students with a lot comprehensible input and it  is
> all done in  the target language.
>
>  As a follow-up to storytelling, we usually have the students  write
> the  story (each student retells in his/her owns words). By the  end
> of the  school year, Spanish 1 students are writing stories that are
> roughly 150  words or more in length, Spanish 2 roughly 200-300 words,
> and Spanish 3 and
>  4 stories that are 300+ words in length.
>
>>  PQA (Personal Questions and Answers)
>
>  ​PQA is pretty flexible and something I am still learning  how to do.
> It  basically involves asking question and getting answers from  the
> students,  all done in the target language. It can be done anytime
> during class.
>>
>  Movie Talk
>
>  ​I love Movie Talk. It is so easy to do and can provide a  lot
> comprehensible input​. You basically take a commercial or  a short
> movie
>  (3-6 minutes in length - YouTube is a good source) that fits  with
> the  vocabulary and structures you are teaching. You start and  stop
> the  movie/commercial and ask tons of questions and discuss what  i  s
> going on. All done in the target language.
>
>
>  ​Embedded Reading
>
>  This is another favorite of mine. It is basically taking a  story and
> reading three versions of it (1st reading of the story is  brief and
> provides the bare bones of the story, 2nd reading is  slightly longer
> and  has a few new details added, and the 3rd and final reading  is
> the full  version).
>
>
>  Again, as you work through the readings with the students,  you ask
> questions and discuss.
>
>
>  And the wonderful thing is that after students get a lot of  input,
> you  begin to see voluntary output on the students part.
>
>  I know this has been a long email in response to the  question of
> what is CI  and now you probably have more questions. Trying to
> explain  what CI is and  how we go about teaching with comprehensible
> input in a  single email is not  possible. When you can see it in
> action and then can discuss  with that  teacher what was going on, it
> makes so much sense. I only  wish I had  started teaching using
> comprehensible input earlier on in my  career.
>
>  I am now in my 30th year of teaching, the other two Spanish  teachers
> here  at McGregor have just started their careers - one now has  been
> here three  years and the other two. The one teacher who has three
> years  experience got  to witness the difference between a CI
> classroom and a  traditional textbook  driven classroom when doing her
> student teaching. When she  was interviewing  with us and I asked her
> if she knew what CI and TPRS and a  host of other CI  strategies were,
> she became so excited and animated. She  related how she  was able to
> see the difference in ability to use the  language between the
> students who learned under a CI approach versus the  textbook.
>
>  Anyway, I could go on, but I do need to bring this email to  a close.
>
>  I will do my best to answer any and all questions you send  my way.
>
>  Y que todos tengan un buen fin de semana (And may everyone  have a
> good  weekend).
>
>  Michael E. Wagner
>  McGregor High School
>  903 Bluebonnet Parkway
>  PO Box 356
>  McGregor, TX 76657
>
>  Tele. (254) 840-2853
>  Fax: (254) 840-2489
>  Email: mwagner at mcgregor-isd.org
>
>  On Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 7:25 AM, Sisler, Susan <
> Susan.Sisler at springbranchisd.com>
>  wrote:
>
>  > I haven't used a "traditional textbook" for many years.
>  But can you
>  > explain how you determine and agree what  "comprehensible input" is
> to be  > used and what the source of this input is? Depending on  the
> textbook, that  > can be a good source. I don't know any good teacher
> who  slavishly follows a  > textbook, page by page.
>  >
>  >
>  > -----Original Message-----
>  > From: TFLAlist [mailto:tflalist-bounces at list.tfla.info]
>  On Behalf Of
>  > Michael Wagner
>  > Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 3:54 PM  > To:
> tflalist at list.tfla.info  > Subject: [TFLA-list] Textbooks /
> curriculum...
>  >
>  > Dear Colleagues:
>  >
>  > A few months back several in LOTE community were  wanting feedback
> on  > textbooks. My question is not about which textbooks you  are
> thinking of  > adopting. My question is who approaches the teaching of
> his/her classes  > with comprehensible input (CI) as the main deciding
> and  driving factor?
>  >
>  > Here at McGregor High School we have stopped using the
> "traditional"
>  > textbook. Instead we have gone towards letting CI  dictate how we
> approach  > our classes and how we design our curriculum and lesson
> plans. We have been  > using CI now for the last five (5) years and we
> absolutely love it!!!
>  >
>  > It would be great to be able to share ideas and  strategies with
> others who  > also are using CI in their classrooms.
>  >
>  > So, who out there is using CI in their language  classrooms?
>  >
>  > Michael E. Wagner
>  > McGregor High School
>  > 903 Bluebonnet Parkway
>  > PO Box 356
>  > McGregor, TX 76657
>  >
>  > Tele. (254) 840-2853
>  > Fax: (254) 840-2489
>  > Email: mwagner at mcgregor-isd.org
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