[TFLA-list] Textbooks / curriculum...

Meaghan Kirk-Welch meaghan.kirk-welch at nisd.net
Fri Mar 31 12:59:51 EDT 2017


It's common sense.  Did this 30 years ago with no acronyms.  Think about
how we acquire language as children. Not via textbook and worksheets buy
through listening, speaking, reading, and ultimately writing.....

*Meaghan Kirk Welch, English Dept.*
* Chavez Excel Academy*
*(210) 397-8120 ext. 3148*
meaghan.kirk-welch at nisd.net





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On Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 10:58 AM, Michael Wagner <mwagner at mcgregor-isd.org>
wrote:

> ​In my response I should have mentioned that CI is ​a theory based upon
> Stephen Krashen's research on language learning. As soon as I saw Susan
> Sisler's reply, I realized I had failed to mention his name in conjunction
> with CI. When you think CI, Stephen Krashen should always come to mind.
>
> Also, I should have mentioned other names in conjunction with the
> strategies I listed.
>
> TPRS - Blaine Ray (very much worth the time if you can attend one of his
> workshops - this is what led me towards CI)
>
> TRP - James Asher
>
> PQA - When I think of PQA, I think first of  Ben Slavic. I know he has
> written a lot on it and every time I am at a CI conference, he is there and
> gives session on PQA. Also, most attendees go to him for help and advice.
>
> Movie Talk - Dr. Ashley Hastings
>
> Embedded Readings - Laurie Clarcq and Michele Whaley (if you ever get a
> chance to see them present, you will not be sorry - one of the best
> workshops/sessions I have been to as it relates to reading)
>
> Many also have asked other questions and I will respond to those over the
> 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 Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 9:09 AM, Sisler, Susan <
> Susan.Sisler at springbranchisd.com> wrote:
>
> > This is nothing new. This is how I have taught German for decades. It's
> > based on Stephen Krashen's research and work with constructivism. I also
> > happen to have materials - books! - that I use as resources, but I'm not
> > bound by a book. Students appreciate an orderly approach, predictability.
> > Students also need to hear other voices, which is where well-designed
> > listening comprehension materials play an important role. Most teachers
> > have neither the time, nor the technical resources, nor the skill set to
> > create such materials. That's where publishers can support our
> instruction.
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: TFLAlist [mailto:tflalist-bounces at list.tfla.info] On Behalf Of
> > Michael Wagner
> > Sent: Friday, March 31, 2017 8:23 AM
> > To: tflalist at list.tfla.info
> > Subject: Re: [TFLA-list] Textbooks / curriculum...
> >
> > 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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