Day Two: Shimabara TPRS 2011

Day Two: Shimabara TPRS 2011

AWESOME DAY! In the morning I did an embedded reading of yesterday’s French lesson. “Embedded reading” is teaching tool for learning to read that Laurie Clarq invented. Absolutely amazing. Then the teachers worked in groups. Each group had to plan an English lesson to teach the citizens of Shimabara in the afternoon! Martha and Tom had advertised on the radio and everywhere for a free English lesson. In the afternoon, the people showed up to take their English lesson. Some were adults and some were kids. They had a total...

read more

Day One: Shimabara TPRS 2011

Day One: Shimabara TPRS 2011

First day of workshop: I taught French in the morning. One of the JETs called it “revelatory.”  Then in the afternoon Martha had kids come in. I tried to do a lesson and it was not great. But Martha taught them a lesson with a story that they had written. As she worked with them it was wonderful! They understand English so perfectly! We ended with about 90 minutes of questions. Good day. Tom Armstrong was Martha’s Partner in planning and putting on the workshop. He is a super guy. He came over to Martha’s house to plan with Yuki,...

read more

At Shimabara English School

At Shimabara English School

Got to Nagaskai about 10:30 AM. Martha picked me up. We went to Starbuck’s for a chai and then drove to Shimabara. At Martha’s school, she had a class with elementary kids and I told the bear story. This is a picture of the kids. I used the words “Colorado” and “Michael” which was confusing! I know better than to use proper nouns from the foreign language, but I still made that mistake! Oh well. Later that evening she had a ladies’ class and we danced the swing. Then I taught them to do the cancan since one woman had just returned from Paris!...

read more

East Islip, NY

Hurricane Irene cancelled this workshop. The school was left with no phones and no electricity, so the whole “Superintendent’s Day” was cancelled. I hope to work with these teachers at a later date. They suggested November 8, but I will leave for China on that date. Meanwhile, I hope that they get their power back and get settled for a successful year of school.  

read more

Charlottesville, VA

Charlottesville, VA

Look at these adorable teachers. In case you can’t tell, they are in a helicopter! Three days of TPRS, reading, upper levels, assessments. What fun! It was such a cool bunch of high-quality, fully fluent, mutually supportive teachers. They teach Japanese, Chinese, Latin, as well as French, Spanish, and German. There was a contingent of prospective student teachers from the methods teacher Ruth Ferree of the University of Virginia. I tried out a practice teaching format the first two days. I also showed how to do an embedded reading. It...

read more

Granbury, TX

These teachers were a joy to work with. They have had TPRS training from three different people, have a good grasp of language acquisition and were eager to get their vertical articulation better aligned. We worked on getting level 1 to set up everyone else for success. Then on how to focus on accuracy and still maintain a “comprehensible input” framework. I also loved the town: I had a hamburger in a hangout that used to employ John Wilkes Booth as a bartender!

read more

NTPRS 2011 : St. Louis

NTPRS 2011 : St. Louis

What a week! Stephen Krashen was the keynote speaker. The beginner track was expertly handled by Donna Tatum-Johns and Katya Paukova. A team of sixteen presenters and language experts pooled our talents to run the advanced track. The afternoons were filled with sessions that ranged from elementary to technology, truly a wide range of sessions! Not only that, but the coaching staff provided practice time for teachers who wanted to hone their skills. We had a large group of Chinese teachers, we had Native American teachers who are passionate...

read more

Cancun, Mexico

Cancun, Mexico

The Multi-Cultural Conference at Club Med ended today. This was without question the most successful, exciting one yet! Stephen Krashen and Laurie Clarq joined Jason Fritze, Kristy Placido, Carol Gaab, and me for a week of fabulous training, lots of fun, and professional growth. The mix of work and play was perfectly balanced, and we all bonded into tight group. I think the first days of rain got the bonding going and from then on it was just a lovely week. Please plan to attend this conference if you possibly can. You will NOT forget...

read more

Farmington, Utah (Day 3)

Today was “ TPR Storytelling in levels 2 – AP.” This is my favorite workshop so it was a great way to end. The teachers were so excited to learn how to use comprehensible input to teach really advanced grammar and structures. The “Secondary World Languages Supervisor”  is Bonnie Flint. She is very well-versed on language acquisition, so she provides strong support for the language teachers. They are lucky to have her!

read more

Farmington, Utah (Day 2)

This was such a nice day. The teachers worked in small groups, encouraging each other and practicing with questioning techniques. A really talented TPR Storytelling Mandarin teacher gave a demo to show how confusing foreign names are in the first few days of language learning.

read more

Farmington, Utah (Day 1)

Farmington, Utah (Day 1)

Meet Mario. He is a participant at the Farmington TRPS workshop. He looks EXACTLY like my father-in-law! Like 20+ years ago, this is what my father-in-law looked like! It was so eerie having him in my workshop. Mario is such a kind, gentle soul and he truly loves students and learning. What a wonderful way to begin a three-day workshop. We did the basic TPR Storytelling workshop. Many of the participants have already begun using TPR Storytelling due to workshops by Blaine and Von. It is such fun to work with a district that has teachers who...

read more

University of Northern Michigan

We had a nice mixture of university and secondary teachers. It was fun to work with them! Tim Whitehouse gave me a great tour of the city of Marquette. We saw people surfing (in wet suits) on Lake Superior and also kite-surfing! That looked like a fun way to get a ride on the water. We had dinner at a fantastic health-food restaurant: Whitefish. Yum! The ice storm kept me from leaving on time the next morning, so my weekend travels got flummoxed. Oh well!

read more

CCTCA, Calgary, Canada

This is the Calgary City Teachers Conference. It is a huge conference. So I expected to have a big crowd. What a surprise when only two people came to my workshop: Kim who does ESL and Jackie who originally invited me! Come to find out, the normal expectation is to attend a multitude of short sessions. So when teachers saw that I expected them to stay with me for a whole day, they just went elsewhere. So it was a disappointing turn out, but really a good chance to work with Jackie and Kim. I taught a demo lesson in Spanish for them and then...

read more

Panama Canal!

Panama Canal!

We got up early to take a trip through the canal with Patricia. It was really cool. I was fascinated watchng a huge ship being unloaded and loaded at the same time. It was too big to go through the canal, so the cargo was being taken off to be loaded onto a canal-sized ship later. Meanwhile, other cargo that had been transported through the canal was being loaded onto it. We assumed that it was going to China or Japan or something. It was amazing how efficient the whole process is. The canal has to be doubled in size in order to accommodate...

read more

Panama TPRS Conference (Day 5)

Panama TPRS Conference (Day 5)

This was an amazing conference! Five days of TPRS training, language classes, and real hands-on experiences. Patricia Lewis put together a great team of trainers! In the morning I did grammar. I tried to fit everything into just two hours; it was a big information load for the participants.  The closing ceremony had two groups: the original French/German class members.  Each took a little story and then further divided into 4 groups: vocabulary, PQA, circling the story, skit. Then each small group presented their portion of the lesson. It was...

read more

Panama TPRS Conference (Day 4)

Panama TPRS Conference (Day 4)

I gave my classroom management talk for two hours. Even though it was short, it went very well. The other presenters each had a topic and a presentation, so the days are very full for the teachers. They are working in grops to learn how to put together a lesson every afternoon. Their ears must be getting numb from all of the information they are hearing! I was interviewed for TV and photographed for the newspaper. So cool! Patricia and Edmundo had a new grandson born this AM! We went to  the hospital to see him and to meet their daughter and...

read more

Panama TPRS Conference (Day 3)

Panama TPRS Conference (Day 3)

In French class we did readings and chapter 1 of “Pirates” by Mira Canion. It was very powerful to see how much confidence they got from reading. We have been listened to “Je ne regrette rien” by Edith Piaf every day. By today everybody was snging it and telling me that they had it running through their heads all night long. I love the way music creates a “din in the head” for language learners. In the afternoon Patricia’s team took care of training again so that Blaine, Mike Michael and I could...

read more

Panama TPRS Conference (Day 2)

Panama TPRS Conference (Day 2)

French class was good. I really love to teach. The teachers are starting to see the connection between their TPR Storytelling training yesterday afternoon and French class. They can feel how various techniques affect their learning in class. In the afternoon Patricia and her team delivered the TPR Storytelling training to while Blaine Ray, Mike Ross, Michael and I went to the Canal with Edmundo (Patricia’s hubby.) It was fascinating. We watched a couple of ships pass through the Miraflores lock, visited the museum and watched a video. We went...

read more

Panama TPRS Conference (Day 1)

Panama TPRS Conference (Day 1)

Patricia Lewis is the principal of a school and the organizer of the Panama TPRS Conference. This is the second year for the conference, and she has put together a wonderful team. She got people to help with organizing, but she also got sponsors! What a great idea. One of the big helpers is a woman named Christine who does projects for the State Dept in connection with the Embassy. One of Christine’s projects was to get teacher training for thePeace Corps teachers. Somehow all these people have worked for the goal of a five-day...

read more

Happy 2011

Happy 2011

Hope 2011 is a good year for everyone. This is a picture of the “new rice” as it ripened in Japan last September. We could hear the “boom – boom” of some sort of bombs in the fields, designed to keep the birds from eating the new rice before it got harvested. I thought that “new rice” was a good way to introduce the New Year. Since today is my birthday, I figure that the “new rice” represents turning over a new leaf for me… No...

read more