This is year 26 teaching French for me and I continue to grow in my understanding of how we acquire language. At the start of this academic year, I changed how I plan, how I spend time with my students and how I assess. I’ve been pondering the assessment piece for several years now. My method in… Read More How do I assess?
My last post described how I don’t push or spend time emphasizing correct French pronunciation in my classes. The evidence behind this practice shows that given enough comprehensible repetition, students eventually self-correct once they HEAR the sounds. I shared the example of my student eventually vocalizing ‘beaucoup’ correctly. The very next week, I was humbled. I was… Read More Pride goes before a fall – as a teacher
Pronunciation corrections take care of themselves in a ‘TPRS’ classroom. Creating a curriculum based on the pedagogy called Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling takes as its premise the following: given enough comprehensible repetitive input that students find compelling, students will become proficient in speaking French and doing so with ‘adequate’ pronunciation I welcomed… Read More The power of repetition
Our North Carolina Association of Independent Schools (NCAIS) offered the possibility of an exchange between teachers of the same content. And my school, Carolina Day School in Asheville, supported this opportunity by allowing us to take a professional day when we ventured away from the nest. I scanned the list and the first middle… Read More The value of visiting another French teacher’s class
I tried something new last week. I needed a stand-alone activity that would last about 3 days. Many TPRS (teaching proficiency through reading and storytelling) practitioners have written about using a piece of art or a photograph as the basis of a story. So I thought of the most interesting French painter I knew… Read More A short lesson plan based on a French artist
I spent half a period the other day leading an activity that was totally unplanned. How was I able to deviate without stress? Thanks to the TPRS (teaching proficiency through reading and storytelling) methodology, I have freedom to maneuver and take advantage of what pops up naturally in my French classes. Emma, pictured above, is… Read More The beauty of the spontaneous moment
One of the benefits of acquiring a language naturally, that is by constant repetition of comprehensible language, is that phrasing and language chunks start to FEEL right. TPRS (teaching proficiency through reading and storytelling) is the best methodology I have found for teaching a foreign language. I don’t teach much explicit grammar. Instead we use… Read More Teachers as learners