Here you will find:

        An explanation in English

        A newspaper article in French

        An explanation in French

        A list of sites to visit.

Under "Odds and Ends" you will find a glossary of terms that are often used in TPRS.

Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling

When I present TPRS I feel a little bit like the witch in Hansel and Gretel.  She has this house made out of goodies, candy and sweets and the children start nibbling and it’s really good stuff and before they know it she has them.

Except I’m a good witch, not a wicked witch.  I don’t eat the children that come nibbling at my shutters.  I don’t make prisoners of them.  But the funny thing is that once they’ve come into the house and visited all the corners and met the great people who live there, they fall victim to the spell of TPRS and never want to leave.

The candy and goodies that the TPRS house is made of are techniques that any teacher, using any method, can use.  PQA is a fantastic way to present new vocabulary by personalizing it so students retain it.  Circling is a great way to get in the repetitions that students need. Asking a story with your students gets them engaged and interested and gives them a structure that is easy to remember. Embedded Readings allow weak students to find their sea legs and progress. Pop-ups make grammar relevant and digestible. Teaching to the eyes, barometer students, pause and point, interactive communication rubrics, fluency writing, these are all techniques used by TPRS teachers that other teachers can put in their tool kits. These are the goodies.

Stephen Krashen is the wizard that casts a spell on them and retains those innocent seekers of innovation and effective new tools in the house of Comprehensible Input.  Because once you’ve tasted the TPRS candies and seen how they work with your students, you start craving more and wondering why they work so well.  And you start weeding out less effective techniques that use up the limited time you have with your students.  And Krashen, gently, respectfully, suggests why some strategies work and some don’t. And one day you realize that you are judging every class activity by the standard of comprehensible input, that you have tossed out of your toolkit everything that does not furnish your students with comprehensible input.  Gotcha!

It began with Stephen Krashen who said students learn through compelling comprehensible input. No one has yet proved him wrong. Compelling input is easy. Comprehensible is easy.  But it took Blaine Ray to imagine a method both compelling and comprehensible. TPRS was born.

Blaine Ray began by using TPR, Total Physical Response.  We have all done this.  Stand up!  Sit down!  Clap your hands!  It works, up to a certain point.  But how do you go beyond commands? Blaine began asking his students questions and inventing weird stories with them.  A rich cow saw a homeless monkey sleeping in the street and threw water at him to stop his snoring. He called his narratives TPR Stories.  Soon other teachers were trying them and some of them set up a forum, a yahoo group called moretprs so that they could exchange ideas and compare their experiences.  The current form of TPRS as it is practiced by thousands of teachers has evolved from Blaine Ray's original idea into something much more complex and functional.  Susie Gross, Michael Miller, Jason Fritz, Carol Gaab, Ben Slavic and many others have all left their imprint on the work in progress.  An important recent development is the embedded reading and who knows what next year will bring.

 

Those who want to know more about TPRS can consult the green Bible, "Fluency through TPR Storytelling," which has been revised repeatedly in order to keep up with the developing method. The new 2012 edition is the sixth.  Another good place to start is with Ben Slavic's "TPRS in a year", which gives new converts a step by step guide to learning the many techniques used by TPRS teachers.  They can also follow the discussions on moretprs, which are often heated but always courteous as teachers share their problems, triumphs and questions. But of course the best way to learn about the method is to experience it in a workshop.  Most workshops feature lessons in an unknown language using TPRS, so that teachers have a student's vision of what goes on in class.  Then there are explanations and demonstrations, but also chances to practice and be coached by more experienced teachers.  

 

NTPRS is the National TPRS conference held every summer with teachers from every state and many different countries coming together to exchange for a full week. Blaine Ray and Susie Gross have given Workshops in England and in Holland and this summer I have been able to organize a workshop in France. As of today people from seven countries have registered.  Come and join us!

En Français

Conférence Internationale pour Enseignants de Langues à Agen

 

Du 6 au 10 août des enseignants du Canada, des Etats-Unis, de Grande Bretagne, d’Espagne, d’Allemagne, des Pays-Bas et de la France se retrouve à Agen pour se former à la méthode « TPRS » (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) avec des formatrices venant des Etats-Unis, de la France et des Pays-Bas.

 

Les participants enseignent le français, l’anglais ou l’espagnol dans leur pays et veulent améliorer leur pratique de cette méthode qui a été créée par un professeur d’espagnol en Californie dans les années 90.  Depuis elle a considérablement évolué grâce aux échanges entre les pratiquants sur un Yahoo group : http://www.readthewriter.com/moretprs.html Aujourd’hui des enseignants dans le monde entier l’utilise pour enseigner le mandarin, l’hébreu, le suédois, le breton. ect,

 

La conférence est organisé par Judith Logsdon-Dubois, professeur agrégé au Lycée de Baudre pendant 15 ans, aujourd’hui à la retraite.  Elle a connu la méthode en 2005 et a suivi des formations aux Etats-Unis, d’abord par simple curiosité et ensuite par conviction quand elle a vu les progrès de ses élèves.

 

Aujourd’hui elle cherche à faire connaître en France cette méthode, qui est recommandée  par le chercheur universitaire, Stephen Krashen.  Elle l’a présentée en Novembre, 2012 à Paris à la Conférence Nationale de TESOL, une association d’enseignants d’anglais, et elle est invitée à  la présenter plus longuement pour le Spring Day de la même association  à Strasbourg le 1er juin.

 

Peu d’enseignants français la connaissent (elle n’est pas encore reconnue par les autorités ministérielles). Il y aura une présentation pendant le stage d’août expliquant ce que la technique TPRS peut apporter à la pédagogie de projet, celle qui est actuellement recommandée par nos institutions françaises. »

 

Une école en Allemagne où un enseignant a commencé à utiliser la TPRS après l’avoir connue sur le net a constaté les progrès de ses élèves et a décidé de financer sa participation  au stage avec deux de ses collègues.

 

On peut trouver un article explicatif sur la TPRS dans Wikipédia.  Les moteurs de recherche, tel Google, dirigent sur de nombreux sites créés par des enseignants passionnés.  Tous les détails concernant ce stage sont sur le site de Judith Logsdon-Dubois, http://tprswitch.jimdo.com/ . Il y a également une brochure à télécharger et un lien pour contacter la responsable.  L’inscription peut se faire directement sur le site.

 

 

 

 

Explication de la méthode TPRS

Le TPRS est une méthode d'apprentissage des langues mise au point par Blaine Ray pour enseigner l'espagnol à ses élèves américains. Il s'est inspiré de la Natural Approche et de la méthode  de TPR (qui associe un mot de vocabulaire à une action effectuée par l'apprenant) et y a ajouté sa touche personnelle.

 

 L’enseignant invite l'apprenant à participer à l'élaboration d'une histoire drôle, souvent fantaisiste et toujours ponctuée d'éléments personnels apportés par les apprenants.  L’élève se sent inclus dans l'histoire, touché émotionnellement et donc plus ouvert à intégrer et enregistrer les nouveaux mots  et les nouvelles structures travaillées pendant la leçon.

 

Le TPRS est basé sur les hypothèses de Stephen Krashen sur l’apprentissage des langues.  Il distingue entre apprendre, qui se fait quand on apprend par cœur des listes de vocabulaire et des règles de grammaire de façon consciente, et acquérir, utilisé par les enfants  et les adultes en situation d’immersion d’une façon inconsciente.  Le principe de base reste l’input compréhensible, c'est-à-dire les messages dans la langue cible que l’apprenant est capable de comprendre.  Les histoires de Blaine Ray permettent à l’enseignant de répéter les mêmes mots et structures jusqu’à ce qu’ils soient acquis. 

 

Avec cette pédagogie on évite de forcer l’élève à produire la langue d’une façon contraignante et prématuré.  On lui demande simplement d’être attentif et de signaler dès qu’il ne comprend pas.  Quand il se sent en confiance et commence à produire spontanément, son langage est forcément plus correct, étant le reflet fidèle de ce qu’il a entendu et lu.

 

Il faut noter que la grammaire est traitée comme les éléments de vocabulaire. On propose des mots mais aussi des phrases qui sont des structures grammaticales.  Une fois que certaines structures sont acquises, l’enseignant peut attirer l’attention des élèves sur les éléments grammaticaux en demandant comment ils modifient le sens du message.  Ces interventions, appelées pop-ups, ne durent que quelques secondes.

 

Après l’histoire orale imaginée par toute la classe, l’enseignant donne une version écrite, soit de la même histoire, soit d’une autre qui reprend les mêmes structures et mots qui étaient ciblés en cours.  La classe le traduit ensemble et ensuite l’enseignant mène une discussion sur le contenu.

 

L'intégration des éléments personnels permet en fait d'une part de mieux connaître ses élèves et d'autre part de rendre l'acquisition d'une nouvelle langue plus parlante pour l'apprenant.  Les nouveaux mots sont liés à une émotion positive ressentie par l'élève pendant la création de l'histoire.  Ainsi la classe apprend dans une atmosphère propice pendant un cours de langues où ils pourront s'exprimer et s'épanouir et où tous les élèves pourront progresser ...

 

 

 

 

 

Sites to Visit

Blaine Ray – The founder of the movement is still active, giving workshops and mentoring.  He can always be picked out in a crowd.  He’s the guy in a shirt with palm trees and bright blue parrots. http://www.blaineraytprs.com/

Stephen Krashen His work on Comprehensible Input is the solid foundation on which TPRS is built. www.sdkrashen.com

Susie Gross was one of the first to understand the importance of Blaine Ray’s techniques. Her “influence on the current massive change in foreign language education in the US cannot be overstated.” http://susangrosstprs.com/

Daily Kos - For an unbiased review of “the Green Bible.”  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/18/1066137/-Book-Review-Fluency-through-TPR-Storytelling

Laurie Clarq – An experienced teacher, workshop presenter and frequent participant in moretprs discussions, Laurie is always able to embrace two sides of an argument by seeing the hearts behind the words. She helped develop the recent innovation in reading called “Embedded Reading” which is explained on her site. http://blog.heartsforteaching.com/

Ben Slavic – My guru – Ben has a way of saying things that resonates with me.  His book TPRS in a Year helped me to see how all the pieces fitted together. His web site has free resources and videos of him in class. For the price of a monthly cup of coffee, it’s possible to participate in his Professional Learning Community.  The books can be downloaded.  http://www.benslavic.com/

The American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages has taken the position that 90% of classroom speech should be in the target language and suggests that TPRS is an effective way to achieve this goal. *http://www.actfl.org/publications/the-language-educator/sample-articles

Karen Rowan manages Fluency Fast, TPRS courses for adults and helps edit The International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, which often carries articles by Stephen Krashen and other big names in the TPRS world.  You can find her at www.TPRStories.com or www.fluencyfast.com . You can subscribe to the free online version of IJFLT at www.tprstories.com/ijflt .

 

Carol Gaab is a spectacular demonstrator when she’s not publishing material for teachers, writing readers for students or traveling to workshops around the world.  www.tprstorytelling.com

Jason Fritz is another early member of the TPRS adventure.  He has taken the Reading in TPRS and made it something exciting which he calls Reading Theater. www.comprehensibleinput.com .  He founded the International Forum on Language Teaching which is at www.iflt.org

Teri Wiechart is one of a group of TPRS teachers who have worked to improve coaching at conferences and in the classroom. You can contact her  to learn more about coaching at profdev@ofla-online.org or twiechart@hotmail.com .

 

Moretprs This is a yahoo group forum which began early in the millennium with a handful of teachers who were trying TPRS and wanted to exchange ideas.  There are now over 6000 followers and daily digests. Blaine Ray, Susie Gross, Karen Rowan, Stephen Krashen and many other well known names participate regularly in the discussions. Beginners often describe their difficulties and ask for advice. Here is where information is posted concerning workshops and National TPRS Conference.  Go to www.yahoogroups.com and register to follow the discussions. 

Videos to Watch

There are many videos on the Net showing teachers using TPRS. I'll be posting a comprehensive list that was created on the moretprs forum, but for starters, here's a link to Ben Slavic's videos.  http://www.benslavic.com/blog/videos/

TPRS in Europe

Here are the names of some of the teachers who are using TPRS in Europe. If you are using the method and would like to be mentioned here, don't hesitate to contact me.

 

Great Britain  

Keith Rogers – a Latin and Ancient Greek teacher at Rochester Grammar School who uses TPRS and recently organised the first TPRS workshops (given by Blaine Ray) in the UK (see  http://www.smore.com/rk54)  which attracted 24 delegates. Keith has spoken on the principles of TPRS at various gatherings of Classical teachers (ROSA cluster group, Association of Latin Teachers Summer School, Joint Association of Classical Teachers INSET day, local feeder schools gathering, to student teachers on the King’s College teacher training course and at Septimana Latina  (in Latin!)).  He will be giving future talks to the Guildford Association of Classical Teachers and running an introduction to TPRS workshop at the Association of Latin Teachers summer school in 2013.
 
The Netherlands

Alike Last introduced TPRS in the Netherlands in 2007. She is a TPR/S teacher-trainer for all levels and all languages and she teaches French with TPR/S to young adults and adults. She has organized TPRS workshops by Blaine Ray and Susan Gross in the Netherlands and she invited Blaine Ray to be a keynote speaker at the annual Conference Day of the association of Dutch language teachers in 2009. Her siteTaalleermethoden.nl (=Languagelearningmethods.com) is specialized in the use of TPRS and TPR and Multiple Intelligences in the language classroom. For more information please visit:

http://languagelearningmethods.com/

http://www.taalleermethoden.nl/

http://www.taalleermethodenwebshop.com/

 Kirstin Plante and Iris Maas are both Spanish teachers, and the founders of TPRS Nederland, a teacher training company for TPRS. Kirstin owns a language institute near Amsterdam and teaches uniquely with TPRS. Iris works at a Hotel Management School and uses TPRS wherever and whenever she can. Together they give numerous workshops throughout the Netherlands and Europe, and they run a European webshop for TPRS materials.

 

General website: www.tprsnederland.com (Dutch)

Shop: www.tprswebshop.com (people in France can order here as well)

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TPRSNederland (English and Dutch)

twitter: Kirstin Plante (English and Dutch)

 

Spain  - Ignacio Almandoz gives private lessons in English to young students and in Spanish to adults. He says, “After 4 years, I'm still excited about teaching with TPRS and learning through CI.  (I'm currently learning Russian, German, Portuguese and Italian) without studying the grammar or doing exercises in the traditional way. So I'm trying all these techniques and possibilities on myself. It helps me understand much better the teaching and learning process. My own students are making me a better teacher day after day.”  You can contact Ignacio by Skype at blueaspen or by e-mail at lamparamaravillosa@gmail.com.

Germany – Martin Anders teaches at Kaltenkirchen Waldorf School in northern Germany and has been using TPRS for four years.  His site is at http://tprs-for-germany.com/blog/?page_id=12 He says, “I am absolutely convinced that TPRS will be able to improve our teaching methods to add interest and fun to our lessons and to improve language acquisition which – up to now – is quite mediocre.”  
 
France Judith Logsdon-Dubois, professeur agrégé. I taught in a French lycée from 1995 to 2012.  Before that I taught English in French speaking Cameroon.  I first heard of TPRS in 2006 and began using it the following year.  Today I give private lessons and train teachers.  To contact me: judyldubois@aol.com .