What you’re doing is not TPRS. You are doing well in a lot of ways, especially cutting down and trying to repeat a lot, but you aren’t doing TPRS. I doubt the school is, either (although I’d be happy to learn I was wrong on this one.)
TPRS isn’t just using stories. It’s a specific technique of presenting language that is 100% comprehensible, then using principled repetition in patterns yet unpredictably to provide a high amount of repetition.
Check out the yahoogroups group. That will be the best place to get answers to questions like yours (“how do I teach reading?” “how do I teach writing?” and so on) ready-made.
[quote=“tryingmybest”]I found the whole thread about Aquisition, Input, Learning & Correction very informative. It’s great to hear from “old timers” who really know how to do it.
I’ve read many times that I really need to do a real time conference/seminar to “get” the pacing and simplicity of TPRS. I know I would really benefit from knowing what a story is. I can make my own, but I’m sure I don’t repeat enough.
On Friday I taught a 1 hr class of 16 students, age 5/6 about The Earth. They’re a mixed class, brought together for “winter camp”. We had a handout, and they could read most of it!
I learned about TPRS the next day, so on Monday I tried to review the Earth handout TPRS style. We read the story a paragraph at a time. I wrote some key words on the board (the ones I found on the Cambridge Young Learners [i]Movers[i] vocab list I was handed at the beginning of class. I spent half the class describing the vocab words in various ways and getting the students to talk about them. “A rock is soft. A rock is hard. The Earth is made of rock” they’d tell me. they gave me a few words of their own. I chose the easiest, like soft & hard. I also tried singing songs about the weather, since cloudy, hot, cold and sunny were in the reading too. We played Bingo so they students could practice writing the words. I made sure each student understood the instructions and spelled the words right, but I could see some had no idea what the words were. I thought I’d teach to the majority of learners rather than the slowest. (Reading more about TPRS I think that was a mistake)
The teacher asked me to write an approx 50 word story at the end of class. Our words were: head, hard, soft, cloudy, sunny, rock, hot, cold, white, windy, bed. I wrote:
"In the morning it was sunny. I was hot. In the afternoon it was cloudy and rainy. I was cold. I put on my soft, white jacket. The rain fell hard on my head. I put a rock on my head but it was too heavy. So I went to bed.”
The teacher said it was too easy for the majority of the class. But I know there were some lower level learners in the class too.
Maybe the story needs more repetition in it? Is anyone willing to rewrite it to give me a good example? Or is it too hard without knowing the context of the class? Or should I try to get the class to write it with me? They were throwing all kinds of new words into it. I think I was right to not include those in my talking since I’m trying to be totally comprehensible right?[/quote]