I’m Ready to Learn the TPRS Method! Plank 5

Plank 5


Plank 5: Hone Your Skills.  Every so often, watch or read a little bit more.  Add another idea or trick to your repertoire.  TPRS/CI teachers are very generous on the web about sharing their experiences, and there are many, many helpful websites.

This is a self-explanatory step.

Once you get started with TPRS, see what is working well and what is not working.  You should be frequently checking for understanding, using a ‘barometer student’, asking quick questions in English of individuals, watching the eyes for glazed-over syndrome.  If you are like me, you will have to check yourself and make sure you are going slowly enough. (The slower you go, the faster they learn!) You will want to make sure you are pointing and pausing, not going too fast, personalizing,  going slowly, teaching to the eyes, not going to fast, circling, going slowly.

A second really important point is personalization.  Take some time to get to know your students, what they do and like and don’t like.  Be willing to learn about their favorite sports and music and current challenges.  Listen to their answers to your questions.  All that understanding will naturally build into your language class and make the class that much more compelling.

And once you have got the basics down, you can increase your skill set with the book TPRS in a Year, by Ben Slavic.  In his book Ben explains 15 Basic Skills, like “Point and Pause!”; 10 specific Story-Asking Skills, like “Staying in the Moment”; and 24 Fun Skills, like “The Retell Glove”.  Enough to keep you learning and growing as a TPRS teacher for quite some time!

By the way, one TPRS method I haven’t even touched on yet is called “Movie Talk” .  You can google that, of course, by searching “TPRS Movie Talk”.

There is an overwhelming number of helpful TPRS websites online, and as a homeschooler, I know you don’t have time to peruse them all.  That’s why I have highlighted some of the website pages most helpful to me, in this blog post (insert link).  However, to explore more deeply, there is a long list of TPRS websites and blogs at moretprs.wikispaces.com.  Eventually, you will find your favorites too!

If you want to watch a teacher using TPRS in person,  you can contact someone near you and ask permission to sit in on a class.  For that, Martina Bex has created a database of TPRS teachers: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/17hhHoeVkFenDv_lzE9fYDes-RIJoO1P65M9-h_iqlfE/edit#gid=40628579.

Once again, have fun! Keep cool!  Enjoy!