• What is TPRS?

    We will learn Spanish this year using a highly effective method known as TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling). TPRS is both fun and engaging and has proven results in students’ ability to understand, speak, read,  and write in Spanish. Our central goal is COMMUNICATION in the Spanish language. We will also explore Spanish-speaking CULTURES and make cultural and linguistic COMPARISONS with our own language and cultures. CONNECTIONS with other academic disciplines, such as science, humanities, social studies, and literacy will be made throughout the year. We will also explore opportunities to use the Spanish language outside the classroom in a larger COMMUNITY.

    How will we learn in this class?

    We will use many fun and interesting strategies to acquire the Spanish language. In the beginning,  I will often give commands and students will respond by physically doing something. It’s a lot like how students learned their mother tongue when parents would say: “Come here. Sit down. Eat your dinner. Go get a book.”

    Research on how we learn language has proven that we remember better and longer those things that we have actually experienced physically. Gesturing and acting out commands will help you acquire language more quickly. Another very powerful way to acquire language (also supported by research) is through stories, narrative presentations, and reading.

    Stories

    We will create and act out situations or stories in class to work with new vocabulary and structures. Often the stories will be silly, improbably, crazy, or bizarre. This serves two purposes: 1) to maintain focus while communicating in the language, and 2) to aid in long-term memory retention. We use props and movement to make it easy for you to understand at all times. I prefer to laugh a lot in class. Hopefully you will do as well as you participate in the fun!

    Why isn’t Spanish like other classes?

    Spanish, like any language, is a skill. Acquiring a language is like learning how to ride a bicycle or how to swim. It is a skill you build gradually, use, and remember a long time. Because you will need to continually know vocabulary, you will be tested over any vocabulary acquired in class at any time during the year. Sometimes this class will resemble a preschool or elementary classroom. This is desirable since we are working on acquiring a new language. How did you ACQUIRE your first language?

     

    What if I make a mistake in class?

    Mistakes when acquiring a language are normal, natural, and...EXPECTED! Even students with a high degree of proficiency in the language will make many errors when speaking or writing.

    Remember that while laughing at yourself or with others is encouraged, making fun of others will not be tolerated.

    Relax and have fun participating in class and your Spanish will improve quickly