Technology is constantly changing; and while I want to be sure that I am bringing my students all the new opportunities it can provide, I only want to use technology that is meaningful (who has time for bells and whistles?!?). Happily last summer I found a program called "Duolingo" that is a lot of the good things:
How does it work?
When a new player starts play begins with a placement test ( you can not retake it, so I recommend a quiet room, not having 3 kids crawling all over you while you take it, like a certain teacher). After testing you will be placed and begin lessons at the appropriate level. You must keeo enough hearts to survive a lesson. Lessons include learning new words, reading, writing, and speaking. Once you complete enough lessons you earn "lingots" (jewels you can earn to buy new challenges, outfits for your owl, or even give to friends).
Protip: Dont drive yourself nuts (like a certain teacher again), and try to get 100% fluency your proficiency level is based on how often you play, not your skill level after you firar place (tricky Duolingo).
What is the best way to get started?
I recommend starting by setting up your teacher account. You can "add a class" for each teacher. Then simply give your students the class code (or post a link on your site) and let them sign up. Students can even compete with their friends!
How do parents and kids like it? Does it work?
An enthusiastic yes for enjoyment. I have several families where siblings have joined in, and in some cases entire families. They then switched entire parts of their evening to Spanish after learning together. Thanks Duolingo!
Students will also return to class and share words they learned independently.
Is it valuable?
I think this is a valuable resource for practice at home, a supplement or brushing up old skills, but probably not a stand alone program
What do you think? Will you Duolingo?
If you are new to TPRS or CI you may want to click on the green buttons for more information about this style of teaching. Eventually I'll add links to other great sites where people are blogging and sharing materials for this style of teaching too. :)
When I first started teaching using TPRS/CI (Teaching Proficiency Through Storytelling/ Comprehensive input, see side buttons for more info); it was hard, it was really, really hard. In fact, for the first time since student teaching (many, many years ago) I had to script out every single word I said. For a single 15 minute story, this "only" took me 2.5 hours (don't worry, there is a MUCH better way). I was excited and determined to try this method of teaching though, so I pushed ahead and finished up my "novel".
Once in front of students though I realized that a script that dense was a bad idea, even with key questions and points in the story in bold. One of the key components of TPRS/CI is teaching to the student. I couldn't stay engaged with my students or maintain the flow of my classroom if I had to stop every time I changed questions to search my scripts. Below you can see my first attempt at writing a story. Even with my script color coded and in bold (which took forever to do) this method didn't work. My first (somewhat lazy attempt) to fix this was to add a highlighter to the mess I already had on my paper (pictured below on the left); surely I thought, this will make it easier. It didn't. My next attempt was actually helpful, and I think it a great idea for those first starting this type of teaching, or those that need a little boost of confidence. Instead of writing out the WHOLE script, I wrote out and bolded only key statements that I wanted to focus on (the target grammar or vocabulary); I then made up as many questions as I could think of about just that one statement, and put them in a table below the statement (see picture on the right below). This was much easier than my first attempt, I still had work to do, but my students enjoyed the story, and my pacing was much better!
When my class came back for day 2 of the story, their enthusiasm for what I had felt was only an OKAY attempt at a story told me I had to continue refining my methods. Especially when I saw how much my young learners had picked up from my first attempt. Luckily there is a much easier (and fun way) to improve your TPRS/CI skills (read on below to find out how)
Why wasn't TPRS/CI method more natural for me? I'd passed the Spanish exams, dutifully studied my 501 Spanish Verbs book, taught after school Spanish programs or Middle School Spanish for years, and even purchased a higher level of Rosetta Stone (boring after a few days) to hone my skills. The problem wasn't that my Spanish was bad, it was that the Spanish I was capable of producing at the time was Spanish I'd learned with the old style of teaching and in order to communicate and produce language (the goal of any language learner) learners need something more. When you have a natural conversation with someone you don't think about how to conjugate verbs, or modify nouns, your brain naturally does it, and if you only train yourself with traditional methods this is a large leap to take.
I had a choice, did I continue to push myself to improve my Spanish through the method I'd been taught (grammar rules, and vocab lists) or did I buy into the brain based learning methods behind TPRS/CI of naturally acquiring the language through compelling input?
I went down into the basement and looked at my dictionaries and well worn copy of 501 Spanish verbs. Did I really want to put time into studying them again? The answer was no, and neither would my students. I had to try to improve my own Spanish with the same method I was bringing to my students. Instead of taking the 'big books' off the shelf, I returned upstairs and turned on Netflix. If you don't have Netflix and are looking to improve rusty language skills I highly recommend it as a resource. Most of their original programming (and I am noticing more and more other shows) now have Spanish language options (I am also noticing more language options, I've seen German, French, and many other languages available as well). Simply find a show with your language option, add subtitles in your TL (reading increases fluency), and enjoy. Now when my husband comes home from work at night and asks what I've been doing all night, I can say 'working' even if it means I was laying on the couch watching Netflix for a few hours. Keep reading for a few suggestions on what to watch (for Spanish teachers or those that want to refresh their language skills)...
"El Internado" is one of my FAVORITE series of all time (and I'm normally more of a bookworm, finding this show saved me quite a bit of my Kindle budget for the month). Set in a boarding house in Spain, this mystery unravels over 7 seasons (and has a satisfying conclusion, unlike some series, which shall go un-named). I don't want to say much more about the plot as I don't want to give away any of the many mysteries. However, I do want to add this is a GREAT program for educators to watch, as being set in a school, you will pick up TONS of appropriate grammar phrases and vocabulary (as well as some not so appropriate ones, I learned quite a few Spain Spanish swear words that I had not heard before). Sadly, this program was JUST taken off Netflix. However, Netflix said that it will probably bring it back, especially if enough people request it (hint hint, wink wink). Currently this is the ONLY item I have on my Amazon Christmas Wish List right now (well that and a multi-regional DVD player so I can watch this show from Spain at home again. All 7 seasons, solely to improve my Spanish. Not at all because I am addicted to the show and want to see all the clues they leave after watching the end. :)
El Gran Hotel
"El Gran Hotel" is great withdrawal therapy for after (or in place of ) "El Internado". Set at a Hotel in Spain in the 1930s. This is another mystery (with a bit of romance). It even stars one of my favorite actors from 'El Internado'. I am currently on season 2, Episode 30 something, and have a whole third season to go. However, when I finish this I have two more seasons on my list..
"Velvet" and "El Tiempo Entre Costuras" are next on my list, when I finish "El Gran Hotel".
It was also fun to re-watch "House of Cards" in Spanish.
Watching these shows, along with listening to Spanish music (my kids and I like to have dance parties to the playlist in the música section, helped me EASILY and in a very enjoyable manner improve my Spanish skills. Now I can ask a story without any preparation when needed (though I am a bit of an over-planner if you haven't been able to tell by my website). Who knew? Compelling and comprehensible input were what I needed to take my Spanish to the next level! ;) Do you have any shows or tips to add to this list? Put them in the comments below!
I hope this peek into the beginning of my TPRS/CI journey helps someone have the courage to start a journey of their own. The only loser in this story are my sad verb and grammar books on my shelf in the basement.
Authentically assessing your students in the language classroom...
When I first became a teacher I handed out study guides for tests, sent notes home telling parents to remind kids to studied, and spent time reviewing in class. Over the last 11 years in the classroom, my attitude has changed significantly on this topic. In fact, now I don't even announce a test ahead of time, and although we discuss correct answers, students do not generally get individual results (though I would at a parent or student request). Why has this changed so radically? Read below to find out more..
I believe the main goal of assessment data should be to improve student learning. Especially when learning a language, there is a lot of information to cover. All of my research both about the way the brain functions and about how students learn languages, points to the fact that if you want the kids to learn something involving lots of memorization (like a language) you need to make it both important to acquire and fun. When students feel anxiety about learning the language, they don't do well. The brain doesn't work as well when we are truly anxious. A little bit of stress (like in a slightly competitive game played in class, which I do in my class), is good for learning and brain function. A lot of anxiety is not. As a science minor and educator, I have always had a special fascination about the function of the brain, and have taken many classes, and read many books about our brains and how they work. Brain research backs up the importance of a desire to learn, having a purpose, and it being fun, as necessary components for maximizing learning. I often use this information about how the brain works, in my classroom management, and lesson structure.
After several years of teaching Spanish, and comparing the way my Middle School students learned, to the way the Elementary kids learned, I've noticed a major difference based on the way the systems require the students to learn the information. The upper level Spanish moves at a very fast pace, with frequent quizzes and tests. When students receive vocabulary lists and grammar rules they have to study these for long hours before high stakes quizzes and tests and they are anxious about it. Generally speaking, spending lots of time trying to memorize grammar rules is not fun for students. This anxiety, combined with a boring task that your brain won't want to do, while good for learning a lot of information quickly if you can force yourself to do it (and many students cannot), only stores the information (unless you continue to use it and study it) in short term memory. Which meant, that when I asked my MS students to answer a question (how are you?), or recall a word verbally, they had to seriously think about it, and lower to mid-range students often had a hard time retrieving the word from their memory at all. Doing the Spanish the way we are at Elementary (making it fun, connecting it to student interests so they want to learn the language, teaching the kids phrases they can use to communicate with each other, etc.) puts the information in long term memory. When I ask most of the elementary students 'how are you?' they can respond quickly and naturally. Even struggling learners respond quickly and naturally if I give them a cue to help them retrieve the information (for example, I would say 'happy' in Spanish, or smile/make a sad face, depending on the level of cue the student needed). The students needing a cue will respond with other emotions too, not just the one I gave them. Even more importantly, all of the students keep working and keep trying, nobody is giving up, and learning a language is a hard task. In contrast, at the Middle School, even the highest students in a class would have a hard time remembering information learned a few moths before.
When I assess, I want to test what has made it to long term memory. Therefore, I never tell the students when a test is coming up. I make it low pressure (I tell the students I am mainly measuring whether we have learned enough on the current topic and can move on, or whether we need more practice). While I don't make the test a big deal, I try to make the test rigorous. I assessed over 40 vocabulary items from the year, and ask students in 1st-3rd grade to illustrate a new story and answer comprehension questions about the story in Spanish. In addition, I added comprehension questions about a chapter in a book I had read to students. Since the goal of the class is to make the students able to communicate in Spanish, I decided to grade for meaning when grading comprehension questions and story drawings. Although this testing paints a pretty complete picture about what the student understands, this is just one way I assess students. I also assess them during stories based on their response time, how they respond to things I ask them to do, how they answer questions, how they communicate in class, etc. There are MANY ways a student can show understanding of a language without saying or writing anything down. I constantly assess student progress, and change the pace of the class to match student's needs.
After testing, I use the information to show me what we may need to practice more, who might need a bit of extra help, and who needs to be challenged. When I first started testing students this way, I was surprised to see that not ONE student asked me to see their actual scores, but many students told me they felt good about the test and thought they had done a great job. Some even cheer when they see the computers set up for a testing day!
Afterwards, I make sure to tell the kids they did a good job on the test (I give a Spanish sticker or prize privately to the kids that get 100%), but I don't show students the actual scores (though I would go over them with a parent at their request). Happy learners, are learners that are willing to keep trying, even with a large task in front of them, seeing lots of mistakes is very discouraging. I have the information, and know who needs more help, and that is what is important. Parents are contacted if there are large concerns, and I do talk to students about behavior or participation problems (though I don't usually have too many) . I have enjoyed great success with this method and get a lot of effort from my learners. This also does not mean that students don't receive feedback. We do many writing and reading projects that I work with them on, and give them feedback on, but I feel that I get the best information from my assessments about what students have actually learned and internalized when I do it in this manner.
Kindergarten is assessed with a 35 question matching test that includes coloring circles the correct color, and matching pictures to vocabulary phrases. This is a great way for me to confirm that Kindergarten students are beginning to acquire the language, and is helpful for sending up red flags (though I don't get too many). This is good, because the Kindergarten students are just starting to verbalize the language independently, and research shows that it is important not to push this stage. A matching test is a good way for them to show me what they know in a non-stressful manner. I only do this test at 2nd and 3rd trimester. At first trimester I do a more basic test by watching how they respond to classroom commands, and asking them to touch certain color crayons. They are so new to the language at that point that I don't want to make it stressful, and they don't know enough to assess more in the above manner quite yet. I know which students are native speakers, and I assess them authentically in class (by varying the level of complexity of what I say in my speech to them, and seeing what they can respond to).
The main goal of the elementary language program is to help students communicate in the target language. As the best way to do this is with lots of repetitions of high frequency words (it takes between 40 to 100 repetitions to acquire a word in a new language), this means I talk a lot in the classroom. I also try to make the words sound fun to say (our brains naturally want to imitate what sounds fun), and I create actions or signs with students for new words that help convey the meaning (tying the new information to a different part of the brain). This method of teaching forced me to think about 'noise' from students in the classroom in a very different way. In past years I have always led a classroom where students do not talk when the teacher is talking. While I definitely do not encourage students to talk over me, I've had to let go of this a little bit. This revelation occurred one day in class when I moved to stand closer to two students that had been whispering during a story we were acting out. My intention in moving closer to them was to gently remind them to be quiet listeners. However when I stood closer to them I could hear that the things they were whispering. These two students who I had assumed were not paying attention, were repeating (to themselves and sometimes each other) almost everything I was saying. This was a major revelation for me. Much like a baby learning their first language, these students were just quietly practicing their new language. I began to listen more closely to all student conversations, more often than not students were repeating me speaking and/or telling each other things in Spanish (para=stop, silencio=silence, yo, yo, yo (me, me, me) when I ask them to raise their hand). I had to make a major adjustment to my teaching style. While I definitely do not want behavior to get out of control, squashing these early attempt at communication is contradictory to teaching students to communicate in the target language. I've adjusted my teaching to be more selective at what kinds of 'noise' are acceptable in the classroom. Rather than move to keep the students quiet, I now carefully "choose my battles". After all, when teaching a baby new words, you wouldn't want to silence early attempts to communicate. This has forced me to listen at a new level in the classroom. Not only have I developed a greater appreciation for how much my students are trying (and succeeding) in learning, but it has also given me greater insight into what motivates my students to try to learn a word. Is it a cool prop? A motion we made up? The tone of my voice? The mood of the room? All of these change how language is acquired, and really listening to my student helps me become an expert in this area.
What do you do when you can't take a Spanish class for a long time? Like during the summer?
As with many skills, when long periods of time go by without being used, the part of the brain involved with the skill becomes less active, and begins to shrink. This is especially critical with a new language, as most students are not exposed to their new language in a regular manner. Luckily there are many things that you can do to help your son or daughter continue to use their language skills during the summer (even if you do not speak Spanish). Encouraging your son or daughter to spend 15-20 minutes, 3 to 4 times a week when possible, will have a major impact on their language retention over break.
Class website- My site has many free resources. Each time we changed topics in class, I created a new page on the website. These pages include cartoons, games, stories, and music that matched what we are doing (or did) in class. Before the end of the summer I will put up ‘ALL’ the topic buttons, so students can play on any of the pages I created this year over the summer. You can find all my resources below!
Sr.Wooly is a site made by a Spanish teacher that focuses on teaching frequently used words through hilarious songs, and games. Second and third grade students at my school love most of his material (even though it is geared towards older students). Some of the videos are also appropriate for 1st grade and Kindergarten. My kids love 'Puedo ir al baño' and 'Sé Chévere' both of which can be found on Youtube.
Sr. Wooly- https://www.senorwooly.com/
Duolingo is a free (and add free) site that allows users to practice new language skills in a fun, effective, and highly customized manner. Students complete mini lessons in a format similar to Rosetta Stone, answer questions, translate, and more. The program assesses your language ability, and the lessons change to match it. Your learner can earn experience points, badges, and compete against classmates in a fun way. I can also monitor student progress, and during the school year run a prize drawing each month for students that play. To participate go to my website and click on the link below with your classroom teacher's name and help your student register. All you need is an e-mail address! Duolingo is used in many classroom and is considered a safe site. Students can receive friend requests (so they can compete against friends to earn badges), however private messages cannot be sent via Duolingo. Parents should evaluate the site to before signing your son or daughter up to make sure it is right for your student. My own children love it when I play with them! An Android and Apple App are available to play on handheld devices. While this site is mainly used by 2nd and 3rd graders, I do have a few 1st graders that also love it.
Netflix adds more Spanish programming everyday. Many (if not most) of the original programming (both for adults and children) allows you the option to change the language (both spoken and subtitles) to other languages. This is an invaluable resource, as there is a lot of very compelling for young learners. Simply push the 'up' button on your remote, and click on the speech bubble to change your language!
Youtube is a great resource for Spanish TV shows, songs, stories, and movies. Try putting your son or daughter’s favorite show, story, or movie in the Youtube search bar, and add ‘en español’ after the title. For example, “Peep and the Big Wide World en español”. This year students really enjoyed the following Youtube cartoons: Pocoyo, Peppa Pig, and El Perro y El gato (no ‘en español needed after the last title).
Many DVDs include the option of changing the language in the options menu. Changing the spoken language to Spanish, and adding English subtitles is another great way to practice. This is also an option on many shows on Netflix. We recommend tailoring this activity to individual students. If your student is bored with this activity after 15 to 20 minutes, turn it off and be done with it for the day. However, if they are enjoying the movie, there is no need to stop early.
There is a lot of great music available for young Spanish learners. Some of my favorites include: Basho & Friends, Baila Baila, and Barbara Macarthur. All of these are available for download on Itunes and Amazon, however you can also find many of the songs free on Youtube. Another favorite available on Youtube is Kevin, Karla y La Banda (a group that takes music students know, into Spanish songs (Shake It Off, Hello, etc.). On the 'El Verano' page, I added our 'Youtube' play list for the year. Hit play, and 'enjoy' over 40 songs. ;)
Games- There are a lot of traditional games from different countries that are a great way to practice Spanish (your student will love to teach you if you don’t know Spanish). A favorite counting game this year is the Peruvian card game, “Mano Nervioso”. If you’re student can’t remember it, check out the rules at the first link. If you are in need of a new game for your student’s check out children’s games from around Spain at the second link.
Spanish Street Games
The World Around You-
Consider finding Spanish in the world around you a game for your family. Did they notice the Spanish on the aisle signs at Meijer, or on the back of their shampoo bottle? Eating out at a Mexican restaurant? Try practicing with the server if they speak Spanish. This is a great authentic way to practice.
As you can see, there are many resources available when your student is not too busy enjoying their time off. However you spend your summer, please know that your student did a wonderful job this year, and we cannot wait to see everyone in the fall.
I am entering my 12th year as a teacher in Saline, MI. In the past I taught 3rd grade, 5th grade, Spanish/French/German Intro Class, Quest (Elementary Science), Middle School Spanish, and Elementary Spanish. My Bachelor's degree is in Education, with minors in Spanish, Science, and Structures of the Discipline. My Masters was in Education, and the 30+ additional credit hours I've taken since have focused on Spanish and Science. In particular, my Science classes focused mainly on the function of the brain. As a teacher, and throughout my life this has always been an interesting topic for me. I use the information I have learned about how the brain functions to guide me when I teach. It helped me when trying to decide HOW I wanted to teach my students language; to me, all the research seems to support TPRS/CI (Teaching Proficiency Through Storytelling and Comprehensive Input). In this post, I will explain my theory on why I think TPRS/CI is the language learning method our brains were made to do naturally (Thanks Blayne Ray, Dr. Krashen, Dr. VanPatten, and all the many amazing teachers who have been sharing this method of teaching).
The basic way the human brain functions is to send messages between neurons, along axons. For example, when someone you know walks into the room, one part of your brain tells your head to look up, another recalls the name of the person or tries to recognize them, a third causes the muscles in your face to react, etc.
All of these parts of your brain communicate via signals sent between neurons, along neural pathways. When you first start learning a tricky new skill it is hard work. That is because forming new neural pathways is hard work. When the brain learns a new language, you are creating an entirely NEW neural pathways between neurons (different than your first language). You are strengthening your brain (hooray)! However you are also challenging it. That is why when you first learn a tricky new skill ( a new sport, a new language, a musical instrument, etc.) it can be frustrating as it makes our brain work very hard. However, with practice, the neural pathway becomes stronger and faster (like working a muscle). The activity then becomes easier and more fun, and we become better at it, we enjoy it more, we do it more, and we get even better at it! The more you use the neural pathways, the faster signals can fire on them, and the quicker processing becomes. More neural pathways and communicating neurons, lead to more brain activity (a good thing)!
In addition, when we do things like create a gesture, connection, or image with a word and use it consistently, we are causing the same neurons to fire together. When neurons fire together on a regular basis, they sometimes continue to do so. Getting bonus strengthening of targeted neural paths. We are strengthening our brain (hooray).
What does this mean for language education?
It's great to strengthen our brain, but because we are making our brain work so hard, motivating it is important. One way we motivate the brain to continue forming the neural pathway is by making the activity meaningful. This is done in my classroom by focusing on the students in my lessons. What student doesn't like to talk about his or her self? In fact what person doesn't like to talk about their self? Personalizing lessons helps keep students focused. There is research in neurology done with brain imaging to support this (and it and a list of other suggested reading, can be found back under the 'Why TPRS/CI?" tab. I update this list periodically).
A fantastic way to personalize lessons is "Special Person" (Persona Especial via Bryce Hedstrom); read about it by clicking on his name. Another way is to use structured grammar targets to ask about students own lives (Personal Question Answer via Ben Slavic). Student interest surveys are also a helpful way to personalize. All of the above methods not only give you great inspiration for stories to tell with your students (in the target language); but also create a warm classroom climate, and teach you about your students.
One way I personalized recently when learning the 100 most frequently used words, is with stuffed animals from the "Minions' movie. Seeing familiar (and funny) characters, in a silly scenario makes students pay close attention. Look at how many hands go up n the below clip!
The setup is: I put together some words the students have learned this month into a 'sticker' challenge. Anyone contributing part of the correct translation gets a sticker. This is great, because I can reward students for effort, no matter what level their Spanish is at; some students are ready for complex translations, and some are just beginning to sort out the words. All levels are making great progress, and I love rewarding their work. I usually only use stickers at the start of the year when students are getting used to each other again (it helps warm up the classroom). However the stickers ARE in Spanish so I try (and often fail because I'm talking about something else) to say the words as I give them out, and teach them to the kids (more Comprehensible Input that they leave the classroom wearing)! Even though students make mistakes, you can see that they feel their effort will be rewarded, and they are safe to take risks, by the eager hands that pop up. An example of this in the videos below. Please excuse my loud voice at the start of the first video (each video is less than a minute long).
Another way to personalize lessons is by focusing stories on students, student interviews (through class pets); and through this website (by finding videos/games/songs/cartoons and books that enhance what we study). Students seeing Spanish applied to things that are important to them (such as the Frozen soundtrack) helps them see that Spanish is an active and important part of the world. It also keeps them interested in learning more! One of my favorite moments of last school year is when my Kindergarten class showed up dressed for "Frozen Day". I didn't know it was coming, but I DID have a version of "Let It Go/ Libre Soy" on my website. I quickly taught them to sing 'Libre Soy' and told them to listen for the word 'frío' and we had the best dance party ever. Those kids were singing their hearts out, and many little voices left the class quietly singing, "Libre soy, libre soy!"
This ties into another way we encourage the brain to learn, by keeping things novel. Our brain likes to focus on what is important to us, and in the past (and present), new behavior was (is) something that interests us. In addition we like to enjoy ourselves. If we are doing the same thing over and over and over our brain gets bored and less likely to want to continue paying attention. This isn't very helpful, when repetition is also important when learning a new skill as it helps keep the neural pathways strong. This is especially important when building a new neural pathway (as in when acquiring a second language). Think about trying to teach a baby to talk. If you want the baby to be interested in the word, you repeat it in different ways. You use silly voices, make faces, and repeat it frequently to help them learn the word. You do not sit with the baby talking about modifying nouns, vocabulary lists, and pronunciation. We do not think of these rules in natural conversation either. This is the same concept, applied to older learners. You don't stop trying because the student does not immediately process language, they will get it eventually if they keep getting comprehensible input.
How do we keep something both novel and repeat it a lot? One way is with humor, as seen in the above post, I try to make stories have a funny twist. It keeps the students paying attention (and even joking in Spanish). Another way is by changing up how we do things. I am always monitoring the 'mood' of the students. I want to push them to try just a little bit more (strengthening the neural pathways); but when I can see they are done, we move onto something else. I hesitate to call this a 'brain brake' as it is actually just practicing the same information in a new and novel way. Sometimes it is through a game, sometimes through directed (in Spanish of course) exercise (also great for the brain and neural growth/plasticity). We also use stories, a cartoons, music, games and much more. There are so many ways to practice the same language skills in new ways. It keeps the classroom interesting and fun! I try not to add to much new information until I see students start to process what we have already learned at a quicker pace.
I hope this helps to shed some light on what goes on in my Spanish classroom!
To learn more about brain plasticity and short term memory, check out one of the videos below. There is great information in the first video about growing neural pathways, but one big error. The speaker says the child's brain has more plasticity than the adults. This has been proven to be untrue. He states this is why the child can learn to ride the "brain bike" much more quickly than he could. It is not this, but rather the strength of the original path overriding the new path in the adult brain that causes it to be harder for an adult to learn, not lack of plasticity. :)
Want to know more?
If you'd like to read more about any of the topics in my article, please click on the "Why TPRS/CI" button below, and then on "Further Reading" this is a constantly updating list (as I read good articles I add them here, most of the time). ;)
A short version of this information via Google Slides is also available. Feel free to use it if if will help you explain this to others, as long as you credit me. :)
The three below videos also support my Classroom Theory. The only one I have a slight disagreement with is the "Backwards Brain Bike" (though most of it is good, so I kept it); in it the speaker says that adults brain are not plastic (having the ability to change, learn, and grow). This has been proven to be false, especially if we take care of our brains by challenging them, physical exorcise, and good food (but that is a whole different topic).
I hope this post helps others in their language learning journey!
If your curious how these learning rules apply to adults click here.
Entering my 13th year in the classroom; I am a TPRS/CI Elementary Spanish Teacher. Passionate about TPRS/CI, Brain based learning, and using technology to bring the world to our students, and our students to the world.