A few weeks ago the Assistant Superintendent asked me to talk at the January Board Meeting about TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling). I asked my students in Spanish 1 if anyone was interested in coming to the board meeting with me to help with my presentation. The photo to the left is of the 3 students that came to the board meeting.
After the Assistant Superintendent introduced me, I turned to the 3 students and asked them to introduce themselves. Then I gave the list of vocabulary words that my Spanish 1 students had learned to a school board member and asked him to circle 8 of the words. I then handed the paper to the students, told them to write a story using at least 5 of the words, and they left the board room to write a story.
Meanwhile, I explained TPRS to the board members, gave examples of what happens during a TPRS class, shared with them the progress that I have seen the students make with this instruction, and answered their questions. At one point I went out in the hall to check if the students were ready. They said, "Almost, it's a great story, Señora." and the second time I checked on them, they were practicing reading what they wrote and said, "it's really good and we don't want you to hear it yet."
Finally, after 10 minutes or so, they were ready and they came back in the board meeting. They took turns reading, first in Spanish and then two of the students translated it to English. As they promised, it was a great story that included all the words they were given, and in a short amount of time! Needless to say, the students were a big hit and their language abilities were evident to the board members and administrators. I was so proud of them, standing in front of the board reading their story, demonstrating their Spanish language abilities, and looking relaxed because they had hours upon hours of comprehensible input to draw from, and a lot of class experience on creating stories.
I'm certain that the students' story had a bigger impact and impression on the school board members than anything I said about TPRS. Thank you María, Alejandro, y Raúl!
Their story is posted below with the 6 words they needed to include in a different color:
Hay un chico que se llama Edgardo. Edgardo vive en Hershey. Un día Edgardo va a Hersheypark, cual es un parque de diversiones. El es muy deportista porque él es en el equipo de fútbol. Él oye algo. Es un concierto en el parque de diversiones. Él va al concierto de Justin Bieber. Él canta con Justin , pero él canta mal. Las personas tratan de golpear a Edgardo con tomates. Él corre y tropieza en el suelo. Él espera a la policía y llora porque el se rompió la mano. Es muy mal porque la mano está blanca. Todas las personas están tristes.