TPRS AND CI TEACHER, AUTHOR AND PRESENTER
Adriana Ramirez works in Canada, in the province of British Columbia as a Spanish teacher. She has been a language teacher for more than 15 years. She is a well-known CI author and presenter. Adriana has published several books with stories, as well as short novels (in Spanish and French), to teach through storytelling and comprehensible input. She constantly presents workshops and coaches teachers on applying CI techniques in the classroom, and has presented workshops in Canada, the U.S and France.
Adriana has a YouTube Channel where you can see her in action teaching Spanish with TPRS and CI methodologies
You can follow her on tweeter @veganadri
How I teach:
I teach first year Spanish (grade 9), second year Spanish (grade 10) and IB Spanish SL 11 and 12. From day one until, three years later, the day they write their IB Spanish exams, I only and exclusively teach using Comprehensible Input methodologies. I use a variety of strategies in my classes to provide my students with comprehensible input: I use TPRS, Storytelling, Movie Talk, Picture Talk, Personalized Questions, TPR, Novel Reading, FRV (free voluntary reading) and scaffolded class discussions.
Depending on the grade level, I use some things more than others, but there is one thing that is a constant in my classes, I never, ever teach grammar explicitly.
We language teachers have to understand that second language acquisition resembles first language acquisition. If we think about the way we learned our first language, we realize that explicit grammar learning came after we had already completely acquired the language per-se, never before.
Our brains are built to decode and map languages in a specific way, and this is not through grammar. When we teach grammar in our classes, students are learning about the language but not the language. Grammar teaching does not translate into language acquisition. If you are interested in learning more about this, I strongly recommend that you read “WHILE WE ARE ON THE TOPIC” by Bill VanPatten.
So, everything I do in my class is an excuse to provide my students with more comprehensible input. We are communicating in a meaningful and unrehearsed way 100% of the time. Here is where you need to start feeling your gut and reading the class energy. For example, if you had planned 10 minutes of Personalized Questions, but the class is very engaged and the conversation is evolving, just keep going with the flow! As long as you are in the target language and you keep providing them with comprehensible input, you are facilitating their language acquisition. If a Movie Talk, that was originally intended for 20 minutes, is a hit with the class and you see they are engaged and you can stretch it for 40, well go for it! At the end that is what you want, engagement, attention, and comprehensible input in a meaningful way.
Why do I teach the way I teach?
- Because there is nothing more rewarding as a language teacher than seeing, in your students’ eyes, the joy of learning, understanding and being able to communicate in a different language. I make them promise me they won’t study for my class. My promise to them is, if you come to class and actively pay attention and engage with the class dynamic, you do not have to study and you will do well. If they do their part and I do my part, going home and memorizing things is out of the equation.
- Because you get students that hate learning languages based on their past experiences, and after a month in your class, they tell you that, actually, Spanish is easy and they have learned more in a month in you class than in a semester in a previous class.
- Because it is a different class, it is relaxing, funny, it builds community and success.
- Because it works. You can actually become proficient in the language in a relatively short period of time, with no suffering, no memorization of endless lists of words and grammar rules, and not studying.
- Because you learn to feel the new language. You pass on to your students not the thinking but the feeling of the target language. They stop translating it, and they start feeling it.
- Because it makes me a happy teacher.
COMING UP WORKSHOPS:
- February 4th. North Vancouver
- February 22nd. Surrey School District
- May 3rd. STA Convention
- July 7th to 12th. NTPRS Chicago
- August 11th to 15th. NTPRS Canada, West Vancouver.
Please contact me directly for more detailed information @ firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2019 – Adriana Ramirez - Copyright adrianaramirez.ca