A shout-out to the Old Farts

Old farts– like me– often get complacent.  “Good enough” becomes good.  “It’s always worked” becomes  “I’ve put a lot of time into this and I’m not reinventing the wheel.”  Or, worst, that subtle feeling that you’re getting tired before Friday.

But a surprising number of people manage to resist mediocrity.  My colleague Marie-Luce Arsenault, for example, dumped the grammar books for T.P.R.S. after twnety-five years of the grammar grind, and hasn’t looked back.  Blaine Ray has loads of such stories (Ben Slavic is one).

Today, I got wind of another Old Fart reinvented– Steve, a B.C. teacher of Spanish I’ve met a few times at workshops, who discovered T.P.R.S. through Simon Fraseer University’s Janet Dunkin, after 25 years of teaching, and started 3 weeks ago, and writes:

I’m doing great! TPRS rules! So far, things are going very well; my older students seem to like the new approach, and, of course, my grade 9s don’t know any better; they only have French 8 to compare it to, I guess.
Although at times tiring, TPRS is so much fun to teach and more fun for the students to learn a language. I wish I had discovered this years ago. Without any formal grammar lessons, my 9s [Level 1s] already know how to conjugate several verbs (including irregular ones); have figured out the difference between Me/te/le/gusta and gustan; how to ask/tell their names; ask/tell  their age; where they live and learn some high numbers like 100, 200; structures like quiere tener y necesita hablar and we haven’t even finished the first story!

My 11’s are learning imperfect/preterite without any formal grammar explanations!

Thank you so much for putting me in contact with [T.P.R.S.]. It is truly making teaching so much more enjoyable.

Señor Steve


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