Hi, I’m Chris Stolz. I teach Spanish, English, Social Justice, Philosophy and sometimes guitar in Surrey BC. This blog examines second language acquisition (SLA) issues, ideas, and methods.

The entries on this blog fall into our categories:

a)  data-based analyses of ideas, studies, comments, etc.

b) speculation, where I think aloud, connecting my varied reading and reflection with SLA issues, etc.

c) specific suggestions for language teachers

d) satire.

I do not respond to personal attacks, straw-man arguments, arguments not based in SLA data, racist homophobic sexist etc language. Republicans and/or Trump supporters, your echo chamber is here.   Claims made for SLA are backed by research; if I am missing something, please let me know; I discuss practices and ideas, not people.

I do not receive money or payment of any sort for any products or services I recommend.  Recommendations for products and services from me are based on personal experience (was I able to make it work?) and product/service alignment with S.L.A. research and proven best practices.


  1. YES!!! This beautiful blog is filling a hole in my teacher soul. Thank you for writing these concise explanations that hopefully will be closer to the tip of my tongue when I need them, rather than coming to me on the car ride home (like usual). This is truly impressive.

  2. Thanks for making me feel less alone out there in CI world! I teach among staunch (and insecure) grammarians who have put me down for years until magically…my students started winning stupid awards for language. It’s so hard to be a lone wolf and even harder to teach level one knowing that the students will never again have the joy of real language acquisition through TPRS. Also, keep quoting research: I’m trying to get a new teacher to see the light, but it won’t be easy. Much love to you!

    1. Thanks! Real credit to Blaine Ray, Susan Gross, Ben Slavic, etc.

      Keep it up– even if those kids end up in grammarian classes, they’ll still know that language learning can be both easy AND fun.

  3. Hi, I don’t know your name or where you teach. I’ve been using TPRS for more than 10 years in the Toronto area and have a small group of other TPRSers interested in CI methods and discussion


    1. I emailed you 2 years ago. Laurie Clarq knows you. You guys need to start doing workshops– Ontario seems to only know AIM for c.i. How’s life?

  4. Here is a link to a video done a few years ago of me asking a story with a grade 10 class a few years ago. It might be helpful to some. Password is tprs

  5. Fabulous, fabulous. I hadn’t found this all before somehow, and now am sharing with new interested folks in Latvia and Russia. Thank you for your well-considered, well-documented articles here.

    1. once again back is the incredible
      embedded reading animal
      the incredble M.
      acquisition developer #1
      ya know ya been in her class
      when Russian just…feels fun

      1. I just taught a class to too many people who already spoke the language…but they were still laughing. I’m going to hit them between the eyes (well, not really…) with your research list.

  6. I have dabbled in TPRS for years, and this year I have the guts to go all out 🙂
    I started prepping materials for the first few weeks, but as I looked at the “stand up, sit down, slow, go, fast” word list I was thinking, “and how does this make sense when I want to teach with stories and PQA?” Then I saw your post on “how to start the year with TPRS” finally a story on DAY 1!!!! Thank you! I’m even going to try to do a mini lesson on video to show on Parent Night (which happens before I even meet their students!). I hope it will make a lot of sense to the parents and help get them on board.
    Thanks for bringing together so many resources on this blog! Amazing!

    1. I think TPR is a great strategy when used minimally. You can “front load” a bunch of vocab (stand up, sit down etc) and later weave that into stories. Eg. “cuando el chico llegó en Corea, se sentó en el McDonalds…” Blaine Ray suggests using 3rd person and not imperatives which IMHO is a good idea.

      Good luck starting and let me (and the yahoo moretprs listserv) let me know how it’s going. Feel free to ask questions.

  7. I love this blog! I’m a student teacher whose mentor follows a traditional grammar-based approach to SLA. It would drive me up the wall to have to conform to her style of teaching, but I went to go observe some other French teachers at OCSA in Santa Ana who use TPRS, and it changed my entire approach to and perspective on language acquisition. It also restored my faith in the idea that students can leave high school knowing how to speak another language.

    Some of my best lessons this year were based from ideas I had seen on this website. I totally agree with what I’ve read in your #Showumine tag, especially the bit about student teachers and “how badly did I fail teaching languages.”

    Thank you for this excellent resource!

  8. I’m enjoying reading the blog, but the “About” page doesn’t say who you are or what context you’re teaching in. Maybe all the other readers are more in the know than me, but I thought that’s what the “About” page was for, unless it’s an anonymous blog.

  9. My son who has ADHD and slow processing speed failed a required Spanish 201 class after having received a C-. He took the class pass fail because prior difficulty and he surprisingly needed a C to pass. Is an accredited TPRS college level Spanish 201 class offered online? If so where? Thank you! TPRS sounds like a great way to learn languages!!

  10. Thank you for your post supporting CI based teaching and all the research. I am going into a meeting next week facing a bully in our dept who is insisting we agree on what grammar needs to be mastered at each level in high school. He is essentially blaming me for 9 kids dropping Spanish 3 at the semester and complaining they don’t know -ar pretérito verbs on tests etc. I need all the ammunition I can get to defend the way I teach and your post is amazing! I have other evidence such as the 2021 Van Patten paper and interviews on Liam Printer’s podcast, Martina Bex, Tea with BVP. If you have any other suggestions I would love to hear them. By the way I am in Bellingham! Pretty close to you😊

    1. Hi Mary!

      Your bully needs to read this:


      He then needs to show where it says “students will be able to fill out verb charts” or whatever b.s. he is thinking about.

      He also needs to know that as BVP says, “verb endings, like everything else, must be acquired from the input,” and that acquisition is not linear but u-shaped.

      I would also bring some writing samples.

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