My generation of polyglots

A language teacher's blog by Mike Peto

Movie Talk: Un hombre triste se pone feliz

Movie talk on the fly Recently a teacher asked me to describe how I do movie talk with my classes. I believe that Movie talk is most effective when planned … Continue reading

December 9, 2014 · 2 Comments

Bear vs Shark: an animated movie talk for any language

A short video and two power points, one for teacher retell and one for student retells Do you have an extra day and don´t want to start a new story? … Continue reading

November 29, 2014 · Leave a comment

On transitioning an entire department towards CI/TPRS

Over the last few years I have led a gradual transition in my department towards CI/TPRS. I have heard horror stories from other schools about polarized departments and colleagues who … Continue reading

November 24, 2014 · 5 Comments

En el fondo del caño hay un negrito

A story to read and act out with native speakers, adapting TPRS techniques to heritage speakers classes The research literature clearly shows that reading fiction is the best way to … Continue reading

November 10, 2014 · 1 Comment

My favorite bailout moves

This post is a reflection on technique with no resources attached Almost everyday I am in the middle of telling a story, or in the middle of PQA, and something … Continue reading

November 9, 2014 · 4 Comments

Brandon y su gato

More Spanish 1 class stories: Most of our stories are co-created before doing the reading so that students are familiar with the basic plot before even starting, but occasionally I … Continue reading

November 6, 2014 · Leave a comment

El secreto en la mochila

This post has a link to a story that I am currently teaching to my level 1 kids… in fact click here to download it  and you can read the … Continue reading

November 4, 2014 · 2 Comments

TPRS Q & A by Chris Stoltz

One of my favorite blogs recently is the TPRS Q & A blog written by Chris Stoltz. Chris describes good teaching practices in simple prose and reminds me to keep … Continue reading

October 28, 2014 · Leave a comment

New resources for El Internado

Over the last month I have added quite a few new resources to use when teaching with El Internado. You can always see all of the resources by clicking on … Continue reading

October 26, 2014 · 1 Comment

Blaine Ray and La Gran Sorpresa

There is an interesting Blaine Ray story published in his book “Mini-stories for Look, I Can Talk!” about a restaurant that always surprises its customers. He posted a video of … Continue reading

October 23, 2014 · 1 Comment

The SSR Handbook (book review)

After a summer of reading about reading, my favorite book that I reach for to help me analyze my own SSR program is Janice L. Pilgreen´s The SSR Handbook. It … Continue reading

October 6, 2014 · Leave a comment

Episode 3 of El Internado

Here are a few resources for the first twenty-six minutes of episode 3 of El Internado. First, download this power point review of episode two prior to starting episode 3. … Continue reading

October 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

Animated GIFS

One of my colleagues and I offer lunch time tutorial sessions once a week for students who miss class. What a headache; three levels of students, all missing on different … Continue reading

October 3, 2014 · 3 Comments

Rumbo al hermoso norte (Book review)

One of my heritage speakers just finished reading Rumbo al hermoso norte by Luis Alberto Urrea. It is a touching story that I have read with several students over the … Continue reading

September 28, 2014 · Leave a comment

New activity reviewing episode 1 of El Internado

I just added a power point to my Internado Episode 2 materials. You can see the entire post about teaching episode 2 by clicking here or, if you only want … Continue reading

September 13, 2014 · Leave a comment

If anyone else uses, I am using their built-in quiz generator to provide extra reading for my level 1 students. I write a short short story using high frequency … Continue reading

September 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

El libro de los americanos desconocidos

I am still feeling a little devastated after having finished reading this beautiful novel by Cristina Henríquez, the first novel of a group of sixteen that I am reading with a … Continue reading

August 25, 2014 · 2 Comments

Palabras que empiezan con H

This post is about convincing heritage speakers that independent reading is important Yesterday, the second true day of instruction, we started our heritage speakers class looking at the books that we … Continue reading

August 19, 2014 · 1 Comment

Syllabus and Norms for a TPRS class

We have had one academic day of instruction. The administration suggested that teachers present syllabi on that day, but I decided to start straight away in Spanish as described in … Continue reading

August 17, 2014 · 5 Comments

No hay ningún gato – Panqueques

A story unit appropriate for level 2 or above that focuses on the word ningún . It includes an illustrated power point story to tell as a whole class activity, … Continue reading

August 4, 2014 · 3 Comments

First Day of School

A teacher recently wrote to me asking if I assign seats in my no desk classroom (click here if you want to see what my room looks like). Here is … Continue reading

July 29, 2014 · 15 Comments

Recent acquisitions for heritage speakers

Here are some of the most recent books that I have acquired for the heritage speakers section of my classroom library. While my non-native speakers limit themselves mostly to the … Continue reading

July 29, 2014 · 5 Comments

Review of The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller

“…Donalyn Miller has solved one of the central problems in language education.” —Stephen Krashen This review is not exactly timely given that the author of this best-selling book, published in … Continue reading

July 9, 2014 · 5 Comments

Choose Your Own Adventure for low level FVR readers

Lately I have been writing readers for level one, focusing on Terry Waltz´s “super seven verbs”. I have rediscovered a format that works perfectly for level 1: choose your own … Continue reading

June 16, 2014 · 12 Comments

Maybe… perhaps… the class novel should die

…that is, die a slow death in intermediate levels to be replaced by self-selected reading. A provocative title? It expresses some of the surprising conclusions that I am reaching in … Continue reading

May 26, 2014 · 3 Comments

Radio Ambulante

An interesting audio source for AP or native speakers classes Have you ever listened to This American Life on an NPR radio station and wondered if there were a version for … Continue reading

April 17, 2014 · 3 Comments

Una sorpresa: a new week long lesson plan

A single story that I published last year has blossomed into a week long unit with 2 mini-cuentos to prepare students for the full story The original story that I … Continue reading

April 15, 2014 · Leave a comment

Exploring Bryan Kandel´s reading database

Recently I have been exploring Bryan Kandel´s awesome database of story scripts and readings. One of the stories that I adapted for my class is La muñeca mágica, about a girl … Continue reading

April 8, 2014 · Leave a comment

New resources for Episode 2 of El Internado

New September 13, 2014: a power point  that reviews the first episode and introduces the complexity of the verb DEJAR, which I have identified as one of my focus structures … Continue reading

March 24, 2014 · 14 Comments

Going slowly with El Internado

Here are a few resources that I have developed to slow down the process of watching episode 1 of El Internado. In my level 1 class (yes, level 1) we have … Continue reading

February 23, 2014 · 5 Comments

On building our own FVR libraries

This post is about developing and sharing resources to enlarge our classroom libraries, with particular emphasis on creating readings for level 1 students. This has been an obsession of mine … Continue reading

February 16, 2014 · 5 Comments

FVR reading journal

Updated February 8, 2014 with samples of student work It is not an assessment, but rather a record to keep track of student reading habits. On the moretprs list there … Continue reading

February 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

Free Voluntary Reading (FVR) Library

I just came back from my monthly trip to peruse used bookstores in Southern California (which neatly coincides with when I receive my paycheck). I am really excited about several … Continue reading

February 1, 2014 · 9 Comments

El sombrero

This post contains PQA and class story ideas, a short video for MovieTalk,  a Beyoncé song and a reading to be completed in class as an assessment I am in the … Continue reading

January 23, 2014 · Leave a comment

Internado reading: En el pozo

A reading to accompany El Internado, getting lots of reps with sí clauses A big concern while watching El Internado with my Spanish 2 & 3 classes is slowing the experience down. … Continue reading

January 7, 2014 · Leave a comment

The grammar syllabus is worth fighting against

Reflections on the grammar syllabus and fostering an inclusive classroom One of the things that I absolutely love about TPRS is the way that the method fosters an inclusive classroom. As … Continue reading

January 3, 2014 · 2 Comments

(Cultural) Product Placement: Arepas

A non-fiction reading, suggestions for introducing cultural products in stories There are so many cultural products that I would like to introduce to my students. I have considered scheduling a … Continue reading

December 30, 2013 · Leave a comment

My favorite blog post that I wrote in 2013

Here is my favorite post that I wrote in 2013. I had not been blogging for very long, so perhaps you haven´t seen it yet…   It is the beginning of March … Continue reading

December 23, 2013 · 1 Comment

Spanish 1 TPRS midterm exam

I just corrected my Spanish 1 midterm exams and every student (except one) earned an A or an A+ on the exam. I actually brought them to a French classroom … Continue reading

December 16, 2013 · 6 Comments

Newspaper articles reviewing AP themes of first semester

Here are four newspaper articles that I modified to make into language activities for my AP class, reviewing some of the themes of the semester. Each article has a variety … Continue reading

December 13, 2013 · 2 Comments

El bruto (a serious theme presented through Movie Talk)

Today I am showing an animated movie talk video with a very serious theme of domestic abuse. As always, watch the video before showing it to your own classes. Although … Continue reading

December 9, 2013 · Leave a comment

Koi-Zora (movie talk for Span 1)

A video suitable for movie talk and a follow-up reading with comprehension and creative response questions Coming back from Thanksgiving Break next Monday I am going to start using past … Continue reading

November 30, 2013 · Leave a comment

El mentiroso

Class story ideas, a song and a reading revolving around the verb mentir A few weeks ago I was a frustrated by my level 3 students who were insisting on including … Continue reading

November 26, 2013 · Leave a comment

Two documentaries that captivated my students

My level one students are slowly reading the novel Esperanza (by TPRS publishing), which is based on the true story of a Guatemalan family that is forced to escape their home … Continue reading

November 23, 2013 · 5 Comments

El Internado – episode 9 summary

Click here to download the reading  that I assigned to my students after finishing episode 9 of El Internado. It is a two page summary with large font and space between … Continue reading

November 20, 2013 · 1 Comment

Quería soñar con Miley Cyrus pero…

Updated November 15, 2014 with new comprehension questions & writing prompts Here is a story that you can download about a boy that just wants to dream about Miley Cyrus, … Continue reading

November 19, 2013 · Leave a comment

Música de la basura

This was a lot more work than I anticipated! Last summer there was a lot of excitement on twitter concerning a video about a youth orchestra from a poor neighborhood … Continue reading

November 11, 2013 · Leave a comment

Tres bebés: Spanish 1 story

I have rewritten one of the stories I previously posted for Spanish 2 so that it works for my Spanish 1 class. Some of the vocabulary is simplified, and it … Continue reading

November 8, 2013 · Leave a comment

A day with Blaine Ray

Today I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with Blaine Ray. I never tire of observing a true master teacher, and truthfully I suspect that I have not always been ready to learn from … Continue reading

November 4, 2013 · 8 Comments

Silent Sustained Reading (SSR)

A few observations on developing an in-class reading library This is a reflection piece without any teaching resources One of the accomplishments that I am very proud of this year … Continue reading

November 2, 2013 · 7 Comments

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