My generation of polyglots

A language teacher's blog by Mike Peto

Un chico que habla demasiado: a story for Spanish 1 and above

I originally created this blog to share materials that I create for my classes. In that spirit, here is a simple reading that I wrote for the last semester of … Continue reading

May 8, 2015 · Leave a comment

How is that TPRS working out?

Comparing writing samples of level 1 and level 3 students taught entirely through TPRS and TCI Last Friday, after watching a portion of episode 2 of the Spanish telenovela El … Continue reading

April 25, 2015 · 12 Comments

Galeano & May Day

Eduardo Galeano, the Uruguayan author who had a tremendous impact on how Latin Americans understand history, passed away recently. His book about soccer, El fútbol a sol y sombra, is … Continue reading

April 17, 2015 · 10 Comments

Becoming Better at Asking

Recently I have been concentrating on techniques that guide me to ask rather than tell a story. Asking rather than telling a story seems like a basic TPRS skill, but … Continue reading

March 22, 2015 · 3 Comments

Are your Movie talks Step 2 or Step 3?

A few thoughts on pitfalls of a popular strategy A few weeks ago a colleague confessed to me that she has been bypassing step 2 altogether. “Oh, you mean you´ve … Continue reading

March 15, 2015 · 1 Comment

An unusual class job

Many people have written about the positive impacts of creating class community through class jobs (for instance, click here and scroll down to “Classroom management” on Bryce Hedstrom’s website for … Continue reading

March 3, 2015 · Leave a comment

TPRS and TCI with advanced students

Enough people come to this blog looking at my AP syllabus that I think it might be valuable to share how I move through that syllabus, maintaining a comprehensible classroom … Continue reading

March 1, 2015 · 14 Comments

More high-interest novels for heritage speakers

I am definitely wading into deep, and potentially hot water with these latest acquisitions… but at least they are not being placed directly into my FVR library for any student … Continue reading

February 17, 2015 · 4 Comments

The Advantages of Posting High Frequency Verbs

Lately I have been becoming more conscious of how much I use the high frequency verbs posted on my wall. I originally posted them for students, and some of my … Continue reading

February 14, 2015 · 11 Comments

Global School Play Day

I am really happy that Tim Bedley, one of the forces behind the Global School Play Day movement, is an educator in my own school district. If you have not … Continue reading

February 2, 2015 · Leave a comment

Spanish 1 basic story: cómo hacer amigos

This is so simple that it might be useful as substitute plans Here is a very short story that I wrote so that I could focus on the verb hacer … Continue reading

January 22, 2015 · 1 Comment

Un señor muy viejo con unas alas enormes

Introduce students to Gabriel García Márquez´s iconic short story 1. Embedded reading The purpose of an embedded reading, to my thinking, is to make the reading experience much more enjoyable. … Continue reading

January 17, 2015 · 2 Comments

Pairing TPRS novels with Movie Talk

I have not been blogging lately because I have been teaching Carrie Toth´s and Carol Gaab´s wonderful novel, La hija del sastre, and on alternating days Movie Talking selected parts … Continue reading

January 17, 2015 · 2 Comments

Bryce Hedstrom Google Hangout tonight!

Bryce Hedstrom is conducting a one hour google hangout tonight, Monday January 12 at 7:30 MST. Bryce is an expert TPRS teacher who regularly presents at national conferences. Check out … Continue reading

January 12, 2015 · 1 Comment

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 · 3 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 · 9 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

Jupitergrades.com

If anyone else uses Jupitergrades.com, 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 · 20 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 · 15 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

Thoroughly updated on February 1, 2015 This post contains a five day lesson for teaching the structure ponerse with clothing as well as with emotions. PQA and class story ideas, a … 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

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