For a handful of years now I have either attended one or both NTPRS or iFLT conferences. They both have their unique pros and cons. One is not better or worse than the other…I recommend trying them both to see what fits your professional development needs.
This year, I decided to present sessions at both. Since MovieTalks are increasingly more and more popular I wanted to discuss them. The point of my session had a two-fold purpose.
1) I wanted to discuss a quality control issue. I use MTs sparingly and with a purpose that ties to my school’s scope and sequence. MovieTalks are great when they are used as part of the TPRS process. Specifically I am referring to “ask a story” and readings.
It is my belief that in order to effectively incorporate Ashley Hastings’ paraphrase/narration technique in a World Language classroom setting that the teacher has to understand the fundamental principles of the threes steps of TPRS. The purpose of a MT is to engage students in their i+1. YouTube videos are great but teachers must be thoughtful with what they share with their audiences.
2) How do we teachers, make MovieTalk look like school so that we are projecting the right messages to our colleagues, supervisors, parents, and students.
#2 comes from a history of me having to be defensive about what I am doing in the classroom when compared to other teaching colleagues. Since I use very little of the textbook, and don’t assign traditional homework, and do not engage my students in formative assessments like traditional grammar and vocabulary quizzes it is important that I make TPRS/TCI activities look like what outsiders expect. I know what I am doing. I seek to provide target language INPUT to my students. The state of affairs in some places is that other adults want to know what I am doing. I am sensitive to that and want to help them. This is a small concession in my opinion for continuing the freedom of learning creativity that I want as an educator.
Here you can see a couple of worksheets that help TPRS “look like school” in the traditional sense.
balconWS (Spanish student worksheets)
pulposER (English Embedded Reading Intermediate level).
See Cindy Hitz’ blog article for more resources. palmyraspanish1.blogspot.com
Vampiro antes and despues worksheet (Spanish worksheet).
In the last link below is the Power Point presentation that I used as apart of my discussion at both conferences this year. I wanted to let teachers know that there is much more to a video story animation than just the story itself. We can continue to engage our students in critical and imaginary thinking when we tell stories in the the target language. For me the MovieTalks videos that I use last several weeks and encourage wonderful classroom discussions all while using the essential concepts and practices of TPRS. I hope this is helpful!
Sessions MovieTalk Power Point