NTPRS and IFLT sessions presentation

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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.

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balconWS (Spanish student worksheets)

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pulposER  (English Embedded Reading Intermediate level).


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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

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  • Mike: I think it’s good that you have this 2-point approach because in talking with teachers I’ve found that a lot of us need to make TPRS “look like school” (fit the curriculum) and to know”why” we do what we do and to prepared defend it, as well as make decisions about class time. Also, someone at NTPRS told me that MovieTalk was “not” TPRS, but I suspect that he meant the way some people do it isn’t. If MovieTalk is providing comprehensible input, at i+1, then to me it qualifies. It depends upon HOW it’s done. If I remember right, Ben Slavic discusses it as a “strategy” (but not a Skill) in his new Big Book (it’s very good), but I’ll go check that. I saw your presentation at NTPRS and I thought you did it within the TPRS framework. I think Dr. Karen Lichtman is now calling TPRS a “framework” these days. BTW: I’m going to Blaine’s New Jersey workshop this week in Newark. I heard a rumor that he might be including MovieTalk; if so, then I would say it’s now part of TPRS. I’ll let you know. — Richard Baker.

    Richard Baker 4 years ago Reply

    • Richard,

      I can agree with what someone told you about MTs at NTPRS…MTs can be a non-TPRS activity. For me there is a big BUT. We can ask a story, use parallel characters, and circles facts of a video clip. Involving the students in the act of MovieTalking is what helps this activity look and feel like the TPRS process. Also the factor of using a form of READING with MTs shouldn’t be overlooked.

      About Blaine using MovieTalks…I can say firsthand that it is true. I am not sure what language he will do a MT in but I am guessing German.

      My hope is that teachers stick the the purity of the 3 steps and create stories with their students because it is magical. I think MTs might be a way to help teachers understand storytelling because the right video has a beginning, middle, and end. The already made story is helpful for practicing the skills part of TPRS while not stressing about the actual story.

      Michael Coxon 4 years ago Reply

      • Blaine used Spanish for a MovieTalk in Newark, NJ. I was one of his student actors for it. He said it was the first one that he had done in a Workshop.

        Richard Baker 4 years ago Reply

  • Thanks so much for sharing this, Mike! I have only been to NTPRS once and hope to try out iFLT some day, but getting to conferences is difficult. I appreciate so much when those of you who present graciously share your presentations and materials with those of us who can’t attend. I have tried MT in the past–students definitely loved it–but I haven’t worked it into my regular repertoire. Your post will help me to use MT again and for my students to get more benefit from it.

    Rita Barrett 4 years ago Reply

    • Hi Rita,

      Even though MovieTalks are popular nowadays I am only able to use 4 of these in a school year. I try to use one per quarter but I think when I started using MTs I used one per semester. I heard one teacher uses 30 per year…I am not sure what that would look like for me.

      Good luck MovieTalking and let us know how it goes.

      Michael Coxon 4 years ago Reply

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