Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Día 42 - I don't know enough Spanish

I've been trained to speak Spanish according to the rules of grammar and there are many things I can probably not talk about at great length from lack of conversational practice in those areas or lack of interest.  The daunting task when one teaches with TPRS is that a teacher might never quite know where the story could go if they are asking questions and relying on the answers from the students.  Sure they can guide the students in their information. 

But today I have come across some words I had to make sure of in the dictionary during class.  I don't think that it's necessarily a bad thing.  I am hardly a dictionary in class.  There are many words I have never had to use in Spanish such as 'cheetah'.  Yesterday as I looked it up during a storytelling session, the students were amazed that I had never learned the word in Spanish.  But hey, I can talk for hours upon hours about literature analysis thanks to my college classes.  I mean, that's the important stuff right? 

Doesn't do my students much good.  The idea I am working on is to model to students that it's ok for me as the teacher to not know every word in the Spanish language.  I also like storytelling because they reveal to me the things I am not sure how to say and thus I have to learn them.  Through teaching, I have probably learned quite a bit more about Spanish than in my graduate classes about the language because I was exposed to the questions I hadn't thought of about it by my students.  Since I am no longer coming from a fresh vantage point, I appreciate my students pointing things out to me that I had not ever seen.

So in short, whether it be best practice for foreign language teachers or not, I don't mind admitting that I don't know all the words. ;-)

Heck in my previous post or two, I learned that 'snuck' is not standard English.  The standard word is 'sneaked.'


  1. Senor Jordan ,

    I have the exact same problem. It has hindered me from doing TPRS, but you inspire!! Thanks for all you do.

    Melissa S. Nashville, TN

  2. Melissa,
    I'm not sure if you've been following Ben Slavic, but he teaches French in Colorado and he'll just use the English word in the story if he doesn't know it. Since you're practicing the structures anyways, the vocabulary can come later.

    Best of luck! Thanks for stopping by! :-)

    -Sr. J