Saturday, June 22, 2013

TPRS Year 3 - Am I preparing students for success in future Spanish classes?

This is something I have struggled with since switching to TPRS and one of my major insecurities for the coming year.

I ran across some of my former students in Walmart the other day who were taking some Spanish classes in Upward Bound.  Evidently the teacher shows my Chistes series to them in class but teaches more traditionally.  My students were struggling. One of these was a student who had me for Spanish 1 last year and soared with the language.  While she was quieter, I could tell by her warm-ups and writing samples how much of the language she was absorbing.

But she couldn't get the paradigm in this new class with the conjugation and probably being "taught" Spanish out of context.

I guess her grade isn't doing very well.  I apologized for not doing a better job preparing her for this experience but told her that the fun part is she is better at communicating in Spanish than many Spanish 1 students taught through traditional methods.  Although this still won't change her grade in her class.

This has brought up my own feelings of apprehension about the coming year with teaching in a department of more than ONE.  Yikes!  I can prepare my students for speaking Spanish and reading Spanish, but can I prepare them for GRAMMAR?


How do others do it without wasting too much time on grammar?


  1. I have been learning Spanish for a few months now since we moved to Chile, and our teacher has been following a similar method to yours, without focusing too much on grammar lessons, but using reading and speaking exercises to teach us grammar indirectly. Honestly, this has been far more useful than rote learning grammar. It has greatly improved our conversational skills - I hope your student keeps persevering in learning Spanish!

    1. I would agree that it's much better and my students from the last few years (since my changing style) have been able to accomplish more in the language spontaneously... (which is what we hope for as teachers).