«On ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.»

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - Le Petit Prince


Instructors that use only the TL all the time think that students will learn through immersion, but without establishing meaning it is more like what Jason Fritz calls “submersion” –being held under water and not allowed up for a breath. 

Bryce Hedstrom on his blog

Es geht um die Interaktion

I believe people who are the most effective at TPRS don’t tell stories. They ask questions, pause, and listen for cute answers from the students. The magic is in the interaction between the student and teacher. TPRS is searching for something interesting to talk about. That is done by questioning. Interesting comprehensible input is the goal of every class. If we are there to tell a story, we will probably not make the class interesting. We will be so focused on getting the story out that we won’t let the input from the kids happen.

Blaine Ray, zitiert nach Ben Slavic am 11. März 20011

Die sprachliche Genialität von Kleinkindern

Inhalt und Form: Auf die Botschaft kommt es an

Acquisition requires meaningful interaction in the target language – natural communication – in which speakers are concerned not with the form of their utterances but with the messages they are conveying and understanding.

Steven Krashen

Perfektionismus - der größte Feind von Lehrern und Schülern

Perfectionism is the perfect mask. It creates a wall between us and others that is nearly impossible to break down. If I am building the wall, I will choose to be a perfectionist about the things that I am best at. I can appear to be in control (and I think I am), I can be better than others (because I learned early on to divide the world into two categories: those who are good enough and those who aren't). I instantly know how to deal with others. If you are perfect also, then I am right. If you are not perfect then I am right.  Life is perfect; I'm always right. I never have to deal with my fears and I never address any inadequacies I might have hidden deep inside.

Laurie Clarcq on her blog: http://blog.heartsforteaching.com/2011/01/09/the-great-enemy.aspx

Sprachunterricht - Wissenschaft oder Kunst?

Trying to reach a definitive answer to whether Krashen is right or wrong is the same as attempting to decide whether art or science is superior in the teaching of languages. And I certainly am not foolhardy enough to respond. I leave it to you to decide whether you care to continue a debate that has been ongoing for centuries.

Garon Wheeler: Krashen, A Victim of History, in: TESL Canada Journal, Vol. 20, No 2, 2003


Mein Wert als Lehrer

I need to remember that my value as a teacher is not in how high my kids score on tests. It’s not really about how much they learn. Rather, it’s how they feel about themselves, about their ability to learn a language, upon leaving my classroom. Will I have helped them have confidence about themselves as language learners?


Sir Ken Robinson - Changing Paradigms

Sich nicht zerreißen lassen ...

“To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone with everything is to succumb to violence.  The frenzy of the activist neutralizes his work for peace.  It destroys the fruitfulness of his own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”

Thomas Merton, cited on www.benslavic.com/blog/?p=8681

"Sie wissen, ob du authentisch bist!"

“You have to have your eyes wide open, you’ve got to be connecting with them, because otherwise, there’s really no point.  They know if you mean it.  They know if you’re telling them the truth.  They know if you’re feeling it, and they’re looking for the love, the joy and the inspiration from you in that moment and we just create it together.”

This is a quote from Elizabeth Mitchell, a children’s songwriter and performer I heard interviewed on NPR today.  She was describing what it’s like to perform in front of children as a singer, to reach them as an artist, but she sounds like she’s describing a TPRS teacher!  But we perform everyday!  We need to be so full of life and energy to awaken our students to the art of learning, which is so antithetical to traditional teaching.

Johnna Little on www.benslavic.com/blog/?p=8432

Ein guter Lehrer

Being a good teacher means that you can communicate your goals, your knowledge and your expertise as a language teacher to your students. It doesn’t mean that you can plan weeks in advance. It does not mean that you can control the outcome of every lesson. It does not mean that you will win over every student. It does not mean that you will always feel competent.

Laurie Clarq on www.benslavic.com/blog/?p=7943#comments


TPRS doesn’t work because we are great storytellers, but because stories create a rich forum for interaction between teacher and student that wonderfully facilitates the learning process.

Stephen on www.benslavic.com/blog, 6. Juni 2010

Die Kinder erreichen

We won’t change education by measuring it more. We will change it by reaching kids. 

Ben Slavic on www.benslavic.com/blog, 5. Juni 2010

Entscheidend ist unsere Haltung

What goes on in a typical classroom reflects the mental stance of the teacher. If the teacher is uptight, the classroom will be uptight. If the teacher is spontaneous, the classroom will be spontaneous. If the class is heavily planned with all sorts of fragmented/eclectic activities, the classroom will reflect that in the form of confused students. 

What is most important?  The teacher’s demeanor. If the teacher is happy, the students will learn. This is a heavy responsibility. And what makes a teacher happy?

We must remember why we are in the classroom. We are in there to work with kids and help them on their road through life. We are here to make the language accessible to them, by making it relevant to them.

Ben Slavic on www.benslavic.com/blog, 4. Juni 2010

Steigt herunter von eurem Baum ...

Who are the real experts in language? They are my students. I accept them where they are and we all work together to get them better and we keep it fun. Hopefully, there are other teachers in the world who don’t see their jobs as their being the experts and their kids jumping, jumping to reach the cherries on the tree that the teacher has already climbed. That’s so old. The real teachers jump down from the tree and grab a branch and pull it down so that the kids can reach the fruit.

Ben Slavic on www.benslavic.com/blog, 4. Juni 2010

Zwang und der Wille zum Lernen

...we all have known for some time in education that force accomplishes almost nothing in terms of true learning, and that the will to learn and especially the will to play must be there.

Ben Slavic on www.benslavic.com/blog, 3. Juni 2010

Sprache und Poesie

John Keats, in his Letter to John Taylor, 27th Febrary 1818, stated:

…if Poetry comes not as naturally as the Leaves to a tree it had better not come at all….

This line expresses how I feel about language learning. What we do in instructing our students should not be a primarily conscious thing, no more than a tree can consciously push out leaves, or a fetus become a baby by the conscious effort of the mother, no more than the stars can align themselves by sheer effort of will.

Ben Slavic on www.benslavic.com/blog, 7. Mai 2010

Erzwungener Output

Forced output beyond the level of acquisition is making students “practice” what they don’t really know yet. But language doesn’t work that way.  Language is acquired. 
Forced output means making students to use what they are still subconsciously trying to figure out how to use; forced output is the nurse demanding that you pee in a cup.

Bryce Hedstrom on www.benslavic.com/blog, 30. April 2010

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