Today on the iFLT/NTPRS/CI Teaching Professional Learning Network, Kim Pate from Alabama shared one of her successes. Kim teaches in the Tuscaloosa City School District. She teaches Spanish 1 primarily to 9th graders in the Freshmen Academy at Northridge High School.

I’m reposting her comment here for wider distribution.

It has to be understood that what Kim is seeing in her classroom is not an anomaly.

Alabama Update: Yesterday, a professor of literacy from the University of Alabama visited my classroom. I discussed with her the “phenomena” occurring in my Spanish classroom every year:

Children who have IEPs and are identified as “slow” and unable to read English are learning to read in Spanish and write stories in Spanish because of CI/TPRS. They can also read chapter books and tests that are written in Spanish.

I started teaching Spanish to this group of students on January 6. We are already reading Brandon Brown Quiere un Perro and are on Chapter 8.

My question to her: “Are these children really unable to learn to read and write in English?”

Her response, “I gotta get some folks from the University to come over here to see this.”

To the CI/TPRS family: “I think we’re going to need a bigger boat.”

Way to go, Kim!

We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

3 thoughts on “We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

  • February 6, 2016 at 10:59 am

    I had a similar experience with a kindergartner autistic boy who was acting out in his classes. We did TPRS stories frequently and he became a star! I had a graduate student in psychology filming the classes because his behavior was so changed. Made my heart sing!

    • February 6, 2016 at 11:03 am

      Roz, this year I have a boy on the spectrum as well and he is absorbing and processing the language faster than the other 159 students. It’s a joy to behold! Thank you for sharing!!

  • February 6, 2016 at 11:18 am

    The Alabama teacher’s experience certainly mirrors our experiences with Special Ed students in our Latin program. Our Special Ed department places students in Latin before any other language because all four of us are CI teachers and we now have a long record of being successful with those students.

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