Imagine learning a language by understanding everything everyone around you is saying. On March 28 and 29, the world languages teachers at YISS received training on an innovative method for teaching foreign languages called Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS). One YISS teacher currently practices TPRS in her classes, and the other teachers were interested in using the method as well, but they needed training. Thus, the department was fortunate enough to have Blaine Ray, the creator of the method, come and teach them about the strategy and how to incorporate media and videos into the TPRS method. On the second day of training, presenter Bryce Hedstrom, a high school teacher and TPRS practitioner, taught YISS teachers how to set up a reading program that would support TPRS in their classrooms.
With five world languages offered in high school and Korean and Mandarin programs that span 1st-12th grades, YISS has one of the most robust world languages programs available in Korea. While YISS' teachers are highly experienced, they are always looking to improve their teaching practices and stay up-to-date with best practices in order to maximize student learning. High school French teacher Sylvain Vachon shared, "When I heard that Blaine Ray was coming to teach us about TPRS, it was as though we had invited Jesus to teach us about Christianity. To have the master of TPRS present at our professional development workshop to train us showed me the great lengths YISS would take to properly train its educators."
Following the two-day TPRS workshop, YISS' world languages teachers are hoping to implement the strategy across all languages and grade levels in order to produce students who are proficient in listening and speaking (and not just translating) their language of study. If you have the chance, visit a world language classroom and experience TPRS for yourself!