George Lucas Educational Foundation

PBL and World Language

PBL and World Language

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I am a French teacher at a New Tech high school which of course, promotes PBL. I LOVE PBL and the technology available for our staff and students, but I would love to bounce some ideas off someone. Does anyone use TPRS AND PBL in a World Language class?

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Hans Albanese's picture
Hans Albanese
English Language Arts teacher in Japan, Course Supervisor (past)

Hi there,
I am very curious. What is TPRS? Total Physical Response perhaps, but what is the S?

Norrie Brassfield's picture

I have the same question. I LOVE PBL but am concerned that my learners spend too much time in English discussing and planning the projects. Have you had any success integrating TPRS into PBL? Anyone out there? Here is my one idea for a project: Pose this problem to the students: "As your teacher I am concerned that we are spending too much time in English and would like to discover a way to have more spoken Spanish in the classroom. I have an idea I would like to share about a "new" method I have been researching called TPRS. I will model it for you and then I would like each of your groups to evaluate its effectiveness for teaching a certain list of vocabulary words or a grammar principle all in Spanish for a period of 15 minutes. If you like this method, you may choose to create a "story" and teach it to the class with the TPRS method. If you don't think it is effective, then create another activity that will keep students participating completely in Spanish for 15 minutes during a class period." Students play the role of "researchers" or "teachers" creating a better way to learn to speak a foreign language. Is this real-world enough? engaging enough? Any ideas?

Brenda Contreras's picture

I have been teaching high school Spanish at levels 1-5, including AP and IB, for 14 years and this year my school is trying to implement PBL into our curriculum. I began the first day of a 3 day training for PBL today and I'm having a hard time distinguishing between what is considered a PBL and what I normally do in my classroom. Here are some of the activities that my students already do: 1) read short stories and then rewrite the ending and write short skits to present, 2) design restaurant menus and again write scripts and act out a scene in a restaurant, 3) research taking imaginary trips to a Spanish speaking country and create scrapbooks which include an itinerary for their trip, cost of lodging, transportation and food, and include photos of themselves superimposed upon pictures of various points of historical and/or cultural interest in the country and present the scrapbook to the class, 4) teach individual grammar concepts to their peers, including making an interactive practice activity and giving some sort of assessment to their audience of peers 5)write and illustrate children's books and present them as well, 6) research art, culture, history, etc about a partiicular Spanish speaking country or city and create and presente powerpoint or google doc presentations sharing what they have found out. These are just a few of the many activities that I already do with my students. Are ANY of them considered acceptable PBLs? If not, what would you suggest that I "tweak" or change to make them acceptable? I appreciate any and all comments or suggestions. My emai is Please feel free to email me. Thank you!

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