07 Feb Winners! “What Fluency Matters Means to Me”
We have been so overwhelmed by the outpouring of gratitude, support, and kind words that choosing a single winner was nearly impossible. We spent hours deliberating!
There were so many amazing comments that we wanted to publish them all! Over the next several months, you may see some of your quotes on our website, blog, and newsletter posts. We were so touched that we didn’t know how to say “thank you,” so we decided to offer a few incentives to all of you who took the time to participate.
To express our gratitude to all of you and show how much we appreciate your commitment to your profession and to Fluency Matters, we are offering special incentives to 3 runners up and the rest of the contestants who participated but who were not selected as a grand prize winner or runner-up. (See below for details.)* Finally, the moment you have been waiting for . . .
DRUM ROLL . . .
Congratulations to our Grand Prize Winner, Jana Shultz!
Jana wins 2 free iFLT registrations, one for herself and another for a colleague!
|I left TPRS over a decade ago because I was exhausted with the first-wave process even though I had participated in some training. Since then, in spite of my fear and stubbornness TPRS has been calling me to return. I knew, as a veteran teacher of 22 years who has tried many methodologies, activities and techniques, that TPRS was the strongest method with lasting results. Finally, I decided to jump back into storytelling with the guidance of Fluency Matters’ curriculum, novels and the iFLT conference in Chattanooga 2016. Everything changed! The new generation of TPRS leaders and strategies opened my eyes—Carol Gaab’s dynamic demonstrations, Carrie Toth’s kind support and Linda Li’s elegant style. The conference with its live language classes, coaching groups and the echo from everyone that I did not have to tell a “perfect” story gave me the confidence to follow the TPRS wave again. The first weeks of school, my nervousness quickly became relief because I was having so much fun laughing with my students. The webinars also supported me through August and September when I was most anxious and full of questions. Teaching “narrow and deep” and slow has released me from previous expectations. I go home earlier and happier. My students and I both have less work. I feel satisfied because I am incorporating, not only language, but also cultural elements through the context of my Fluency Matters materials. I look forward to becoming a better storyteller with my students.|
Congratulations to our Runners-up:
Runners-up will receive $100 off iFLT registration for themselves and $100 off iFLT registration for a colleague!**
|I feel like I am learning how to teach in the target language 90% of the time with novices from day one because of the Fluency Matters team. Every time I am lucky enough to secure a spot in a Carol Gaab presentation I leave with new ideas and inspiration. The class sets of novels and teachers guides have made teaching easier for me and reading more enjoyable for my students. However, my light bulb moment was at an ACTFL session when Carol Gaab demonstrated higher order thinking using compelling comprehensible input. Probable or possible or its variations logical and illogical are now standard in my teaching. Students are hearing vocabulary in context and are thinking at a higher level, but are able to respond with very little forced language. Who might say is another higher order thinking activity I learned from Fluency Matters. Students must infer who might say something based on context, content and/or verb form. Another activity I learned from the fluency matters team is the action chain. Students love to act and I get lots of repetitions of the language structures while having students determine a logical order for the events. This summer I discovered the webinars and the CI peek blog. I plan to use these a lot more in the future. I would really love to attend the IFLT conference and bring a new teacher I am mentoring in my district.|
|Fluency Matters has been an integral part of my transition from outdated, ineffective, and flat-out boring teaching methods to fun, research-based, input-driven, and fluency-focused ones. Early in my teaching career, I got a job at a respected public high school known for high expectations and achievement. Being new to teaching, and not having done as much research as I should have into SLA theory, I went along with the given curriculum and ‘taught’ Spanish by following a textbook, using massive vocabulary lists and drilling grammar. Every day was stressful, only a few students ‘got’ it while others were failing, and my students and I were all miserable. It did not take long for me to come to believe that teaching was not for me. Over the summer after my toughest year yet, as I contemplated resigning, I discovered CI Peek. This was just the gateway to countless other SLA and teaching blogs that completely changed my attitude. I moved to a school where I have complete control over my curriculum, attended iFLT for the first time this past summer, participated in some FM-offered webinars, gleaned countless ideas from CI Peek and the Facebook page, and am in my first year of teaching with novels and the FM curriculum. As a result, I have had more fun this year than ever, and my students seem to be enjoying my class, much more than I have ever seen. I have an exchange student from Bulgaria this year, and one day she told me, “I want you to know that I really appreciate and enjoy your class. You always make it fun and interesting with new things, and I’ve learned more this semester than I did in years of other language classes.” That kind of response from my students and renewed optimism in me would not be possible without all that Fluency Matters (and all the wonderful people who work with and for them) has made available to me. Thank you!!|
|I started using the Brandon Brown series this year after meeting Carol Gaab and Kristy Palacio at ACTFL 2016 in Boston. Their workshops were the jumpstart I needed to dive into CI teaching full time. I am reading Brandon Brown Veut Un Chien with my first-year French students and they love it! I love watching them acquire language and laugh along at the Story. Since I was having success with it at school on a whim I brought an extra copy of “Brandon Brown Veut Un Chien” home and started reading it to my son, who is in the fourth grade. We had made it through two chapters when, spontaneously, one night at dinner he started summarizing what we had read in French at the dinner table! I was absolutely floored. I’m proud to say that Fluency Matters has not only enriched my teaching but has opened the door to the joy of language acquisition to my son as well|