Learn how TPRS & TCI naturally align
with the Common Core!

The following sessions will demonstrate how CI-based activities fulfill CCSS:
#authres: So Easy a Novice Could Do it
Stretching the story: Activities to Ensure Success
PQA Hooks
Vocabulary-driven Cultural Units
QAR Strategies for Differentiating Questions

  *Although some sessions my not specifically state Common Core in their descriptions, most sessions will directly or indirectly relate to CCSS, since TPRS and TCI inherently correlate to the basic precepts of the initiative.


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TPRS®/TCI and the Common Core

by Martina Bex, featured presenter at iFLT

Visit MartinaBex.com for an  in-depth commentary on TPRS / TCI and the Common Core.


With all of the pressure that schools are facing to demonstrate how their instruction in all subject areas supports Common Core standards, you may be required to demonstrate the conference’s support of Common Core. One of the beautiful things about TPRS/TCI is that it has been meeting CC Standards since before the standards existed. A quick glance through the CC Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening standards will leave those familiar with TPRS nodding their heads in agreement. iFLT offers a wide range of sessions each year in order to meet the needs of its attendees, and each session will address a different set of standards. By attending the entire conference, teachers will leave with a toolbox full of strategies (and the articulation they need) to address Common Core standards in their courses. I will briefly highlight a few of them here. For a more in-depth overview, visit my blog.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

This is a Speaking and Listening standard. While the TPRS focus is on input, teacher-led output is at the very core of TPRS. PQA is a collaborative class discussion. One on one and small group discussions are less frequent, but many TPRS teachers strive for 5-10 minutes of output per day, even at the novice level, to accustom students to speaking. These snippets of conversation often take place 1:1 or in small groups, and they range in topic from the students’ lives to the story that was created in class to the topic that was presented and discussed in class (often of cultural or historical significance). Many teachers, Laurie Clarcq comes to mind, work closely with the “core” departments at their schools to align the World Language curriculum with that of their core classes. For example, if students are reading “Romeo and Juliet” in English, the WL teacher will create a parallel story in his/her class so that the students can compare and contrast and discuss themes.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

Due largely to the work of Scott Benedict at Teach for June, the majority of TPRS teachers use Standards Based Grading, at least to some degree. Because of this, these three anchor standards are met. Students are not required to simply regurgitate facts on a multiple-choice or FITB quiz; they must prove their understanding of the text by supporting their answers with facts that they put in their own words. Teachers ask high-order thinking questions because students must have truly comprehended a text in order to respond to them. For this reason, “big picture” questions about theme and character analysis have become common-place in TPRS classrooms.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.5 Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.6 Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

Comprehension Checks are a continual presence in TPRS classrooms because the teacher must be aware of whether or not students comprehend the input and, if not, at which point the breakdown in comprehension occurs. For this reason, we ask a variety of targeted questions to individual students, small groups, and the whole class, asking students to do all of these things.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

Again, while the TPRS focus is on input–not ouput–writing still is a key component of TPRS classrooms. Free Writes are the most commonly used technique (which meet the last standard), but increasingly more TPRS teachers are incorporating expository writing into their curriculums as they study history, culture, and contemporary issues in class. For example, my students spend about a week learning vocabulary and then using it to study a cultural topic. At the end of the week, they are required to write and speak about the cultural topic using the target vocabulary. The speaking and writing tasks meet the first two standards as I must create tasks that are different than what we had used to study the topics during the week, so that I know that the students learned the topic and acquired the vocabulary. They cannot produce it in the same way that they received it, and so they must write personalized arguments and truly synthesize the information in order to successfully complete the task.