Day 1 – Comprehensible Input: Rethinking HOW We Teach Languages

Science Meets Classroom Practice
Day One in the professional development series of Language Learning Redefined: Proficiency Through Global Studies. Brain science and education research challenge us to rethink common classroom practices and examine our beliefs about language learning.  

This award-winning seminar puts language teachers in the role of language learners as they learn Swedish via Total Physical Response (TPR), Content-Based Storytelling (CBS), Content-Based Instruction (CBI) and Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL).  

From this experience, teachers gain unique insights to refine their teaching skills and perhaps to make changes in their practice.  They will also confront some long-held beliefs about the way languages are learned and taught.  

Story is a powerful tool for learning anything.  The seminar leader will demonstrate “story-asking” techniques used in TPRS (Teaching for Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) and “storytelling” techniques used in Content-Based Storytelling (CBS).  

The Top 10 TPR Tricks are a unique addition to this inservice.  TPR looks easy but it’s the tricks rarely taught in methods classes or other workshops that make it or break it in the classroom.

Experience how oral language development paves the way to reading comprehension.  Experience reading a text where you pick up the meaning from context. Teachers gain insights into recognizing text complexity and strategize about ways to help students overcome obstacles to comprehension.

Comprehensible Input strategies for staying in the target language and high student engagement combine to create a low-stress environment that encourages risk-taking and enhances learning. Multiple intelligence and differentiation strategies naturally integrated into the lesson set the stage for every kind of learner to experience success. No wonder foreign language education conferences awarded the “Best of Minnesota” and the “Best of Central States” to this presentation!


  • A comprehensible input (CI) language class from a student’s perspective
  • The joy of language acquisition while “picking up” the Swedish language
  • Learning about Sweden while being taught in Swedish!
  • Whole language storytelling strategies that ANY teacher can learn quickly


  • On strategies that raise and lower students’ confidence
  • On your own current practices – How they are similar or different from today’s lesson? What is best practice when in light of how the brain acquires language?


  • How do learners acquire language naturally?
  • Why do whole language approaches work?
  • How can instructional design create a bridge from comprehensible input to output?
  • Understand today’s experience by relating it to principles of language acquisition, language skill development, and brain-based teaching


  • What will you take from today’s experience?
  • How and when will you integrate this into your teaching?

Contact Jan to bring an inservice to your school/city.