In this session, Karen Lichtman, a professor at Northern Illinois University, talked about all the research that exists for the effectiveness of TPRS. It exists and the results show that TPRS is better than anything else out there, even when the tests are grammar-heavy. There is no current research to show that TPRS does worst in all skills. And this isn't a small number when you add up the numbers. TPRS research encapsulates 14 studies in 25 schools in 134 classes with 2294 students. But we need more!!
There is an article with summaries of all the research. Karen said that it is all reproducible and should be widely shared.
After showing us the research, Karen and Stephen really encouraged us to conduct research in our classroom. They have ideas for us:
- Replicate a research project that has already been done to see if you get similar results.
- Check for retention over time (try to keep in touch with students to see how they do on the exam 1, 2, 10 years down the road)
- Enrollment-does TPRS increase enrollment in the higher levels as compared to traditional classrooms?
- New groups: elementary, college, non-Spanish
But, when we do research, we have to PUBLISH it. Karen and Stephen said that they would help us get published, write our articles, and crunch our numbers. Stephen did say that all articles must be shorter than 5 pages for him to read it. He also said that we need to publish our failures as well as our successes or we risk not being taken seriously. We also need to put TPRS or Storytelling in the title so that Karen (and others) can find it quickly.
A research article has 4 parts: introduction, procedure, results, and conclusion. Dr. Krashen suggests writing the results section first, then writing the procedure, then the conclusion, and finish with the introduction. For brevity's sake, Dr. Krashen reminds us that those reading our article understand the lingo, so we don't need to spend a long time explaining the history of TPRS or the history of language learning: assume that those reading our article have a strong prior knowledge of language learning.
I am going to try and find a grammar-centric classroom to compare to and start researching this year!!