All posts by Bu Anne

I am an Indonesian/Spanish teacher in Victoria, Australia. In 2015 I started reading and learning about TCI/TPRS. I love the philosophy behind this method! I have gained new enthusiasm for teaching and seen amazing results with my students. This blog documents some of my TCI/TPRS journey so far, and describes some activities that worked well for me. For many years I taught Prep - Year 3, so if you also teach these year levels, you may just find some ideas to help you out! After teaching Indonesian for 10+ years, I am now teaching Spanish to years P - 6.

One Word Images with young students

This week with my Prep classes, I have been telling them we are going to use our ‘imaginasi‘. We are going to pretend there is something on the chair at the front of the room. Apa ada? They soon got into the swing of things. When they gave me names of things we had not learned, I said ‘Mungkin‘ (maybe) and asked the next person. Of course there was always someone who said ‘harimau‘ (tiger). O, ya! Ada harimau. I looked at the chair, then back at them. Harimau besar atau kecil? I did not want tiny little tigers, so even if someone said kecil, I eventually said ‘Harimau besar‘. I looked at the chair and made sure my eyes tracked from the chair almost to the ceiling. It was really big, after all!

Warna apa harimau? (What colour?) They all wanted orange and black of course, but that wouldn’t do, so I persisted until we got blue and pink. Harimau makan, kelas! Harimau makan apa? Harimau makan pizza, harimau makan es krim, harimau makan Ibu Anne? Oh yes please! We all want the tiger to eat Ibu Anne! Now we are going to draw the tiger, Kelas! Mengambar harimau! And I reminded them of what he looked like and what he was doing. I attempted to ask them ‘Di mana harimau?’ but gave up after they said ‘on the chair!’ Apparently there is a limit to ‘imaginasi‘!!

This activity actually gave me a good snapshot at where the kids were at and how much they understood. Adorable! I always tell them I want lots of blood!

PS Yes, I know I have posted about this before, but I love sharing these gorgeous pictures!


Semester 1 reports 2017

So… for those of you who are interested, here are my report comments for this year, feel free to adapt, share, use as you desire. Almost the same as last year’s if you saw those.

Report Comments           Semester 1             2017

(Type in beginning, satisfactory or very good as needed.)


This semester {preferredName} has been exposed to comprehensible Indonesian through the use of mini-stories, songs, games and TPR (Total Physical Response). {HeShe} has demonstrated a ___ level of understanding by responding orally (answering ‘ya’ – yes or ‘tidak’ – no) or physically (by using the correct gesture or by drawing). The focus this semester has been on acquiring high frequency verbs such as ‘mau’ (want), and ‘suka’ (like). At this level the main focus is on listening and showing understanding. You can support {preferredName}’s learning of Indonesian at home by encouraging retelling of the stories and songs we have learned in class.

Year 1 – 2

This semester {preferredName} has been exposed to comprehensible Indonesian through the use of mini-stories, songs, games and TPR (Total Physical Response). {HeShe} has demonstrated a ___ level of understanding by responding orally (answering ‘ya’ – yes or ‘tidak’ – no) or physically (by using the correct gesture or by drawing). The focus this semester has been on acquiring high frequency verbs such as ‘mau’ (want), ‘punya’ (has), ‘ada’ (there is), ‘beri’ (give), ‘ambil’ (take), ‘ke’ (go to) and ‘suka’ (like). At this level the main focus is on listening and showing understanding. You can support {preferredName}’s learning of Indonesian at home by encouraging retelling of the stories and songs we have learned in class.

Year 3

This semester {preferredName} has been exposed to Indonesian through the use of mini-stories, songs, games and TPR (Total Physical Response). {HeShe} has demonstrated a ___ level of comprehension by responding orally or physically (using the correct gesture/movement), translating, illustrating sentences and acting out stories. The focus this semester has been on acquiring high frequency verbs such as ‘mau ‘(want), ‘punya’ (has), ‘ke’ (go to), ‘ada’ (there is), ‘beri’ (give), ‘ambil’ (take) and ‘suka’ (like). At this level students are expected to use known words to rewrite modelled texts or create their own sentences and stories. {preferredName}’s written work shows a ___   level of understanding of Indonesian sentence structure and vocabulary. You can support {hisher} learning of Indonesian at home by encouraging {himher} to read and re-read any stories we are working on in class.


Prep Assessment

Let’s face it, Preps are difficult to assess, especially if you have 7 classes only once a week as I do! It is hard enough to remember all their names. I did not have much data to help me write reports for my preps, only anecdotal notes I had hurriedly scribbled on the whiteboard then photographed with my phone before rushing off to the next classroom! I also tried to keep a record of who was drawing the correct picture and who was having difficulty understanding when we did our ‘gambar cepat’ (Quick Draw) activity.

So I made a very simple 6-box grid and wrote some very basic phrases and sentences from our latest story ‘Harimau makan Elsa’ (Tiger Eats Elsa). I read the phrases out aloud and asked the students to draw in the boxes in order. Here is what a couple came up with. It was great to use for a comprehension check.

prep pic
Prep Assessment (I inadvertently read numbers 2 and 3 in the wrong order)

prep pic2

I just love the illustrations! I thought the tiger had smiley face feet until I realised they were the padded paws – how clever!

Reading and Writing


I was so excited today when two students in Year 2 handed me two little stories written at home for our Indonesian classroom library. I just had to read them, even before the roll was marked! I read this one out aloud. (See transation below) I guessed what was coming (even though I dreaded it!!). Ibu Anne kissed Donald Trump! Aduh! The kids were laughing so much at my reaction. I was having a ball pretending to be horrified, even though we all know I would just love to be kissed by Donald Trump (not). They understood every word! What a cute story, and so clever for Year 2!

This just happens to be one class where the students and I seem to have a lot of trust and I feel I can really relax and have a bit of fun with them (not all my classes are like that!).

One boy said “Read it again! Read it again!” So I did. Same wonderful reaction. I told them that I was very happy with their first ever writing attempt last week. They did a 10 minute write. I explained the rules: no talking, no asking Ibu Anne for words, no English words and only use words you know. I also suggested three different ‘levels’ they could aim for – simple sentences about anything, sensible or silly, a rewrite of our latest story or a story of their own. The students did a great job. I typed up some stories from each class and ended up with about ten pages of student written stories and sentences. I photocopied 25 of each, then added the pages to clear plastic display folders which I purchased a few weeks ago. I made sure I had enough so each student would have one to read. I also added some stories from last year and a couple we had read recently.

Today we had our first 10 minutes of silent reading time. Students had two minutes to set up in a space on their own. Then I put on the timer. They were so engaged! (They were not even aware I was taking photos!) I should have asked them for some feedback, but will do so next week or perhaps after the next reading session. I aim to have this 10 – 15 minute reading time every second lesson.

I have been reading recently about how some C-I teachers are not making their lessons as structured, just ‘chatting’ with students and going with the flow. This scares the heck out of me! But today with this class I began to see just how it would work. While I was interviewing the student in the special chair, one of the questions was ‘Do you like singing?’ Yes, they answered. I told them I did too. I told them about my two boys – their names, ages and how they always say ‘Mum, be quiet!’ when I sing at home. I could tell they were with me by their reactions. We also came across the words ‘ganteng’ (handsome) and ‘cantik’ (beautiful) in a story written by a student whose mum knows a bit of Indonesian, so I explained what they meant. I said ‘Ibu Anne cantik’ and waited for the reaction I knew would come! ‘Tidak!’ I have a feeling we are going to have some funny stories in the coming weeks!!!

Translation: There was a girl. Her name was Ibu Anne. Ibu Anne wanted a hamburger. There was a boy. His name was Donald Trump. Ibu Anne and Donald Trump ate at a restaurant. Ibu Anne and Donald Trump ate ice cream and chocolate and hamburgers. Ibu Anne kissed Donald Trump. 



Stand up, Sit down

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to have Bu Cathy stay at my home and visit my classroom. While she was here, I told her about an activity I used to do with my LOTE classes in English, as a warm-up. It was singing ‘My Bonnie lies over the Ocean‘. Students are asked to stand up (and subsequently sit) whenever they hear a word that begins with ‘b’. (Lots of fun when the chorus kicks in!)

Bu Cathy and I then came up with an Indonesian version to keep the input in the target language! It goes like this:

Susi tidak suka Sydney

Tidak suka Sydney Susi

Susi tidak suka Sydney

Kembali, kembali Susi

Chorus: Susi, Susi, Susi sakit dan sedih, sedih

Susi, Susi, Susi sakit dan sedih

This is sung to the same tune as ‘Bonnie’ and students stand up or sit down with every word that begins with ‘s’. Tried it with my Year 1s, 2s and 3s last week. The Year 1 and 2s were a bit all over the place,  but Year 3s really listened carefully and had lots of fun standing and sitting at the appropriate times. Try it with your classes! Fantastic Brain Break. Afterwards, I asked my students to tell me what the song was about.

Suka Suka

Another great idea inspired by Bu Cathy! I was trying to think of a way to get lots of reps with ‘suka’ (like) for my junior classes. Bu Cathy had posted about a game called ‘Double This Double That’. I realised this could be a fun way of getting those valuable reps!

Suka, suka es, es

Suka suka krim, krim

Suka es, suka krim

Suka, suka es krim

We went through the rhyme very slowly, line by line, repeating until all kids had it. Then I asked them to form two circles facing each other. We practised all the rhyme slowly once, then the outside circle moved around to the next partner. We did this until they were back at the start. It did not get boring as each time they had a new friend! Gave the struggling kids time to get the hang of it also.

Year Prep to Year 3 learned the rhyme. I then asked them to go home, teach someone at home, practise it at school with friends, practise against the wall and try to go faster and faster. The video below is what one class came up with – they were so proud that they could do it as a big group! I was totally blown away! Afterwards, we had the challenge of a whole class clap. Parents have come to me to tell me their kids are driving them crazy with the clapping rhyme (what wonderful feedback). So change the words to suit and get clapping!

TPRS Elementary Facebook snippets

Amy Roe teaches Spanish to young children and sells great picture story books on Teachers Pay Teachers – here is her response to a question about keeping the attention of younger students. I thought it was really helpful.

Amy Roe – This is my tenth year of teaching with TPRS and CI. I have found that my elementary students are the most engaged when I support the story with pictures. I do about half picture stories (which I then print out and add to my classroom library) and half story-asking stories. With kindergarteners, the story asking stories are usually very short. They go something like this:
Papa Bear. Who wants to be Papa Bear? (I call on a kindergarten student and give them a Papa Bear mask to put on.) Is Papa Bear big? Yes, Papa Bear is big. (Everyone shows me the action for big.) Is Papa Bear medium? No, Papa Bear is not medium. He is big. He is not medium. He is big. Is Papa Bear small? No, Papa Bear is not small. He is big. He is not small. Papa Bear has a plate. What size is the plate? (The class decides — big, medium, small.) Oh, Papa Bear has a small plate. Does he have a big plate or a small plate? Right, he has a small plate. So small! Does Papa Bear like the small plate? (The class decides.) Oh, Papa Bear does NOT like the small plate? Does he want a medium plate? (The class decides.) Oh, he does not want a medium plate. Does he want a big plate? Yes, he wants a big plate! He wants a big, big, big plate! Does he have a big plate? No, he has a small plate! Is Papa Bear happy? No. Is he sad or is he angry? (The class decides.) Oh, Papa Bear is ANGRY! Papa Bear says, “I do not like the small plate! I want a big plate!” (At this point in the kindergarten story, I ripped up the small paper plate I had and had Papa Bear throw the pieces — shock and awe from the class!) In a normal story, we would end here, since my kindergarten students have about a five-minute max for how long they can sit and listen to a story. However, ripping the plate was so cool that it gave me another few minutes of attention, so I pulled out my Star Wars masks (my kinders love Star Wars). I had Papa Bear go to Yoda. Yoda had a plate, and the class could decide whether it was big, medium, or small. Then Papa Bear went to Darth Vader. My class decided that Darth Vader had a big plate, but he would not give it to Papa Bear. Then Papa Bear went to R2D2. R2D2 also had a big plate, but he wouldn’t give it to Papa Bear either! At this point, I saw two kids starting to wiggle, so I ended the story. Papa Bear was angry! No one gave him a big plate! We all stood up and stomped our feet and roared with anger. Then we moved to a different activity.

A great question!

Hola grupo! I am off from school now and trying not to think too much about teaching…but there is a problem that is plaguing me and I need some advice!
Every year we have new students, never had Spanish. My students who have been with me since pk are fantastic. I feel pressure to start over for the sake of the new kids but I feel like I am not challenging my other kids. How do I challenge them? How do you all keep the balance between new kiddos and old? Gracias!

Amy Moeller Scott  – I just let them listen for the first several months, and don’t expect a lot of output. Sometimes I’ll call on them, and when I do, I give them extra help. I’ll say to the other kids things like, “Wow, wasn’t that great? He’s never had Spanish before this year!” Basically I just try to give them lots of encouragement and give them the easiest questions or simplest roles. I can’t afford to go backwards for them, so they just pick up whatever we’re learning at the time. For them it’s more of an immersion situation than CI. They seem to do pretty well and by their second year with me you almost wouldn’t know they’d never had Spanish. Also, I use spiraling techniques, so that helps, too.

Maria Plupis Sanjurjo – I have a listening center that new students can go to to get caught up. But I tell you its a challenge! I have students that arrive half way through the year!


Blaine Ray’s Kangaroo Story

Finally I have a chance to sit and write a blog – my first since the beginning of this year! I feel like this year has been very hectic and overwhelming.

The first story I asked this year with my Year 2s and 3s was an adaption of Blaine Ray’s kangaroo story as told to us at the conference in January. I used an elephant, mainly because 1) it is an Indonesian animal and 2) I had a very big one and a very small one handy!

It went like this (underlined words are characters students came up with):

Ada laki-laki. Nama dia John Cena. John Cena tidak senang. John Cena mau gajah.

Ada perempuan. Nama perempuan Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift punya gajah besar. Taylor Swift tidak senang. Taylor Swift mau gajah kecil.

Ibu Anne punya gajah kecil. Ibu Anne senang!

Taylor Swift beri John Cena gajah. John Cena senang. 

Ibu Anne beri Taylor Swift gajah kecil. Taylor Swift senang. 

Ibu Anne senang? Tidak!

Taylor Swift punya gajah besar.

The beauty of this story is that kids expect that Taylor Swift will be happy because she has a big elephant. But she isn’t! It really hooks them in!

‘Punya’, ‘beri’ and ‘mau’ were revision words from last year. I wanted to see if my students had really acquired them. We had used ‘senang sekali’ but not senang, so I began by telling students what it meant, then asking PQA, ‘Susi senang?’ ‘Ronald senang?’ ‘O, kelas, Ronald tidak senang! Kenapa tidak senang, Ronald?’

I then began asking the story, getting names of characters from the class. I brought actors to the front and used the giant and small elephant. It was very engaging! Afterwards, I gave the students a quick quiz 10 Q and was happy to note most scored 9 or 10.

The following week, I asked the students as a group to retell the story as I drew pictures, cartoon style, on a large piece of paper. I carefully questioned them to elicit correct details. Then I asked if anyone wanted to ‘read’ the pictures. Here is a sample year 3 video of the result. I was stoked! I realised some of my pictures needed improving because when students hesitated it was because they couldn’t remember what my picture was or it did not contain enough cues.

I also prepared a powerpoint cerita 1 2017 story about a principal who wanted chocolate, and then converted the powerpoint to a movie. We read the story together in class and I gave it to students as year 3 HW. Not all students completed the activity, but for those who did it gave me some valuable feedback, as I asked for comments from the parents as well as a signature. I made it into a class competition – the year 2 winning class would have a special treat (we haven’t decided what yet) as well as the winning Year 3 class. I placed the movie on my youtube channel Indonesian Fun for Juniors as extra support for those students who may have struggled with the reading.

TPRS Conference in Brisbane 14-15 Jan

I was so excited and very fortunate to be one of the attendees at the first ever TPRS-CI conference at QUT, Brisbane, Australia presented by three very well-known masters of the craft, Blaine Ray, Terry Waltz and Lizette Liebold.

Here are some notes I made of the demonstrations/talks by the presenters. I hope that the notes I made may be of some use to others.

Blaine Ray

TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Story-telling) is based on ‘The Natural Approach’ written about by Stephen Krashen in the 1980s. It is based on the input hypothesis, that we learn a language through lots of Comprehensible Input. (CI)

Blaine’s Powerpoints about TPRS

The input hypothesis is based on constant repetition of new ideas. TPRS-CI takes time and practice.

Two Rules for class

  1. No social talking, using iPhone or sleeping
  2. Never say anything -ve about class

Three Procedures

  1. When I make a statement, respond with a sound ‘ooooh’. (Blaine prompts this with hand signal)
  2. If I ask a question, answer with a yes or no in the target language.
  3. If you don’t know the answer, you may guess with English names of things. Surprise me!

Blaine uses student actors. They are required to answer in whole sentences, to gauge how remainder of class is going. If they struggle, class is struggling.

Use clicking fingers, or soft clapping, to indicate you have not understood. The rest of the class needs to do this too, to support the student who has not understood. Praise the student for doing this!

Blaine began by picking out a student and saying ‘Xiao is a girl’ (in Spanish). He then circled:

Xiao is girl one. Is she girl one or two? Is she a girl or a boy? Is she happy or not happy?

He introduced a second person, Michelle Obama.

He continued:

I am happy because I have a kangaroo. I have a mini kangaroo. Xiao does not have a kangaroo. MIchelle has a kangaroo. He had all these structures on the board, and constantly referred to them by pausing and pointing. He said many times ‘If you forget, it is written right up there on the board’.

It is my kangaroo.

Xiao does not have a kangaroo and she is not happy.

Does Xiao have a kangaroo?

Does MIchelle have a kangaroo?

Michelle has a big kangaroo.

Is Michelle happy? No!

Michelle is not happy. Michelle has a big kangaroo. Michelle wants a mini kangaroo.

He often asked ‘What did I just say?’.

Always have a story where someone wants something. Blaine used 3 actors; Xiao (student from class), Michelle Obama and the big kangaroo. He interspersed Qs to the actors with Qs to the whole class.


  • constantly referred back to the board
  • used actors
  • asked actors to speak in whole sentences
  • repeated things ad nauseum (but I am a Spanish speaker – no-one else felt like that)
  • pointed and paused LOTS!
  • used grammar pop-ups (explain grammar as required or if kids ask)

Remember ALL kids are slow processors when it comes to learning a new language.

Actors are used as guides (barometer) for teacher – are they getting it?

If kids aren’t getting it, circle more and add more characters.

Blaine does not use front-loaded vocabulary (pre-taught vocab).

In years P – 2, everybody has to be an actor!

Whole class does sounds: aaaah

Blaine’s online resources

Recommended Text – Fluency through TPRS

Someone at the conference suggested having a picture for every word taught, especially to help younger students or those who need visual support. Kristy Kranz told me that she uses Boardmaker to find suitalbe images for some of those trickier words. You can access a 30 day trial at the link below. Get the super seven and any other high fluency words for no cost!

Boardmaker free 30 day download

  1. Ask a story (don’t tell!!)
  2. Make stories last as long as possible to get maximum reps.


Here is the Spanish reading (with the three steps of reading) Blaine prepared for us after our ‘class’. Translation:

The girl is Xiao. She is not happy because she doesn’t have a kangaroo. Xiao wants a kangaroo. Xiao is girl one.

Michelle Obama is girl two. Michelle is not happy. She has a kangaroo. It is a big kangaroo. She doesn’t want a big kangaroo. She wants a mini kangaroo. Michelle is not happy because she doesn’t have a mini kangaroo.

I am Blaine and I am happy. I have a mini kangaroo. I am happy because I have a mini kangaroo. My kangaroo is Barney.

Xiao wants a kangaroo. Xiao goes to Michelle. Michelle gives the big kangaroo to Xiao. Xiao is very happy because she has a big kangaroo.

Michelle goes to Blaine. Blaine has a mini kangaroo. Blaine gives the mini kangaroo to Michelle. Michelle is very happy because she has a mini kangaroo.

I am not happy because I don’t have a mini kangaroo. It is a problem!

Use CCI – compelling, comprehensible input.

‘I remember that which I learn with pleasure’. Quote from Blaine.

As an aside, I met a girl named Winnie at the conference and loved her homework idea. She writes her simple story on a single page for her students (could include pics for  younger kids) and gives it to them to take home to read to parents. The parents have to listen. Then kids translate to parents, so they understand what story means. Finally, parents write the story in English, and sign off the homework. Love the idea! You could even get your students to do the pictures in class before taking it home.

Lizette Liebold

TPRS is story asking, not story telling!

TPRS leads to:

  • higher percentage of students reaching advanced levels of a language
  • even non-finishers of language at high school level have some fluency

Learning versus acquisition

Learning                                                                          Acquisition

result of study                                                                 how we learned L1

conscious                                                                          unconscious

effort, drills, practice                                                    no effort required

info about language                                                       S is unaware it is happening

language learning is like another subject               sounds or feels right

CI (Comprehensible Input) must be:

  • meaningful (personalize it!)
  • understood (T’s responsibility – do comprehension checks! Use gestures or images to help)
  • interesting and engaging (personalize it!)

Terry Waltz

Circling most important. Gives S time to acquire. Uses lots of repetitions. Aim for 100 – 120 reps. Some kids need more, some less. It is all about COMPREHENSIBLE INPUT!!

Ask questions kids know the answer to.


  1. Pick a sentence. Anything you say is true. eg ‘Xiao is a girl’
  2. Your sentence is true. Anything else is false. eg ‘Xiao is hungry.’ No-one else is hungry!
  3. Ask Qs about that sentence ONLY.
  4. Ask ‘YES’ questions.
  5. Ask ‘NO’ questions. S need to hear negated form.
  6. Ask either/or sentences.
  7. Ask 5 W questions: who, when, where, how, why
  8. Be unpredictable – make ’em squirm!

What do I circle?

Circle NEW language.

Circle things they are not firm on.


Terry gave us the above example to show how circling can be made more interesting and relevant to the curriculum by adding ‘shadow’ structures. She then gave us some circling cards for us to practise our circling skills with, we did this in our L1 in small groups.

Terry’s cool circling cards

Terry told us:

  • put all new stuff on the whiteboard and point and pause all the time
  • Don’t shelter grammar, shelter vocabulary! (Don’t shy away from more complex grammar, use natural speech for the situation. But DO limit the amount of new vocabulary you expose students to)

Grammar pop-up for Indonesian teachers!

benar/salah = true/false or correct/incorrect

betul is less formal = right

Terry recommended a good book for classroom management – Tools for Teaching by Fred Jones

She suggested not using Blaine’s ping-pong reading activity unless kids know the vocabulary really well.

After circling well the above, you can then add another fact by asking, ‘Where does Bob want to buy noodles?’ You can also stretch things out by saying a beautiful long answer after S gives a short one. ‘No class, absolutely not, Bob does not have a kangaroo.’

You can throw a 3-FER into the mix, that is restating the correct answer, then adding the negative, then restating the correct one. eg He met his girlfriend at the library. He didn’t meet her at the water treatment plant. He met her at the library. ( I like the way the students then get to hear ‘her’ as well as her name.

Make sure you go SLOWLY!!

Count 1 hippopotamus 2 hippopotamus after each statement/question. Or try tapping on your palm to slow yourself down. Give one S a job as Slow Policeman to ensure you are going slowly enough.

Regularly ask ‘What did I just say?’ (in L1) for a comprehension check.

Use grammar pop-ups (What does this word/part tell you?)

Put up helper words like ‘and’ ‘or’ and ‘because’ up on your board, as well as question words.

Indonesian pop-up

a masa! = no way, that’s ridiculous

The Rules of TPRS

This is what Terry uses in her classroom (print out from link above)

  1. Listen
  2. Two – can only use 2 words of English when you are stuck
  3. Stop – stop me if you don’t understand with a gesture eg clap gently
  4. Grandma – don’t say anything that my Grandma would not like
  5. Wow! We are smart, we say cool, interesting things.

Useful gestures: when you rewind, walk backwards and roll your hands backwards. ‘and’ is fists together. Always use these gestures to help kids understand.

When you are writing stuff up on the board, or getting something ready, remember that teachers are very uncomfortable with ‘dead air’ but S aren’t. They are probably using the time to take in new stuff, or having a brief rest. Pause and point OVER and OVER. Bactrack if people aren’t getting it.

Terry showed us a photo of her board. She had conjunctions across the top, question words down the side and known words down the other side.

3 Steps of TPRS

  1. Establish meaning
  2. Use the language – ask a lot of Qs, personalize, use paralle/shadow characters for more Qs and reps
  3. Read the language

Terry tends not to use actors, she works the crowd! When you point and pause – don’t move the pointer! Too distracting.

Circling a Skeleton

Skeleton is the bones of the story, meat is the details.

Teacher has the skeleton in his/her head, S add the details through asking/circling.

Let’s make a story!

  1. Establish a fact. mau beli topi = wants a hat.
  2. Go fishing – ask a Q. Who wants to buy a hat? Point and pause. SLOW. Use the magic fairy dust gesture, this indicates to S that no-one knows the answer and they need to make something up.
  3. Throw fish back NICELY. How to reject a suggestion: a. Love the answer. Give it lots of love. b. Throw it back but do it nicely. Good idea, but… Maybe… Oh, you’re thinking of (someone else)
  4. Keep the big one!
  5. What if you get no bites? Have some bait ready. Pictures on ppt of popular characters eg Harry Potter, Elsa, Mickey Mouse, sports stars. Talk to a partner about who wants a hat, when you are ready raise your hand. OR take an idea from the jar (can have prepared people jar, places jar and things jar, taken from student interest surveys) OR if kids just don’t answer, warn them they will get the worm – Barney the Dinosaur or Justin Beiber! We fish to get repetitions. Don’t take the first answer!
  6. Share the secret – Kelas, James Bond wants to buy a hat!
  7. Circle, circle, circle – point and pause every time.
  8. Fish the next fact. Fish for more detail OR the next sentence in the James Bond is in Canada.
  9. The problem. Write a script out. The first try to solve problem always fails! And sometimes the second and third try!)
  10. Free ending.

Terry used slides as in the examples above for us to practise reading the Hawaiian we learned.Most of the characters we were able to guess even though we had never seen them before, due to the comprehensible input we received while circling. The pictures helped us with the meaning. I thought this would be a great way of introducing reading to younger students, with lots of visuals as support.

Beginning Writing

Some ideas:

Give 4 pictures – write captions under the pictures

Draw a story. Students can retell the story by pointing to pictures.

You can have a parallel story about Putri at the same time as your story for cultural information.

For reading, 98% of text should be known.

We talked about the super seven.

Indonesian Super Seven

Location (to be at a place) = (pronoun) di
Existence (to exist somewhere, “there is”) = ada
Possession (to have something)  = punya
Identity (to be something or someone)  = saya/kamu/dia
Preference (to or dislike something) = suka
Motion (to go somewhere) = (pergi) ke
Volition (to feel like doing something) = mau
Get your students to learn these first. With the super seven you can make amazing stories!

Just found a cool little tool to write objectives on Terry’s website. You can find the objective writing tool link here.


Lizette Liebold, Terry Waltz, Ray Blaine and Ian Perry. Ian was the brainchild behind getting the TPRS conference in Brisbane and did so much work to get quality presenters coming to Australia! (photo taken by Sheryl Saunders at QUT Kelvin Grove)

Sample Year 3 Story

NO changes by teacher!

Ada keluarga. Ada bapak. Bapak nama Donald Trump. Ibu nama Hillary Clinton. Ada laki-laki. Laki-laki nama Kazi. Kazi suka bermain salju. Kazi lihat orang salju.

Kazi berkata, “Halo orang salju!” Orang salju tidak berkata. Orang salju lari. Kazi lihat Donald Trump. “Bapak, orang salju lari!”

Donald Trump berkata, “Kazi gila! Orang salju tidak lari!”

Kazi lihat orang salju lari. Kazi beri orang salju wortel. Orang salju berkata, “Terima kasih.”

Oh, I love TPRS!!!