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.


This year I am making an effort to include songs in my TPRS teaching, especially if they contain vocab clumps that I have used, am using or going to use! Music sticks! I still remember songs from my French lessons 40 years (gulp) ago.

From year one to three, we have been learning ‘Naik, Naik’. Pretty song and easy to learn. I sing it and play the ukulele, then show students the actions for each line. As I gesture, I explain what it means in English. Then I show students a series of pictures that match with phrases in the song. They volunteer to stand out the front and hold up each line as we sing it. By the time everyone has had a turn at holding a ‘Kartu’ and we sing a final time with actions, students have heard the song about 7 times and (most) are not bored yet!

eg.     Naik, naik                                                    ke puncak gunung

When ‘naik’ comes up in a story, they already know it!

The song below is the next one I will learn on the ukulele, the kids love my ‘little guitar’! I have a book called ‘Koleksi 100 Lagu Anak Indonesia Terpopular’ that I bought in Indonesia. It came with a CD but the book has music and guitar/ukulele chords, so it is great!

Heli is an easy catchy little ‘lagu’ that also happens to contain one of the super 7 verbs ‘punya’ so it will be great for my students. We can also substitute the ‘aku’ for student names and change the ‘anjing’ to pets my students have. See link below for youtube version of the song.

Heli – song with ‘punya’



The ‘Saya Mau’ (I Want) Game

Yesterday while teaching preps, I came up with a way to get lots of painless, fun repetitions. I called it Raja dan Kwin (King and Queen). I already had a bag full of objects, all cognates except for one: bola, truk, pensil, pena, stiker, apel, stroberi and tikus (mouse). I sat the children in a circle and told them I was the bossy queen, and if I asked for something they had to bring it to me ‘cepat’! I gave out the objects, sat on my throne, put on a queenly face and manner and demanded ‘Saya mau truk!’ It was so much fun to see the preppies get up as quickly as they could to give it to me! We played this a couple more times (I was gesturing as well) then picked children to be the king and queen. Great fun, engaged students, 100% Indonesian and lots of repetitions! I even went to the $2 shop after school to buy a couple of crowns!

How Do I Do PictureTalk?

Just had to reblog this, to remind myself what a great method this is to revise/introduce vocab!

t.p.r.s. q&a

Other than MovieTalk, PictureTalk is the single-best “add-on” to T.P.R.S., and an amazing strategy for non-c.i. teachers.  It reinforces already-taught vocabulary and grammar, and is also a superb way to introduce new vocab pre-story.

Picturetalk– what Ben Slavic calls “Look and Discuss”– is simple, easy, low-prep and effective.   Here are three ways to do Picturetalk.

a)  Find a picture online which contains the “things”– people and actions– in your most recent story.  So, if your story is about a poor Guatemalan kid who wants something to eat, you find a picture of that, or (say) a picture of a homeless person.

b)  If you have never taught the vocab you want to use, write on board (or project it) along with translation.  Make sure the kids know what the words mean.

c)  Project the picture, make statements, and ask questions about the picture and about the things you’ve…

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Cats Speak Indonesian!

I like to tell my young students that cats speak Indonesian. That is because they always say ‘mau, mau’ when they want something, and ‘mau’ means want! So cats are very clever. This little connection seems to help my students remember ‘mau’, and if that means some strange cat-like sounding ‘mau’s at times, so be it!

To help us lock in ‘Saya mau’ this week, I brought in some packets of Skittles and m&m’s. We didn’t eat them, just used them to engage the students! We sang ‘Saya mau Skittles, saya mau m&m’s, saya mau Kit Kat and saya mau Chupa-Chup to the rock song ‘I want Candy’ (from the movie Hop). Year Ones loved it! We got to play our air ‘gitar’ to make it sound cool, but ONLY if we did the gestures and sang ‘Saya mau ___’ first. There is a kareoke version of this song available on iTunes – make sure you choose the third option with no English background singing.

Inspired by…

María Mayeux!

I saw a fantastic video of a young student in Maria’s Spanish class reading a story using communication pictures. Reading with very few words, but lots of meaningful pictures! I decided this would be a great idea to try with my pre-readers. So I downloaded some free communication pictures from: Do2Learn Picture Cards  and  ARASAAC   Both of these sites have free pictures. Some I made up myself (such as ‘ada’, ‘mau’) as I couldn’t find what I wanted. Maria emailed me a great notebook file of a story she made up based on this one:

The Girl wants an Elephant

I then used the idea and made up a story as a word document cerita – Sam mau gorila and a powerpoint, with the picture cards. Sam mau gorila It is such a cute story! I intend to use it once I have taught ‘mau’, ‘suka’, ‘pergi ke’ and ‘ada’.

I am really hoping this method of using pictures will help my younger students ‘read’. I am uncertain how it will all go. How quickly will they learn the pictures? Will they remember them? Stay tuned…


Crazy Planning!

I decided to name this post ‘Crazy Planning’ because prior to teaching the week, I go crazy thinking about what I am going to do for the week, making lots of resources, changing my mind, writing out planners, going into the classroom and actually teaching very little of what I plan! I seem to waste so much time before I start. By the end of the week, even though I am teaching the same year level, my lessons have changed dramatically!

Last week was no exception. I decided to use Kucing Pete (Pete the Cat) stories. Then I changed my mind and liked a story about going to school. I changed my mind again and decided on my 5 Focus words for the term (mau = want, pergi ke= go to, suka = likes, punya = has, ada = there is).  I also decided it was important to introduce the structures Siapa namamu? (What is your name?) and Nama saya ___. (My name is ___)

We spent the first few minutes of class marking the roll (saying ‘ada’ instead of here), explaining a bit about TPRS and the rules, and what ‘Pak’ and ‘Bu’ mean. (Mr and Mrs). I told the class my name and wrote it on the board, spelling out the letters in Indonesian. I have to consciously remind myself to do this. I told the kids it was important to listen to this spelling out because one day, at some random time, I will spell out a name. If they recognise it as theirs they will win a prize! They listened very well!

At the beginning of the week, in each class I spent about 20 minutes in Indonesian, then did an Indonesian mapping activity. I told them my name, then showed them laminated pictures of different characters and asked them ‘Nama saya SpongeBob?’ ‘Nama saya Elsa?’ and they had to gesture thumbs up or down and say ‘ya’ or ‘tidak’. They loved this activity and were very attentive. I thought the students from last year would be bored stiff but I was wrong! Then I asked about five students (one at a time) to come out and I circled with ‘Nama dia Spiderman?’ ‘Nama dia Ana?’ (Just ya and tidak answers for the young ones) They laughed each time I asked if a boy was Elsa, Ana, etc. I shook their hands and said ‘Terima kasih’ after each person helped me out. I asked them in English ‘What did I just say to them?’. For older students I used ‘Nama dia George atau SpongeBob?’ as well.

Then I introduced Kucing Pete to the class. I told them his name and asked them his colour (biru) in Indonesian. I asked personal questions about his shoes, and the colour of their shoes. I did some TPR to wake them up a bit, with ‘Berdirilah’ (stand up), ‘Duduklah’ (sit down), ‘Lari’ (run) and ‘Berjalan’ (walk). Most classes had new students to the school so I did not want to introduce too much new vocab.

With Year 2 and 3, I placed names of Indonesian islands around the room and I said Pergi ke Bali! Pergi ke Kalimantan! We mixed it up a bit with “Perempuan, pergi ke Sumatera!” “Laki-laki, pergi ke Jawa!” Lots of fun, they really had to think about perempuan and laki-laki.

After this, we sorted out books from last year and did a simple mapping activity. With some classes, I asked them to draw, colour and name ‘Kucing Pete’. They did a great job!

By the end of the week, I had taken out the worksheet part of the lesson, asked the students to sit in a semi-circle on chairs (too uncomfortable on the floor!) and added an extra TPRS activity.

I put some items in a bag. They were all cognates: apel, truk, pensil, pena, stiker, stroberi and yoyo. I told them our new word was ‘ada’ (there is). We made a gesture for it and repeated the word. I demonstrated its meaning by taking all the items out of the bag one at a time and telling the students ‘Ada apel. Ada truk. etc’

Then I said “Memori! Memori!” I placed them back in the bag, repeating ‘Ada truk’ etc.

I asked them “Ada oranghutan?” (cogates again!) “Ada televisi?” etc, including the items I had in the bag. They said (and gestured) ya or tidak.

All were attentive during this activity! It was fun! I should have then got the Year 3s to write down what they remembered was in the bag, but instead we wrote sentences about each item. Ada apel. Ada truk. etc

Overall, I was really happy with the week. I know I didn’t stay 90% Indonesian in some classes, (esp those with more challenging students!) but we did have ‘housework’ to take care of. Still the goal for this week!







Managed Response: Wait Now or Wait Later

Had my first Indonesian classes today for the new year. I have eight prep classes and seven Year One classes. Very challenging…this information about Carol Gaab’s managed response will really help!

Michel Baker's Blog - TPRS™ and Beyond

I do not know why Pre-literates engage in the autoecholalia mechanism every time they are asked a Circling Question.  The teacher simply says, “Clase, ¿Sponge Bob fue a WalMart o Hanna Montana fue a WalMart?”

Left to to answer naturally, all pandemonium breaks loose.  Each child begins to holler out his or her choice,  repeating it over and over, louder and louder, each time in varying tones, volumes and velocities. 

Some:  Hanna Montana!  Hanna Montana…Hanna MonTAna!

Others:  Sponge Bob…SPONGE Bob!  Sponge Bob!

When this happens, no one can hear, and the CI can not get in. 

Not to worry, though.  With Carol Gaab’s Managed Response,  that reflex is effectively cut off.

Before a “Yes/No Question” is even asked, I remind them to give a Silent Response via the chosen gestures.  This provides silence so that everyone can still hear me while they are answering.  This comes after they and I have been fully…

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Using Cognates

I recently had a conversation with Bu Cathy about the use of cognates (Indonesian words similar to English words) to aid student understanding. If cognates are used in stories, the focus is on those important verbs! You will find it much easier making up stories as students will not have to learn these words.  I started brainstorming some Indonesian cognates, then found more at

Many of them were too technical for primary students, so I have weeded out the advanced vocabulary and listed ‘primary’ vocabulary in a word document. I hope this is useful for Indonesian teachers attempting to use TPRS.

Please inform me if the link does not work for you!

Great cognates to use in Indonesian Stories