Professional Learning Communities

Updated December 27, 2017

Many TPRS and comprehensible input-based teachers have come together to form professional learning communities (PLCs). There are PLCs for teaching specific languages, for teaching in certain settings (i.e. elementary), and PLCs for teachers in specific geographical regions. All of these groups can be a great source of support for teachers embarking on a comprehensible input journey. However, it is critical to remember that anyone can join these groups. Therefore, it is somewhat common to read comments from inexperienced TPRS teachers that do not advocate best practices. Grow together, but also take things with a grain of salt.

Getting Started with PLCs

Ask lots of questions like… 1

  • How could I teach ____ better?
  • Do you know anyone who can help with____?
  • Has anyone else tried ____?”

“While I am definitely lacking in a face-to-face network of language teachers, I can make up for it online, where there are thousands of teachers willing and ready to share their successes, their failures, their ideas, and their thoughts” (Melanie Stiltson).

Facebook Groups

iFLT / NTPRS / CI Teaching: The largest and most active Facebook group that is specifically designed for TPRS / CI teachers of all experience levels.

Specific Languages

  1. Teaching ESL/EFL Through CI
  2. CI / TPRS for French Teachers
  3. CI German Teachers
  4. Japanese and Korean TPRS Teachers
  5. Spanish for Heritage Speakers
  6. Teaching Latin for Acquisition

Regional TPRS/CI Groups 2

  1. Southern California
  2. Greater Sacramento TCI
  3. New Jersey State TCI / TPRS Teachers
  4. TCI Western PA
  5. TriState TCI: A group for teachers in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.
  6. TCI Chatt: A group for teachers in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area.
  7. New York State TCI / TPRS Teachers
  8. Rhode Island
  9. District of Colombia
  10. Utah TPRS/CI Teachers
  11. Southeastern NY TCI / TPRS Teachers
  12. North / South Carolina TPRS Group
  13. Northeast Ohio TPRS
  14. Central Ohio
  15. TCI Chicagoland
  16. TCI Louisiana 
  17. CI in the Dakotas
  18. Cincinnati TCI
  19. Teaching CI in the Heartland
  20. TCI Maine: New England & Beyond
  21. Michigan CI
  22. Minnesota TCI 
  23. Nebraska CI
  24. Comprehensible Cascadia
  25. TPRS Witch: A group for TPRS teachers in Europe.
  26. Wisconsin TCI
  27. CI Wyoming
  28. TCI-TPRS Teachers Australia
  29. Virginia Comprehensible Input
  30. Indiana TCI
  31. Hungary TPRS
  32. Japan-CI
  33. Netherlands
  34. Oman

Miscellaneous Groups

“As much as I hate educationese buzzwords like Professional Learning Communities (PLC) and Professional Learning Networks (PLN), these groups have been such a lifeline for me, especially for my development of CI/TPRS implementation in the classroom.” (Keith Toda).

  1. CI Liftoff: CI Liftoff is a popular group that provides support for people who ascribe to Ben Slavic’s and Tina Hargaden’s variety of untargeted comprehensible input.
  2. Story Listening for Language Acquisition: A branch-off group from CI Liftoff focused even more on Story Listening.
  3. Karen Rowan’s How to Write a CI Novel Group: Interested in writing a CI novel? Get support here!
  4. TPRS / CI for Homeschool
  5. Fluency Matters Novels: A group for anyone using Fluency Matters (formerly TPRS Publishing) novels.
  6. Elementary TPRS
  7. TPRS Deskless Classroom
  8. TPRS in the MYP: TPRS group for IB teachers.
  9. OWL Collaborative: OWL is another proficiency-based method for teaching languages. It is different from the TPRS world, but it’s possibly a way to hear other ideas.
  10. Post-Secondary TCI: A group for college instructors using comprehensible input.
  11. CI Fight Club: Do you like debate? Do like talking about hot-button issues in the language-teaching community? Join CI Fight Club.

Non-Facebook Groups

You don’t have to write a blog to build a Personal Learning Network. You don’t have to write anything to build a PLN. You can simply find people who write things you find useful and read their stuff. The best part? If you don’t have spare time, you don’t have to participate. Choose a few blogs to read, some great people to follow on Twitter, and call it good! (Rachel Ash).

Yahoo Groups

There are more TPRS Yahoo groups for various languages and teaching situations. However, the reality is that they are extremely inactive. Facebook is the best option.

  • MoreTPRS: This is the original listserv for CI/TPRS users, founded in 1999. It now has almost 8000 members. Nowadays it has waned in popularity, and the people who have stuck around are some of the biggest faces in the community. It seems that this is where the “big” discussions about best practices seem to take place.
  • Latin Best Practices: This is a Yahoo group dedicated to breaking away from the traditional practices found in grammar-translation Latin classes. Begun by fellow CI/TPRS Latin teachers Bob Patrick and John Piazza, this list has over 1,300 members.

Twitter “Groups” 3

  • Every Thursday at 8 ET you can participate on LangChat on Twitter. While LangChat is for all foreign language teachers, not just those using TPRS or comprehensible input, it can still be a great way to learn from and connect with colleagues from around the country.

Paid Groups

  • Ben Slavic’s Blog Community: This is a pay site, but it is full of ideas and resources, as well as supportive teachers. Ben Slavic’s community is nowadays very interested in Story Listening and un-targeted comprehensible input.
  • Acquisition Classroom: By subscribing to this website, you will receive a weekly memo that summarizes second language acquisition research and gain access to the forums. The website is run by Eric Herman.

Conclusion

This post was focused on internet groups, but remember that PLCs can simply be a group of colleagues who get together to improve their practice. Here are some tips by Justin Slocum Bailey on connecting with teachers in person.

Did I miss any groups that you’re aware of? New groups are being created all the time, so it’s likely that I might have missed a couple! If you don’t see a group for a particular area or topic of interest, why don’t you create it and let me know?

References

Learn from like-minded language teachers in a PLC.

  1. Justin Slocum Bailey, A Celebration of Connectedness (2015).
  2. Find Local Facebook Groups of CI teachers.
  3. Colleen Lee-Hayes, Why Twitter? (2012).

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