From participants in Express Fluency’s summer teacher training program (2015 & 2016)
Learn more about our program for August 2017
I learned about CI/TPRS last summer when I was desperately looking for a different way to teach Spanish to my 8th grade students. I read all I could find but needed some face-to-face training. That’s when I came across Express Fluency and Elissa. What a find! I participated in the weekend program in August and the Follow-Up Workshop in the fall. The teacher training allowed me to experience firsthand what my students must feel when confronted with a new language, when I was a student in Sabrina’s French class. And I had the chance to observe Elissa and Laurie using the same techniques (movie-talk, readers-theater, etc) with their own personal touches in their Spanish classes. The Follow-Up Workshop was an excellent opportunity to learn and share experiences with other language teachers as well as to learn and practice new and known techniques. Both experiences were awesome and left me feeling energized and if not ready (lots of trepidation as to “will I be able to pull it off”) to try it out on my students.
I can report that this school year has been a totally different experience for my students and me. They are spontaneously trying to speak Spanish both in class and outside. They are having fun and acquiring the language without even realizing they are doing so. I highly recommend Express Fluency teacher training.
– Viviana Hardy, Spanish teacher
I learned so much about TPR and TPRS in three days thanks to Express Fluency. By participating in the classes as a student and then as an observer, I was able to witness firsthand the language learning process and later reflect on the method with other language educators. All three teachers were phenomenal: clear, organized, and engaging. I also appreciated the warm classroom environment, especially when participants were given the opportunity to try out the method on each other. Thank you! –Carmen Granda, Spanish professor
The teacher training was an exciting introduction to TPRS and a community of learners and teachers. Being able to experience it as a student, and then review that experience with other teachers was a brilliant way to internalize the theory and practice. Shortly after the training I had the chance to try out the methodology in a week-long language class that I taught. My students knew something new and exciting was going on and they were engaged and energized. We all had a great time, and learned some Irish to boot. Learning the methodology works regardless of the language you teach. In my case it’s Irish (one of the Gaelic tongues) and it has proven to be immediately applicable, even though most of the literature, examples and other written resources are demonstrated using Spanish, French or Mandarin. — Johnny Lee Conroy, teacher
This past spring, I observed another language teacher use TPRS/CI and instantly wanted to use it in my classroom, but didn’t know where to begin. Luckily, I found Express Fluency! I attended the August teacher training and was astounded at how much Spanish I knew after the first day. The method is fun, engaging, and teaches you without actually realizing you are learning. All the trainers were wonderful and so helpful. I also thoroughly enjoyed the methodology part of the training. It gave me the confidence to integrate TPRS on day 1 of the new school year. I highly recommend Express Fluency for teachers and students alike! –Joy Wilson, teacher
The weekend was so energizing for me as a French teacher! I have been able to share this enthusiasm with my students and have been using TPRS/CI ever since. My students report that they are having fun, look forward to more stories and that I should “keep it up!” I will definitely be looking into more training at Express Fluency. –Victoria Heflin, teacher
In my 48 years of language-teaching, the Express Fluency teacher-training this summer was hands-down the most engaging and exciting professional development I have ever experienced. I learned first-hand about the power of Comprehensible Input and stories as Elissa applied her gifts and her highly-developed skills teaching an intensive Spanish course: I saw students lose their fear and hesitation and open themselves to learning without apparent effort — and enjoy themselves on many levels. It was a privilege to take part in the focused teacher training that built on Elissa’s exemplary teaching, and I’m looking forward to putting my learning into practice.– Maggie Brown Cassidy, teacher
I have observed hundreds of Spanish language classes in the U.S. and abroad. I believe Elissa at Express Fluency to be among the best language instructors I’ve ever seen–she is able to teach high quality Spanish language in a way that is joyful and with immediate and powerful results. Her methods reflect the best language teaching practices and is a great investment for any serious Spanish language learner (beginner – intermediate) to make! Bravo–I have never seen students so engaged and making such speedy and expansive progress as the five day workshop I observed!
–Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor, Ph.D. professor of language and literacy education, University of Georgia
I’m so happy I had the opportunity in June to observe Elissa’s five-day intensive beginner class, and to work with her and Laurie Clarcq to improve my teaching. Elissa is a master at providing a fun, comfortable, language-rich environment for students to acquire Spanish. Observing Elissa take a group of beginners as far as she did in five days was amazing, and really clarified for me as a teacher more of the ins and outs of using personalization and storytelling. I could go on and on… In the future I plan to participate in as much as what Elissa has to offer as I can, and highly recommend that anyone else who wants to improve their language fluency or language teaching do the same. — Leah LePage, teacher
This course offered the opportunity to observe the methods in action and to witness student acquisition in real time while also having guided reflection and practice from an experienced trainer and teacher. I got tons of great useful ideas for my classroom practice and a broader theoretical base from which to understand my work. Huge thanks to Elissa and Laurie for this invaluable opportunity. –Angie Dodd, teacher
I have always loved stories. As a kid, my mother would read to my sister and me and it was wonderful. In Elissa’s teacher training class, I watched from the back of the room and took notes on things a wanted to remember/steal. To my surprise, I was in the edge on my seat the entire weekend…. Wanting to see what was going to happen next in the story that Elissa was crafting over the course of five days. The stories used the actual students as heroes and protagonists. There were very few words of English spoken, yet the students were fully engaged the entire time! Elissa’s humor and focus were compelling. I had so much fun just watching class…! I only hope to be able to emulate some of her style and craft. — Julie Bacher, teacher
I had the good fortune to participate in Express Fluency’s Teacher Training earlier this summer. Elissa is an exceptional language teacher who full heartedly models the TPRS method for language instruction. Together, Elissa and Laurie provided a rich professional development experience. I was inspired as a beginning Spanish teacher, but also as a fifth grade classroom teacher, an ESL teacher, and a learner of Spanish. Understanding the importance of comprehensible input, and having the confidence to provide it, are essential tools for every educator. What a great opportunity to spend a week observing two master teachers, and participate in discussions with them about theory and the nuts and bolts of language instruction. Also, great resources to look through, countless ideas to use as a teacher, and lots of laughs! –Julie Dolan, teacher
I had seen and read about the TPRS and comprehensible input method of foreign language teaching, and was interested in the weekend program. It was incredible to me how much Spanish I learned and was actually able to use on just day one! Our classroom was filled with people from all different backgrounds, all ages, together in one comfortable learning community. All of the teachers at Express Fluency are amazing and it is obvious from the first minute that they love what they do. During the teacher training portion of the program, they practiced with us and answered all of our questions. There is no doubt that they are excited to bring the TPRS/CI method to as many teachers as possible! — Johnny Lee Conroy, teacher
I highly recommend Elissa for staff training and teacher coaching. Her expert knowledge and enthusiasm inspired our teachers (even the most skeptical) to incorporate this approach into their classrooms. She is a fantastic coach and patient educator. She created an environment that not only taught us new skills, but brought our group together as a team. I couldn’t have imagined a better experience for our staff retreat.
— Sandra Mings Lamar, Division Head, International Student and World Language Program, Lyndon Institute