I taught most of this year using TPR only in my class. Since early spring I have been trying to add elements of storytelling and other strategies I have picked up from some TPRS teachers. One of the strategies I have added is two days of free reading. I have built up my classroom library with some left over classroom budget and from my own pocket. (Gotta love ebay!)
The students select any book they wish to read from the library, and they read for 7 minutes. We started at 5 and are working our way up. After they finish reading, I ask them to fill out a brief reading log, mostly so that I can have some documentation that this thing actually works.
Another strategy I have just started adding is a free write. Students have 10 minutes to write as much as they can in the target language on a topic of their choosing. I was just sitting here reading some of their papers, and I noticed that some of the students were using the preterit! (And they were using it correctly!)
I am assuming that this is coming from the free reading they do twice a week because I have not taught the past tense at all this year, and it has not spontaneously shown up in any student work (aside from my two native speakers) until now.
I am impressed.
3 hours ago