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My new TPRS novel has been published

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Earlier this week I published my first TPRS novel, a story that emerged in my classes some years ago and that has been re-written several times over the years. The story starts with Rodney, a kid who reluctantly works in a local hamburger joint in order to pay for the AP exams that his parents refuse to cover. As an adolescent joke, he decides to never wash his hands so that no one comes to the restaurant and he can use the time to study. That night the daughter of a major drug trafficker comes in with her boyfriend; when she gets sick, a chain of events is set in motion that changes everyone´s lives. Oh, if only he had washed his hands!

Although it is for the most part a tongue in cheek homage to the best adolescent goofball humor that appears whenever storyasking in class, there is also some serious culture built into the novel. Some cultural elements that come up include Mexican masks used in Carnaval celebrations, a painting by Goya, and the way Spanish speakers pronounce English names that begin with J such as “Jessica” (often pronounced as a Y). There is a full glossary at the end of the book and difficult phrases are also translated in footnotes so that students do not have to interrupt the flow of their reading by flipping to the back glossary. This version is written in the first person, but a different character narrates each chapter so that I was able to provide a view into multiple characters perspectives without using complicated language.

There are three ways you can purchase the novel:

(1) I actually get the best deal from the publisher if you purchase it directly through my createspace page
(2) but it is also available through Amazon. For those of you in Europe it is also available through country-specific Amazon distributors such as Amazon.co.uk
(3) If you plan on buying a class set and can pay via Paypal then please contact me directly: mikepeto AT gmail DOT com. Sets of 25 or more copies will sell at a discounted rate of $5.50 per copy, rather than the normal price of $6.49

Click here to see all resources connected to Superburguesas.

I brought the proof copy to NTPRS to show people just how easy it is for independent authors to publish a professional-looking novel. I think a future blog post will focus on the process, step by step, so that more of you will be encouraged to revise and publish your best stories. While I am enormously proud of this novel, I hope it is obvious that the main thrust of my work is to encourage more TPRS teachers to dream, write, edit, practice with their classes, edit further simplifying the text as much as possible and eventually publish their own class novels. Yes, have a native speaker who truly understands the concept of limiting vocabulary comment on your draft, but do not let anyone intimidate you into thinking that a mere classroom teacher cannot publish a TPRS novel. Over the last year as I have read a half dozen submissions to the FVR Cooperative Library I have been impressed by the quality of the stories. We need more TPRS novels by more TPRS teacher-authors.

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NTPRS 2015: my presentation on FVR

title page This is the power point that I presented at NTPRS 2015 in Reston, VA. If you missed my session or you could not make it to NTPRS this year then, as you open up the power point, look at the display mode called “notes page” and you will be able to read the transcript of what I said in the session.

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I present an argument as to why FVR should be a part of TPRS classes for all students, not just high achievers. I also cover the essentials that you will need to create your own FVR program, some advice on how to be frugal and how to assess the effectiveness of the program. Within the presentation there are a lot of embedded links, so even if you came to the session you may want to download some of the materials mentioned. Click here to download the presentation.

Finally, on Twitter after the presentation, Steve Smith asked whether TPRS places more weight on reading than listening. While my FVR program is essential to my classes, the non-heritage speakers are only reading for 5-15 minutes while the majority of the class time is spent with story-asking and PQA.

Someone else asked if I read class novels and do FVR at the same time. I should have mentioned that I usually teach 2 class novels per year with my Spanish 3 kids in units that last no longer than 3 weeks; during that time FVR and other non-class-novel activities are suspended. With my level 1 kids I still read class novels as well (Pobre Ana can start as early as we want), but we do not start FVR until the 2nd semester.

Finally my heritage speakers read more; once they are accustomed we will spend as much as 20-30 minutes per class reading FVR… although 10 minutes is more typical for the beginning of the school year. FVR is suspended while we read whole class novels or on the days that I read a short story to them.