❝ I have been moving to more CI in my classroom for the last eight years, while trying to blend with my textbook/traditional methods of modern language education. This year, I finally realised that I just couldn't keep bridging the gap anymore. I decided to dive fully into CI. It was such a scary thought, but when I read ANATTY and Stepping Stones, I was so relieved. This program has changed my life, professionally and personally. I never want to look back. ❞
~ Jae Kischer Dwyer
❝ Truly, really, the magic of the training I attended in July 2019 is all due to none other than Tina Hargaden of CILiftoff
Her books( A Natural Approach to the Year,& Stepping Stones) helped me truly implement CI full force last school year. She is a genius: she's synthesized the SLA theories we all learned about in college(Dr. Elaine Condon---this is how you wanted us to teach, but it never clicked); she has designed an accessible framework for making world language accessible to all students. ❞
I'm feeling renewed and confident in year 21 of my teaching career.
Grazie Mille Tina!
~ JoyceAnna D'Alessandro
❝ Tina Hargaden, your materials and resources have helped me develop a more cohesive approach with my curriculum and units of focus. I am also taking part in your online French class. I am grateful for all that you share freely with us and I am now finally able to feel like I have a handle on teaching for proficiency/acquisition driven instruction. I am learning many new strategies and how to use these strategies to best meet my students' needs. ❞
~ Angela Williams
❝ I started to teach under your advise this year and my life has changed! Giving my class a changing structure with different parts of 5, 10 , 15 minutes designed with smart choices among lots of strategies, has made teaching my language a fun and fruitful task. Yes, I have learnt lots of strategies to face class management, to develop writing, speaking, listening and reading skills, to focus on what really matters which is students’ lives. You should see my classes this year 😍🇪🇸😂 and those last year😡🤨🤯. THANK YOU TINA! ❞
~ Maria P Cisneros Belenguer
❝ There is so much information swirling around about how to teach a second language. With Tina, she is able to provide us language teachers a clear ‘Stepping Stone’ guide to help students achieve the joy of speaking another language. Her guidance is clear, her hand drawn images are amazing and informative, and her videos give you an insight into her classroom and her methods she is sharing with us. Her social media presence is phenomenal! She brings an incredible amount of energy and passion to teaching and guiding us. Her website is a professional wealth of knowledge that she makes accessible for all who need this golden guidance. On top of all this, she is approachable, giving, and truly wants us to succeed! Great business woman and teacher all rolled into one! ❞
~ Jacquie Renee
❝ The Summer Institute 2019 helped my colleague and I to create a plan for full implementation of CI and to move from the traditional dept to walk alongside our PBL colleagues. It’s been an amazing change for us and for our students. I have seen student confidence increase to almost 100% as they are willing to use their language without hesitation or fear of error. Student writing improves dramatically when compared to what I saw in the traditional program. The cycles and phases are beautiful and once a person understands the terms and strategies, and sees how flexible the program/project is, they will jump on board. ❞
~ Nancy Travis McLaughlin
❝ When I started teaching Spanish 4 years ago I didn't know what CI was but I knew that what I was doing wasn't working. A year ago I found Tina Hargaden through an online webinar and suddenly everything clicked. I ditched all my desks and I started just talking about things that the kids were interested in. I have seen their growth and I could never go back to what I was doing. Not only is Tina herself an incredible resource, her FB group brings together teachers willing to learn from each other. There is no way that my teaching would be what it is without Tina. ❞
~ Sara Dietert
❝ About five years into my career, I learned about TPRS. After leaving a school that was very hostile to me and my new methods, I went to a training on OWI with Tina. I had two days of adrenaline rush! She is chalk full of information and both talks the talk and walks the walk! I’ve been lucky to have not only amazing methods teachers in college, but also did my MA in Linguistics/SLA...and Tina made me feel like I finally had a way to reconcile theory with practice. Adiós cognitive dissonance! I had a 30min phone call with her soon after starting my current position, and she gave me tips on how to best leverage my current CI tools and some new ones to try! Everything Tina does for our profession is done with passion, intelligence, and realism. We are all teaching in such different scenarios, and she has the creativity and experience to help us all! ❞
~ Meghan Victoria Huff Gilgore
❝ Every time I’ve talked to you, you’ve given me clear and inspirational help on how to teach using CI. Your weeklong summer institute in July 2019 was so inspiring that I completely converted to using the cycles in Stepping Stones, and I’ve felt a true direction and enthusiasm about my teaching that I’ve lacked thus far. Tina, you’re amazing! I feel lucky to have stumbled into your awesomeness and I’ll never look back. ❞
~ Holly Goerwitz Connelly
❝ I KNEW there had to be a better way. I loved teaching Spanish (L2) and connecting with my students in meaningful discussions in the target language. My administrators at the time were encouraging me to use outdated methods and textbooks that were not inspiring in any capacity. I spent hours (and personal funds) seeking enriching activities that I could use in class. These only led to more time spent as I prepped and adapted materials for my students. I lacked a clear vision for how I would meet the ACTFL standards, nor did I understand explicitly how I was going to assess them accurately and consistently. All of my quests led me to believe that backwards planning was going to be yet another chore that I would need to accomplish on my weekends. The same precious weekend timeslots that I tried to reserve for myself and my family!
Along came Tina Hargaden and the Curriculum Club crew. This curriculum is simply fantastically cohesive and meticulously planned with the end in mind. For the first time I could express with confidence to anyone where we were headed in Spanish class. I could share how I would have my students self assess, helping them to be more involved in their learning, and lightening my daily workload. I have been thrilled to guide my students in improving their writing, and I have noticed a marked difference in their ability to produce high quality pieces in English (L1), as well. The daily framework truly helps me to know where I am going and stay on track, while sometimes bringing in those useful and fun activities from my past. It all just fits!! We read and write daily, about topics that are engaging to my students and will lead them towards a brighter linguistic path. I am truly honored to be a Curriculum Club coach so I may assist other teachers who struggle with the same issues and have been seeking a better, more cohesive plan. ❞
~ Kristen Wolf
❝ Stepping Stones is the answer to every interview question! ❞
~ Kim Clela Davis
❝ I gathered a PLC of some teachers in my district who were interested in CI, but had no idea where to start. I knew I was sold, but they weren’t so sure. They are OBSESSED with learning about CI now! We are using the book for a book study, and are feeling so prepared to start next year off strong in a proficiency-oriented vein that will make our students so happy. The book shares fail-proof systems that make trying this new thing so comfortable. I learn something new every time I reread. I hope this will one day be the standard desk reference for teachers new to non-targeted CI that revolutionizes how language is taught across the world. It’s that good. So many resources, and a community online to back it up! Prepare to be welcomed into a happier, more effective way of sharing the languages you love. ❞
~ Ben Fisher
❝ I LOVED a Natural Approach to the Year. I have dabbled in CI, but felt overwhelmed at times and not sure what to do next. My students struggled with stories about animals and famous people and didnt really buy in. The day i had to teach physical characteristics, we created an enchilada. And darned if they didnt know every detail about him 2 months later when we created his family. The step by step approach is so useful and I could not be happier with the results I am seeing after a short time of implemention. Thank you for this amazing resource. ❞
~ Christine M McCormick
❝ I have loved having a go to book to answer all of my questions. I started dabbling this year and was really overwhelmed and not sure if I was on track or not. The Natural Approach has been a Godsend. I feel much more confident and my students are much happier. Thank you so much for putting this together. ❞
~ Jen Tovar
❝ I LOVE the book! It answered so many of my CI questions and has guided me through the non targeted process. I now understand and have implemented OWI'S and the different strategies that support them my kids love my class and I truly believe it's because of your book....the class is about them and they love learning spanish! ❞
~ Julie Grose Carter
❝ Not only is this book practical, it's a godsend. I am in my 8th year teaching and it's my first full year attempting CI with students. I'm also the Department Chair for our World Language Department. It is difficult to help my new teachers with methods when we have little time to collaborate and really hone our practice. The Natural Approach book has a very straightforward approach to helping teachers adapt to the style. It answers everything, from classroom management to planning, and even includes what to do when you just can't and need a break. I'm telling my new teachers to read it as a guide. In fact, yesterday one of our new teachers asked me how I was able to get my students to pay attention to me so quickly, and I directed him to the book (the whole section about the stand and pause, and walk over to the rules). I plan to use this book as a guide for myself and my new teachers next year! It's great! ❞
~ Jamie Demson Honke
When I decided to dive head first into CI, I had no idea where to begin. The Natural Approach to the Year was the exact resource I needed! It provided me with the "why" whenever I was doubting myself and definitely gave me to "how". It was like having a teacher on speed dial whenever I needed it. I know that my teaching will be better because of reading this book!
~ Ashley DePutron
I don't know if you need more but...
I started with "A Natural Approach to Stories" and some of the "Bite Size" books. They are all such awesome resources! However, the new book "A Natural Approach to the Year" is the best CI book you'll read! It takes you through the entire year with lesson plans, assessment ideas, activities, and the reasons and research supporting CI. It is perfect for anyone interested in starting CI or anyone who has a foothold but needs ideas. I'm currently doing the library book project and my students are having fun, being creative and, most importantly, working with Spanish to show what they've learned. I also love the rubrics included in the book, which have re-shaped my attitude towards assessment, and the Word Chunk Team Game, which has helped establish and develop community in the majority of classes.
~ Ky Pinkerton
We all need to start somewhere and the Natural Approach is just that . . .THE natural approach to success in CI.
~ Janice Ventresco
So... 24 years of teaching the "same old way". Until I read "A Natural Approach"!
With just a few days left in the school year I am already changing up my teaching ways. And just watch out for next year! CI here I come!
Thank you for the inspiration!
~ Danae Clohan
We are changing to a proficiency-oriented curriculum, with big topics and essential questions. We were feeling stuck for a while, but watched seminars from Comprehensible Online, and listened to Tina’s advice and enthusiasm. I bought The Natural Approach to the year, shared ideas with my department, and little by little I’m getting them hooked. I’ve never seen them more excited about teaching until now. And, my assistant superintendent is buying more copies so we can all have one, and Tina might come help us as a consultant next year! My department is invigorated! Thank you!
~ Laurie Wright Barry
This book just confirmed how I have felt about teaching since forever. I never liked the grammar approach and many times found TPRS to not fit my mentality or my students' interests. This has been an exciting year now that I have "permission" to teach what the kids want to learn. Free at last! Free at last!
~ Laura Murphy
This book has changed not only my life but the lives of my students as well. We are all happier with our time together in the classroom using the strategies laid out in Tina and Ben's book. The book literally is like a peace and tranquility manual for using CI in the classroom!
~ Jessica Oelke