Greetings! Thank you for visiting my blog about helping kids acquire Spanish and French, a subject that I am passionate about. I am a teacher at Holdrege High School in Holdrege, NE. The purpose of this blog is to have a place where I can reflect about how to be a better teacher.

It is called Language Thoughts because most of the content is about the new things I have learned in my language acquisition journey. You will be able to see my thoughts evolve and change as I have more experiences, but I will always be focused on helping kids to acquire Spanish and French. If you would like to contact me outside of the blog, you may reach me at mr.thomasyoung@gmail.com

Leave any comments or questions that you have and thanks for stopping by!

Thomas Young

11 responses to “About

  1. Great to read your insights about TPRS. I run a TPRS school in Japan one hour south of Tokyo. I have gotten a lot of help from Ben Slavic since I started on the TPRS path. My situation is teaching English to Japanese students so I have to have a Japanses helper (my wife) to explain the system to our students. I also have a blog spelled ‘brog’ in Japanese English on my website but I don’t add much data to it because 98% percent of my students wouldn’t understand it. My wife adds Japanese comments often. There is more to learn everyday, but just doing it(facing the fear) is the best way to overcome the learning curve problems with TPRS. We are all on an exciting journey, be it back in the states or in the land of the rising sun.
    Vernon Lee Kanagawa prefecture Japan

    • thomasyoung

      Hi Vernon! Thanks for the comments. Ben has been vital to my path in TPRS, too. I sometimes wonder how many people he has helped on an individual basis. We would probably be surprised to know the number.

  2. Lee Ann Salkowitz

    Dear Thomas,

    I am thrilled to have stumbled onto your blog. I am a second year teacher using TPRS. The success that I found last year, while I felt I was doing everything wrong, has paid off. The retention that my students have shown over the summer has really surprised me. I am looking forward to reading your blog, learning from each other and supporting our method.

    Lee A. Salkowitz, Santa Ana, CA

    • thomasyoung

      Dear Lee Ann,

      Thanks so much for the comment. That is great that your students had such great retention! I have to remind myself of those successes to keep me going on the days that I struggle. I look forward to hearing from you.


  3. Becky R

    I just found your wonderful blog and added it to my RSS feed. I am a third year teacher of the “one woman show” Spanish department in a rural school in Arkansas. It’s good to read of your struggles and ideas. Keep the faith!

  4. Diego

    Hi Tom,
    I’m a spanish teacher who really would like to incorporate TPRS in my daily teaching but I have no idea how to start. I attended one of Blaine’s workshops a year ago, I have bought some books and read many websites. I understand the general concept and the steps but I’m not sure how to start. I teach Spanish 3,4 and 5. Can I start implementing TPR and TPRS in these levels, or does it have to be done from levels 1 and 2? Do I have to do it at the beginning of the year, or can I do it during my next unit? I’m really interested in feedback from you and others who might have gone through the same experience.


    • thomasyoung

      Hola Diego,

      Thanks for the comment! There are so many answers to your questions. That is great that you went to a workshop and have been able to read some material on how to do tprs. It is a journey that will almost never leave you bored and is full of exciting ups and downs. Who knew teaching could be so adventurous? Well, the short answer to your question is that you can do tprs in any level. However, by level 5 the students should probably be doing more reading. The composition of your classes along with your personality will really determine how well it will work if you start during the middle of the year. I would say go for it, but there are a few things you will want to consider.

      There are different ways you can get into tprs and it is by no means an all or nothing method. You can start by having maybe 10 minutes or so of PQA and this will help you to get a little more familiar with the basics. Maybe one day you can have a story in class and see where it goes, but have other material to do just in case it bombs. You can also start by just having the class talk about a picture that you find and just ask them questions about it. For example, if the picture is Taylor Swift ask where she lives, if she has a boyfriend, what does she like to eat, does she have a favorite shirt, etc. Whatever the students find interesting. This is the part where you are teaching them how to play the game. After they suggest a few answers that you have denied, then give them an answer that is a little bizzare like, she lives in an igloo or she says she has a boyfriend, but really she doesn’t because she has bad breath. I don’t know… Just like anything else it will take practice, but the more you are having fun with it, the more the students will have fun with it, too.

      Let me know if this helps and if you want you can email me off the blog at mr.thomasyoung@gmail.com and we can chat more.


  5. Hi Thomas – why don’t you add a widget to your blog so we can subscribe

  6. Jim Tripp

    glad to see you’re back to blogging. I still plan to get you an answer about NTPRS this summer… but you know how it is with a 5 month old right? (don’t respond to this here, I probably won’t come back to this particular page to read it.)

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