Karen Rowan on Compelling Input

Title: Focus on the Students, Not the Materials


Subtitle: We only need about 500 words to communicate, so focus on teaching those common words first.



Karen Rowan is an author and speaker on TPRS® (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling). Karen has been training and coaching teachers on how to efficiently use TPRS® techniques since 1996, and has a lot to share on this week’s episode. Karen’s biggest takeaway is to always focus on your students, and aim to make the material fun and engaging for them. Everybody wins when you and your students are having fun!


Key Takeaways:

[1:20] After teaching CI techniques for a long time, one of the things teachers forget is how hard it was, at first, to learn how to do it.

[2:25] Teachers get excited about the new techniques available, but Karen reminds them that they have to focus on one thing at a time.

[3:10] Focus on the students, not the book.

[5:05] We only need about 500 words to communicate.

[6:55] How do you know what your students don’t know yet?

[8:15] Figure out what you want your students to know, and then plan backwards.

[9:50] You want to be sure the material you’re teaching is compelling at all levels.

[11:00] Karen discusses the upcoming conferences she’ll be attending. Come say hi!


Mentioned in This Episode:






“It helps, to break things down in little pieces, and focus on what’s important.”


“Input has to be not just comprehensible, but also compelling.”