Language Educators

  • 1.  TPRS vs PACE (similarities and differences)

    Posted 02-04-2016 10:30


    In the "Methods"strand, there has been much discussion about TPRS.

    I thought I would share some info about PACE which is somewhat similar.

    PACE Model for Grammar.pdf

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    PACE Model for Grammar.pdf
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    Robert Oliver
    University Supervisor and Instructor
    At the College of William & Mary

  • 2.  RE: TPRS vs PACE (similarities and differences)

    Posted 02-05-2016 07:39

    I'm afraid I don't see PACE as being at all similar to TPRS. There are some basic and very major differences between TPRS and PACE, at least based on the lesson plan I reviewed from the documents attached. The biggest one is the underlying philosophy: is language acquired through comprehensible input, or is it acquired through practicing output? The answers the two methods provide to this most basic question appear to be quite different.

    The PACE lesson plan I reviewed relied on student pairwork as a "practice" with the aim of getting students to be able to master the language in the lesson plan. TPRS would not do this, as we want to avoid low-quality "throughput" in favor of high-quality input from the most fluent source available. Based on this use of pairwork, PACE believes that language is mastered through understanding a rule and then applying it consciously to output the language, which is the direct opposite of what TPRS does. (I am assuming that this lesson plan is very representative of the PACE method of teaching grammar, since it was provided as a sample here.) 

    The PACE lesson plan also suggests that a large number of words in the same grammatical "thing" (I know, real technical language here ;-) ) are studied and practiced at once. The lesson plan states that the students are shown "reflexive verbs of daily life", which would be quite a list based on most textbooks or thematic lesson plans. This is counter to the way TPRS handles grammar, as is the fact that the entire lesson or class session is centered around a single grammar point. TPRS teaches narrow and deep, to get the requisite number of repetitions to have grammatical features generalized and acquired over time. TPRS does not center instruction around individual grammar points -- its focus is always on holistic meaning and integrative language, though teachers will typically provide higher frequencies of short (<30 seconds) "pop-up" explanations or foci on a specific grammar point for one or more grammar points in the course of comprehensible input (a typical "pop-up" being something like "What did that mean? Right, it means "he spoke". Which part of that word tells you he spoke is past?")

    TPRS was the first widely adopted methodology out of the gate to make proper use of comprehensible input. Many methods provide some language in context, or authentic language, but that doesn't make them comprehensible-input based methods. PACE is still a grammar-driven, analytical, output-centric method, which runs counter to the idea of comprehensible input as the driver of acquisition which is the heart of TPRS. So I would have to say that I see little similarity between the two in terms of what's actually going on and the reasons why activities are selected.

    Terry Waltz, Ph.D.
    Albany Language Learning
    Mandarin through Comprehensible Input

  • 3.  RE: TPRS vs PACE (similarities and differences)

    Posted 02-05-2016 08:23


    It has become very fashionable to cite Vygotsky whenever or wherever possible, without even reading his works. The most annoying thing about PACE is that it claims its association with "Vygotskyan model for language instruction which is cooperative and meaning- and interaction-focused". Such model was never put forward by Vygotsky.  Although Vygotsky did talk about language development in a child in some of his works, he was an ardent advocate of explicit grammatical instruction.  

    Serafima Gettys
    GettysSe@lewisu.eduCoordinator of Foreign Languages