Email: comprehensible classroom at gmail dot com (no spaces)

I strive to respond to emails with specific product concerns and workshop requests within 48 hours.

Due to the large volume of emails that I receive, I am unable to respond in a timely fashion to emails asking for advice. To ensure that your questions are answered expeditiously, please utilize the following resources:

If you have questions about TPRS®, Comprehensible Input, implementation, or general language teaching, please post them in the IFLT/NTPRS/CI Teaching Facebook group.
If you have questions about the SOMOS curriculum, please post them in the SOMOS Curriculum Collaboration Facebook group.

Twitter: @martinabex

Pinterest: martinabex

Facebook: The Comprehensible Classroom

Professional Development:

I have presented at conferences and given workshops at schools and organizations throughout North America on the topics below, and I work with each district or organization to custom-tailor presentations for their needs. For more information, please contact me via email: martina e bex at gmail dot com

  • TPRS®: Finally, they’re fluent! Most language teachers spend the first few weeks each fall reviewing everything that students have forgotten over the summer, only to watch them forget it forever upon graduation. But you don’t have to be like most language teachers. It is possible for your students to maintain their language proficiency over the summer and across a lifetime. In this introductory workshop, you will learn and experience first-hand how Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling uses compelling, comprehensible input to build life-long language proficiency in students and restore the joy of teaching to its practitioners.
  • Bullseye! Hitting the 90% target We know that students acquire language when they hear or read it and understand it. In order to maximize language acquisition, it is imperative that we follow ACTFL’s guideline of 90% minimum target language use in class. But how? There are many reasons that we revert to English and that our students use it in class. In this session, we will explore several reasons for which we often miss the target and how we can get it back in our sights, setting ourselves up for a bullseye!
  • Bringing Culture Back You have pinned hundreds of resources, archived every story script on the Internet, and spent a small fortune building your class library, but you have no idea how to put it all together. In this session, participants will learn how to use high frequency word lists to map curriculum and how to follow a logical unit-mapping sequence to develop coherent, compelling, and culturally-rich units that meet Common Core Standards.
  • QAR Strategies for differentiating questions Question-Answer Relationships is a reading strategy developed by Taffy Rafael to train students how to more accurately respond to questions. As educators, we can use an awareness of QAR in our instruction and assessment in order to ensure that we use a wide variety of questions, create opportunities for critical thinking in the target language, and meet Common Core Standards for reading comprehension. Participants will learn how to use QAR in lesson design and how to introduce them to students.
  • #authres: so easy a novice could do it In this workshop, participants will explore how language learners can experience the excitement and enrichment of authentic resources without feeling overwhelmed or incompetent. Participants will learn five scaffolding strategies that transform authentic resources into comprehensible input for their students, and they will use those strategies to develop five ready-to-use, Common Core aligned lessons that are centered on authentic resources.
  • MovieTalk + TPRS® = Magic MovieTalk is an engaging and effective strategy for language acquisition that was developed for ESL students at the university level. Learn how to MovieTalk and how to combine it with the 3 steps of TPRS® and the essential skills that trained TPRS® teachers have been practicing for several decades in order to maximize language acquisition and student engagement.
  • PQA Hooks Personalized Questions and Answers is an essential strategy in TPRS®/CI courses, but leading comprehensible, engaging discussions is a skill that takes time to develop. Give yourself a break and break out of the routine with hooks that generate highly-engaging and content-rich discussion in your classes! In this way, learn how even your classes’ personalized discussions can meet Common Core Standards!
  • You can make a difference / The impact of teaching culture in the target language
    Language teachers aim to train up a generation of empathetic, curious global citizens that can communicate in two or more languages. Often, it seems that the goals of linguistic and cultural proficiency are at odds–yet this is far from the case. Hear how a group of students were inspired through a Spanish-language reading to impact a community in Ecuador, and learn how you too can make a difference for your students and in communities throughout the world by teaching culture in the target language.
  • Stretching the story: Activities to ensure success A completed class story is only the beginning of a story-based lesson! Stretch your class stories by using follow-up activities that provide students with additional repetitions of the target structures, require high-order thinking skills, and build confidence and competency for output. In this workshop, attendees will read a short story and then participate in six Common Core aligned, story-based activities that maximize the language acquisition available from any class story or text.
  • Circle Up! Literature circles are a preferred method of reading instruction for English Language Arts teachers because of the personalization and depth of understanding that they foster. In this session, participants will learn how to achieve the same outcomes by using the traditionally student-led, output-driven literature circle framework to provide comprehensible input.
  • The Great Assessment Database It is time-consuming and mentally exhausting to develop assessments that are accurate, concise, and novel. In this session, the work has been done for you! Participants will leave this session with multiple templates for reading, listening, writing, and speaking assessments that work well in standards-based, TPRS®/CI courses. They will learn how to use these templates in isolation and how to combine them for IPAs and other benchmark assessments.
  • Storyasking…with a twist! In love and in storyasking, a long-term relationship takes work! Rekindle your students’ love of TPRS® by doing things a little differently each time that you ask a story. Participants with leave with 10 simple twists to the traditional story asking process that teachers can use to maintain novelty, improve classroom management, and target specific language structures.
  • TPRS® and the Text Do you long to call yourself a TPRS® Teacher but feel that you can’t because you are tied to a textbook curriculum? Fear not! This session will walk you through a textbook unit taught à la TPRS®. You will leave with specific lesson-planning strategies that will allow you to use any textbook unit in TPRS®/CI classroom.
  • Refresh your Reading Reading is a core component–perhaps THE core component–of every TPRS®/CI course. While we strive to provide compelling content to our students in an engaging way, we often feel that the ways in which we can read with our students are very limited. In this session, participants will learn about the many different kinds of reading that happen in TPRS®/CI classes. Participants will also try out 10 different during-reading activities that they can rotate through their reading instruction.
  • Beyond TPRS® TPRS® is a powerful way for teachers to develop the skills required to provide quality comprehensible input to language learners. Once they’ve graduated from ‘The School of TPRS®” with a command of basic skills like circling, checking for comprehension, and personalization, however, many teachers are happy to discover that there are an infinite number of ways to build language proficiency without story-asking! Experience CI activities that are both engaging and effective, and learn how to facilitate and implement the same activities in your own classroom.
  • Keep it Elementary! Don’t let the title of this presentation fool you–what’s good for young learners is good for everyone! Learn strategies that you can use to keep your classes in the target language, comprehensible, structured, fresh, active, and FUN!
  • (You can also scan my presentation handout page for ideas.)


  1. I purchased your Jigsaw, but I am having a hard time printing it because it is bigger than a regular page and it is cutting the last column. Do you have any suggestions?


  2. I love your posters! Im starting a position teaching grades K -8, and I would like to make one
    of my bulletin boards about Mexico. Do you know where I can purchase or find a poster-sized map of Mexico? The only one I have found is through Teacher’s Discovery, and it’s very expensive!


  3. Hi, Martina. Do you travel to the Seattle area for workshops? Our Christian school participates in ACTS (association of Christian Schools and Teachers) conferences every year. In my years of attending there has never been any WL seminars. I have purchased several of your plans and used ideas from many other blogs, attended a couple of Blaine’s workshops but would really like to get something at one of our conferences.


  4. You mentioned to me in another post that you were putting on document on your drive. I feel like such a dummy but I can’t figure out how to find it! Can you help me please? 🙂


  5. Hi Martina. I purchased your SOMOS Units 1-5 on TpT last night. I can’t get the pdf files to open despite trying all the ways I know. Can you point me to some help in troubleshooting this. I haven’t had problems before. Computer is up to date. Thanks!


      1. Hi Martina, I am the one having trouble opening the zipped files. Thank you for all that you do with your blog, products, etc. Blows me away how you do that with three littles and one on the way, but I am grateful! Alicia Henager

        Sent from my iPhone



  6. Do you have any advice for about native speakers in the class. They sometimes ruin it for the others and get bored.


  7. Hi Martina, Love your blog – so inspiring. Many thanks. My question: Do you have a set activity for Back to School Night for parents? I often like to put the parents in the kids’ shoes and give them some sort of a lesson….wondering if you have anything that you’ve done in the past. I teach High School. Many thanks!


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