The Altamira Language Learning Team grew out of TriState TCI, a regional network of CI teachers who are implementing TPRS and other TCI strategies in their classrooms. Altamira’s team approach takes full advantage of the varied backgrounds of its trainers, while benefiting from their shared vision of effective CI (Comprehensible Input) training. We are teachers of French, Mandarin, ESL, and Spanish; at levels PK-16 and adult learners; some of us have evolved from teaching with textbooks to teaching entirely with CI; others are “first generation” TPRS teachers; some of us find ways to teach with CI within a textbook environment. We live, teach, and train locally, in the Philadelphia Tri-State area, and are all active in sharing and growing our teaching craft here and farther afield.




Founder of Altamira Language Learning and co-founder of the TriState TCI peer learning network, Anny first encountered TPRS in 2007 after varied careers teaching French and Spanish in grades K-16 and developing multimedia materials for language teachers. She immediately began incorporating TPRS strategies into her already story-based teaching of Spanish in elementary grades, evolving over 5 years to an all-CI classroom. Anny writes: “Because it allows all learners to engage fully and find success acquiring language, TPRS/TCI is by far the most exciting, creative, and effective way I’ve ever taught, at any level.” Anny is trained as a TPRS teacher, coach, and teacher trainer. She coaches, presents at conferences, and does teacher trainings locally, nationally, and internationally.



Co-founder of the TriState TCI peer learning network, Lori learned about TPRS in a college methods course as she was preparing for PA teacher certification in French. She is our “first generation” TPRS teacher, having recognized TPRS as the way she wanted to teach from the outset. She first taught French in an urban high school, where she helped students who encountered few successes in school be successful acquiring, understanding, and using French with enthusiasm. She now teaches in a suburban middle school, ably demonstrating the power of CI even in classes that meet on a once-every-six-days exploratory schedule. Lori is trained as a TPRS coach and teacher trainer. She coaches, presents, and trains teachers at state and national conferences and in local workshops.



Carol is the third co-founder of the TriState TCI peer learning network. She teaches high school French at Bishop Eustace Prep in New Jersey, having come to language teaching as a second career. Carol started out with a textbook-based curriculum but found something lacking for her students, for her program, and for herself as a teacher. She discovered TPRS over 10 years ago, and has since turned the French program around, increased the retention of students through upper levels, and built a compelling, comprehensible classroom practice that engages students and brings her joy. Carol is a respected voice of calm wisdom on FaceBook, blogs, and other social media where teachers gather to share ideas and ask advice about teaching with CI. She is also trained as a TPRS coach and teacher trainer. She coaches, presents at conferences, and does teacher trainings locally, nationally, and internationally.



Piyanut (“La”) Sripanawongsa is the fourth co-founder of TriState TCI. She taught middle and high school Chinese in Wisconsin before coming to Philadelphia in 2013 to teach middle school Chinese at William Penn Charter School. An active and engaging teacher who employs a variety of techniques and activities to draw students in, La uses Teaching with Comprehensible Input (TCI) and Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS) as her main strategies. She believes that language learning is important yet should be fun, and that is reflected in her curriculum design. She brings a lot of energy into the classroom that is fully matched by the energy of her students. La coaches and presents at local and national teacher trainings and conferences, sharing specific TCI/TPRS strategies for mastering tones and reading characters in Chinese.



Marc is the most experienced TPRS teacher on our team, with almost 15 years of CI teaching and more than 30 years in the language classroom overall. A compassionate teacher with a call to serve the underserved, he teaches Spanish at Pennwood High School and the Community College of Philadelphia. As an early area adopter of TPRS, Marc has shared strategies – in person and on YouTube – with colleagues, teachers at other schools, and teacher training programs at the university level. He joined the TriState TCI network in its first year and is an ongoing source of ideas for ways to reach and support more teachers in all stages of the profession. Marc is trained as a national TPRS coach and teacher trainer. He coaches and presents in local teacher trainings.



An elementary classroom and Spanish teacher for 15 years, Leslie most recently brings her teaching skills to Mainland Regional High School in New Jersey. In making the transition she recognized that some of the joyful aspects of language learning in younger children were lost at the high school level. Her research into how she might rekindle that joy for older students brought her to TPRS in 2014. Since then she has been very active sharing the method with colleagues and administrators, bringing CI training to her school and to other schools in the district and surrounding area. She is a dynamic participant in TriState TCI’s peer network, often traveling over 2 hours to attend meetings and trainings. Leslie is trained as a TPRS coach and teacher trainer. She coaches and presents in local teacher trainings.



Kristin has worked as a Teacher Trainer since her time in Peace Corps, then as Instructional Specialist in the Arlington, VA School District, and as World Language Department Chair at The Shipley School. She has taught Spanish and ESL K-12 as well as adults. In her position as chair at Shipley, Kristin explored TPRS for several years with other teachers before deciding to use it in her own classroom. Now teaching grades 3-8 Spanish at Greene Street Friends School, Kristin shares her TPRS experiences with colleagues with whom she received a grant to convert the middle school program to be fully CI. Parents and students have eagerly come onboard. Kristin is trained as a TPRS teacher trainer and presents in local workshops.