Friday, January 11, 2008

Total Physical Response

TPR was created by Dr James J Asher. It is based upon the way that children learn their mother tongue. It involves listening and comprehension in combination with various “physical responses”
In L1 acquisition, the parent talks to the baby. Even though it cannot speak during this time, the child is taking in all language. Eventually, when it has decoded enough, the child reproduces the language spontaneously.
TPR attempts to mirror this effect in the language classroom.
It can be accessible to a wide range of teachers and learning environments.
In the classroom the teacher starts by saying a word or phrase and demonstrating an action.
It can be used for learning:
· Vocabulary connected with actions
· Tenses
· Classroom language
· Imperatives / Instructions
· Story telling

With TPR:
· Listening and physical response skills are emphasized
· Humor is injected into the lessons
· Students are not required to speak until they fell confident enough
· Spoken language is emphasized over written language
· Grammar and Vocabulary are emphasized over other language areas

Advantages of TPR
· It’s fun
· It’s memorable
· It’s good for kinesthetic learners
· It can be used in small or large classes
· It doesn’t require a lot of preparation or materials
· It’s effective with both teenagers and young learners
· It involves both left and right brained learning

Disadvantages of TPR
· It can be embarrassing for shy students. The teacher must be prepared to perform the actions
· It is only really suitable for beginner levels (although it can also be used in Advanced levels, e.g. different ways of walking – stumble, stagger, tiptoe – or cooking verbs – whisk, stir, grate.
· You can’t teach everything with it (e.g. “abstract” language)
· It can be repetitive and bore students

(References: )

(I have kept a "seminar journal" on another page but since I am closing that account, I thought I could re-post some of it over here)

1 comment:

Anastasia said...

I'm not very much in favour of using TPR in a L2 class. Students who take up a language as a second language are certainly not expected to act as native speakers do. As far as I am concerned, I only use L2 in my classes using lots of mime for young learners. I use L1 occasionally and almost invariably when I want to get Grammar across. I teach Grammar in the good old traditional way : rules / exceptions / examples but I do include fun activities for the younger learners. Like games and songs. Thanks a million for the info!!!