TEACHING METHODS - TPR

Total Physical Response is a language learning method based on the coordination of speech and action. It was developed by James Asher, a professor of psychology at San Jose State University, California.

TPR is a great way to introduce vocabulary words, especially useful for high frequency words, such as go, touch, give, move, say, bring, lift, put, etc. Teh teacher introduces usually three to six words per session and practices these words over and over again with commands directed at the students.

First , vocabulary words are being modeled by the teacher. I usually have two volunteers sit next to me that "copy" exactly the gesture, motion or response that I introduce for each word. In my class we call this phase "Moneky see, Monkey do". The rest of the class play the part of "Monkey hear" not "Monkey do". Usually after a few times modeling the class caught on and someone has "yelled" in the translation word. I acknowledge the right translation with a nodd of the head. Then move on to the second part, when I involve the rest of the class. I have the girls give me the appropriate motione, gesture or response, then the boys, then the students on the left side o f the classroom, then three or four particular students together in a group, then individual students. By the last phase , I have the entire class close their eyes and follow my commands in order to check comprehension.

Another important part of TPR, I feel, are " Novelty commands ". These are commands from words that the students are familiar with, but have been put together in a completely new "novel" way, which the students have never heard of together in the same context or sequence. For example, students have been taught the words jump, walk, touch, chair, table. So far students have followed commands such as "Jump three times", "Jump to the left/right", "Touch the chair", "Walk to the table". A novelty command for them would be, when directed to "Jump on the chair".

Once students had some practice and shown comprehension with novelty commands, I move on by incorporating the words into stories .