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Total Physical Response (TPR)


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Title: Total Physical Response (TPR)

Total Physical Response (TPR)
"Babies don't learn by memorizing listswhy
should children or adults?"
Total Physical Response(TPR)
  • What is TPR?

TPR is an approach to teaching a second language,
based on listening linked to physical activities
which are designed to reinforce comprehension.
Total Physical Response(TPR)
  • A little more on TPR . . .

Total Physical Response (TPR) is a method
developed by Dr. James J. Asher to aid learning
second languages. The method relies on the
assumption that when learning a second or
additional language, that language is
internalized through a process of code-breaking
similar to first language development Students
respond to commands that require physical
movement. TPR is primarily intended for ESL
teacher, although the method is used in teaching
other languages as well.
Total Physical Response(TPR)
  • What is the connection to the classroom?  
  • TPR is not always dancing and singing songs!
    Generally, we refer to body movement with
    instruction to engage learners.
  • Students learn by identifying a certain key point
    to some action.
  • TPR can be used for all curriculum, literacy,
    science, math, and so on.

Total Physical Response(TPR)
  • What are advantages of TPR?
  • Fun and Easy Students enjoy activity!
  • Simple TPR activities do not require a great deal
    of preparation on the part of the teacher.
  • TPR is inclusive and works well a class with
    mixed ability levels.
  • Good for kinesthetic learners who need to be
    active in class.
  • Good tool for building vocabulary.
  • Actions help build connections in the brain.
  • Helps learners achieve fluency faster by
    immersing learners in activities that involve
    them in situational language use.
  • Good instructional practice for ESLs in their
    silent period.
  • Works well for child and adult learners.

Total Physical Response(TPR)
  • What are disadvantages of TPR?
  • Most useful for beginners.
  • Preparation becomes an issue for teachers at
    higher levels.
  • Students are not generally given the opportunity
    to express their own thought in as creative
  • It is easy to over use TPR and begin to bore
  • May limit teachers in term of scope of language
    that can be addressed.
  • Can be a major challenge for shy students.

Total Physical Response(TPR)
  • Who benefits most from TPR?
  • TPR seems to work effectively for children and
    adults. There is no age barrier. The only setback
    is that if the language training starts after
    puberty, the probability is almost certain that
    one will have at least some accent in speaking
    the second language, no matter how many years one
    lives in the foreign country. http//www.tprsource
  • English speaking students who have little
    academic reinforcement at home.

Total Physical Response(TPR)
  • Who benefits most (cont . . .)
  • Struggling students
  • Teachers are noticing growth in students
    learning, and boosting the academic levels in
    their classrooms.

Total Physical Response (TPR) Example of Activity
  • This is an example of an effective TPR activity
    that students can perform at their seats. Each
    student has a kit such as the interior of a
    kitchen. Then you say in the target language,
    "Put the man in front of the sink. With your
    play board displayed so that it is clearly
    visible to the students, you place the man in the
    kitchen of your kit and your students follow by
    performing the same action in their kits.

Total Physical Response (TPR)
50 Strategies for Teaching English Language
Learners, Chapter 11 Integrating Movement
into Language Acquisition In first-language
learners, children acquire receptive language
before they attempt to speak, they develop
understanding through moving their bodies and
they are not forced to speak until they are

Total Physical Response (TPR)
Step by Step (steps for teaching TPR lesson) 1.
Choose physical vocabulary, - ex. Stand up,
show me the door, (language used in the
classroom) 2. Introduce vocabulary gradually -
Start with 3 randomly use 3. Drop the physical
modeling 4. Add additional commands
Total Physical Response (TPR)
Step by Step (steps for teaching TPR
lesson) 5. Add additional responses -Find new
ways for students to display their
understanding of vocabulary, ex. draw picture 6.
Play games for additional practice - only
when students gain confidence 7. Assess student
progress understanding (easy to visually
assess, make a checklist)
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