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Total physical response


TOTAL PHYSICAL RESPONSE A presentation by Amon Head Total Physical Response: The Idea Total Physical Response is a language learning method based on the coordination ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Total physical response

Total physical response
  • A presentation by Amon Head

Total Physical Response The Idea
  • Total Physical Response is a language learning
    method based on the coordination of speech and
    action. This method of learning was developed by
    James Asher, a professor of psychology at San
    Jose State University, California.
  • TPR(Total Physical Response) is linked to the
    trace of theory of memory, which holds that the
    more often or intensively a memory connection is
    traced, the stronger the memory will be.

The Approach To Total Physical Response
  • According to Asher, the language learning
    theories are similar to those of other behavioral
    psychologists. The principals that help elaborate
    his idea are
  • Second language learning is parallel to first
    language learning and should reflect the same
    naturalistic processes.
  • Listening should develop before speaking.
  • Once listening comprehension has been developed,
    speech develops naturally and effortlessly out of
  • Adults should use right-brain motor activities,
    while the left hemisphere watches and learns.

Practiced Tried
  • Total Physical Response has been practiced and
    tried in hundreds of languages around the world
    and through trial and error it has been noted
    that more understanding knowledge of this
    learning method falls second in assisting second
    language learners comprehension skills.

The Base of Total Physical Response
  • TPR is based on the idea that the human brain has
    a biological program used to acquire any natural
    language on earth.
  • Evidence of this falls in the form sign language
    for the deaf.
  • Evidence of this idea also comes in the form of
    infants internalizing their first language.

The Secret of Learning
  • There is a secret to this way of learning in many
    age groups but one that is more acknowledged is
    that of an infant learning their first words. The
    unique conversation between a parent and infant
    would be a prime example.
  • When a parent says Look at daddy, and the baby
    turns to the father and the father then responds,
    this becomes a Language-Body Conversation.
    Although the child is not yet speaking they are
    internalizing the patterns and sounds of the
    target language.

A Video
  • A to Z Total Physical Resonse

  • It is fun and easy. Students will enjoy getting
    up out of their chairs and moving around.
  • Simple TPR activities do not require a great deal
    of preparation on the part of the teacher.
    However, some other more complex applications
  • "TPR is aptitude-free." according to Asher. It is
    inclusive working well with a mixed ability
  • It is good for kinesthetic learners who need to
    be active in the class.
  • It is a good tool for building vocabulary.
  • It is memorable. Actions help strengthen the
    connections in the brain.
  • Class size need not be a problem.

  • While it can be used at higher levels TPR is most
    useful for beginners. It is also at the higher
    levels where preparation becomes an issue for the
  • Students are not generally given the opportunity
    to express their own thoughts in a creative way.
  • It is easy to overuse TPR. "Any novelty, if
    carried on too long, will trigger adaptation."
    Asher writes, "No matter how exciting and
    productive the innovation, people will tire of
  • The teacher may find that it is limited in terms
    of language scope. Certain target languages may
    not be suited to this method.
  • It can be a challenge for shy students.

Once students actually understand, then what?
  • The first objective in any excellent language
    program is enabling students to be comfortable
    and confident with the sounds, the grammatical
    patterns, and semantics of the new language. That
    can be accomplished with students of all ages
    including adults using concrete nouns,
    adjectives, verbs, prepositions, and adverbs.

  • Instant understanding of the target language,
    regardless of academic aptitude
  • High Speed Long-term retention
  • Stress-free

References and Video Documents
  • Total Physical Response Video Courtesy of
  • One of the most comprehensive
    web-sites related to Total Physical Response.
  • A Great Resource For ESL

  • The end.
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