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Total Physical Response (TPR)

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Title: Total Physical Response (TPR)


1
Total Physical Response (TPR)
  • by James Asher, 1977, one of the Designer Methods

2
Origin
  • Developed by James Asher in the 1970s, TPR is a
    language teaching method built around the
    coordination of speech and action. TPR is linked
    to the developmental psychology, learning theory,
    and humanistic pedagogy. It is based on the
    belief that the fastest, least stressful way to
    achieve understanding of any target language is
    to follow instruction uttered by the instructor
    without native language translation.

3
Origin
  • In psychology, it is linked to the trace theory
    of memory, which holds that the more often or the
    more intensively a memory connection is traced,
    the stronger the memory association will be and
    the more likely it will be recalled. Retracing
    can be done verbally such as rote repetition or
    in association with motor activity.
  • In addition, in a developmental sense, Asher
    claims that speech directed to young children
    consists primarily of commands, which children
    respond to physically before they begin to
    produce verbal responses.

4
Origin
  • The emphasis on developing comprehension skills
    before the learner is taught to speak links to
    the so-called Comprehension Approach, the
    principles of which share the belief that (1)
    comprehension abilities precede productive skills
    in learning a language (2) the teaching of
    speaking should be delayed until comprehension
    skills are established (3) skills acquired
    through listening transfer to other skills (4)
    teaching should emphasize meaning rather than
    form (5) teaching should minimize learner stress
    (Richards Rodgers, 1986).

5
Origin
  • There are other methods being practiced under
    this common ground such as Krashen and Terrells
    Natural Approach, which emphasizes students
    developing basic communication skills and
    vocabulary through their receiving meaningful
    exposure to the target language. By using
    pictures and occasional words in the students
    native language, teachers have to make sure their
    input is comprehensible, acquisition will proceed
    naturally and a low affective filter should be
    created to reduce anxiety.

6
Origin
  • Another example is Winitz and Reeds
    self-instructional program and Winitz The
    Learnables. In this method, students listen to
    tape-recorded words, phrases, and sentences while
    they look at accompanying pictures. The meaning
    of the utterance is clear from the context the
    picture provides.

7
Origin
  • Another method is the Lexical Approach developed
    by Michael Lewis. It is more concerned that
    students receive abundant comprehensible input.
    Especially at lower levels, teachers talk
    extensively to the students while requiring
    little or no verbal response from them. They are
    particularly encouraged to notice multi-word
    lexical items such as I see what you mean.

8
Principles
  • Understanding of the target language should be
    developed before speaking.
  • Meaning can often be conveyed through actions,
    especially by using commands.
  • Feelings of success and low anxiety facilitate
    learning.
  • Spoken language should be emphasized over written
    language.
  • Teachers should be tolerant of errors which are
    expected to be made by students.
  • Meaning is more important than form.

9
Influences
  • Learning a foreign language is similar to the
    first language acquisition.
  • Make language learning as enjoyable as possible
    in a low-anxiety environment-gt
  • Feelings of success and low anxiety facilitate
    learning, especially effective for beginners
  • TPR represents a useful set of teaching ideas and
    techniques that can be integrated into other
    methodologies for certain instructional purposes.

10
Limitations
  • There may be substantial limitations on what can
    be effectively accomplished in terms of
    proficiency goals through commands only
    (especially for advanced learners)
  • There is little emphasis on the development of
    accuracy in Ashers description of the method.

11
Summary of TPR
  • Based on the Comprehension Approach (p.6),
    understanding precedes production. Meaning is
    conveyed through actions (instructions given by
    the teacher) memory is increased if it is
    stimulated or traced through association with
    motor activity which is a right-brain function
    (the trace theory of learning). Learners
    learning anxiety has to be lowered.

12
Summary of TPR
  • It seems to be especially effective in the
    beginning level and its appeal to the dramatic
    nature of lg learning is attractive. It can also
    be used into more advanced proficiency levels by
    incorporating more complex syntax into the
    imperative. However, in TPR reading and writing
    activities, Ss are limited to spinning off from
    the oral work in the classroom.
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