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Total Physical Response



o  TOTAL Physical Response (TPR) is a language teaching method built around the coordination of speech hand action; it attempts to teach language through physical (motor) activity.


o  TPR is linked to the “trace theory” of memory in psychology, 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.


Comprehension Approach in Language Teaching

  1. Comprehension abilities precede productive skills in a 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; and
  5. Teaching should minimize learner stress.



The Principles of Language Teaching in TPR

1)     Meaning IN the target language can often be conveyed through actions.

2)     Memory is activated through learner’s response.

3)     Language should be presented in chunks, not just word by word.

4)     The students’ understanding of the target language should be developed before speaking.

5)     Language learning is more effective when it is fun.

6)     Spoken language should be emphasized over written language.

7)     Students are expected to make errors when they first begin speaking.


Reviewing the Principles


o  What are the goals of teachers who use TPR?

§  TPR was developed in order to reduce the stress people feel when studying foreign languages.


o  What is the role of the teacher? What is the role of the students?

§  The teacher is  the director of all students behaviour.

§  The students are imitators of her nonverbal model.


o  What are some characteristics of the teaching/learning process?

§  The first phase of a lesson is one of modeling.

§  The second phase, students demonstrate that they can understand the commands by performing them alone.


o   What is the nature of student-teacher interaction? What is the nature of student-student interaction?

§  The teacher interacts with the whole group of students and with individual students.

§  students perform the actions together and students can learn by watching each other.


o   How are the feelings of the students dealt with?

§  TPR was developed to reduce the stress people feel when studying foreign languages.


o   How is the language viewed? How is the culture viewed?

§  The oral modality is primary

§  Culture is the lifestyle of people who speak the language natively..


o   What areas of language are emphasized? What language skills are emphasized?

§  Vocabulary and grammatical structure are emphasized over other language areas.

§  The spoken language is emphasized over written language.


o   What is the role of the students’ native language?

§  TPR is introduced in the student’s native language.

§  Meaning is made clear through body movements.


o   How is evaluation accomplished?

§  Formal evaluations can be conveyed simply by commanding individual students to perform a series of actions.


o   How does the  teacher respond to student errors?

§  It is expected that students will make errors when they first begin speaking.

§  Teachers should be tolerant of the students and only correct major errors.




Wed, 1 Jun 2011 @12:36




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