The total physical response approach to second language learning

Background Total Physical Response TPR is a language teaching method built around the coordination of speech and action; it attempts to teach language through physical motor activity. Let us briefly consider these precedents to Total Physical Response.

The total physical response approach to second language learning

Rate A discussion of the Total Physical Response approach to language teaching. Originally developed by James Asher, an American professor of psychology, in the s, Total Physical Response TPR is based on the theory that the memory is enhanced through association with physical movement.

It is also closely associated with theories of mother tongue language acquisition in very young children, where they respond physically to parental commands, such as "Pick it up" and "Put it down".

TPR as an approach to teaching a second language is based, first and foremost, on listening and this is linked to physical actions which are designed to reinforce comprehension of particular basic items. The students are required to carry out the instructions by physically performing the activities.

Given a supportive classroom environment, there is little doubt that such activities can be both motivating and fun, and it is also likely that with even a fairly limited amount of repetition basic instructions such as these could be assimilated by the learners, even if they were unable to reproduce them accurately themselves.

The above examples, however, also illustrate some of the potential weaknesses inherent in the approach.

You are here

Firstly, from a purely practical point of view, it is highly unlikely that even the most skilled and inventive teacher could sustain a lesson stage involving commands and physical responses for more than a few minutes before the activity became repetitious for the learners, although the use of situational role-play could provide a range of contexts for practising a wider range of lexis.

Secondly, it is fairly difficult to give instructions without using imperatives, so the language input is basically restricted to this single form. Thirdly, it is quite difficult to see how this approach could extend beyond beginner level. Fourthly, the relevance of some of the language used in TPR activities to real-world learner needs is questionable.

Finally, moving from the listening and responding stage to oral production might be workable in a small group of learners but it would appear to be problematic when applied to a class of 30 students, for example.

In defence of the approach, however, it should be emphasized that it was never intended by its early proponents that it should extend beyond beginner level.

In theory it might be possible to develop it by making the instructions lexically more complex for example, "Pick up the toothpaste and unscrew the cap"but this does seem to be stretching the point somewhat.

Teaching approaches: total physical response | Onestopenglish

In addition, a course designed around TPR principles would not be expected to follow a TPR syllabus exclusively, and Asher himself suggested that TPR should be used in association with other methods and techniques.

Short TPR activities, used judiciously and integrated with other activities can be both highly motivating and linguistically purposeful.

Careful choice of useful and communicative language at beginner level can make TPR activities entirely valid. Many learners respond well to kinesthetic activities and they can genuinely serve as a memory aid.

A lot of classroom warmers and games are based, consciously or unconsciously, on TPR principles. As with other "fringe" methods, however, wholesale adoption of this approach, to the total exclusion of any other, would probably not be sustainable for very long.

Rate this resource 4. Share Readers' comments 1 Anonymous Tue, 21 May 7: TPR was never intended to be a stand a lone method and I would not really call it fringe either.

The total physical response approach to second language learning

Its been incorporated in many methods from audio lingual to the natural approach.Total Physical Response Method and Spanish Teaching strategies of a foreign language class have evolved from a long history of useless methods that do not fulfill the goal of language acquisition.

The main goal of a foreign language class in terms of the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards is that the students be able to communicate using the.

Total Physical Response. Asher, J.C. (). Learning Another Language Through Actions. San Jose, California: AccuPrint. James J. Asher defines the Total Physical Response (TPR) method as one that combines information and skills through the use of the kinesthetic sensory system.

TPR-WORLD Product to search for: Welcome!

The total physical response approach to second language learning

Thank you for joining 1, teachers Learning Another Language Through Actions, now in the 7th edition and Ramiro Garcia's Ph.D. Originator of the Total Physical Response, known worldwide as TPR To get a fast start, try these books: Learning Another Language Through Actions Order book .

Title: The Total Physical Response Approach to Second Language Learning Created Date: Z. Total physical response is an approach to teaching second language that was developed in the s by James Asher, professor of Psychology at the San Jose State University in California.

Asher observed that traditional second language programs had a . 00 -The Total Physical Response Method for Second Language Learning 3C by James J.

Asher Prepared under Contract NONR (00) (NR-l ) for Office of Naval Research Reproduction in whole or part is permitted for any.

Total physical response - TPR | TeachingEnglish | British Council | BBC