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Lecture # 17 Total Physical Response (TPR)

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1 Lecture # 17 Total Physical Response (TPR)
Textbook: Larsen-Freeman, D. (2000). Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching. (2th ed.). Oxford University Press.

2 Review of the last Lecture
Total physical response (TPR) is a Language teaching method language- developed by James Asher, a professor emeritus of Psychology at San Jose State University. It is based on the coordination of language and physical movement. In TPR, instructors give commands to students in the target language, and students respond with whole-body actions. The method is an example of the comprehension approach  to language teaching. Listening serves two purposes; it is both a means of understanding messages in the language being learned, and a means of learning the structure of the language itself. Grammar is not taught explicitly, but is induced from the language input..

3 Review…. Asher developed TPR as a result of his experiences observing young children learning their first language. He noticed that interactions between parents and children often took the form of speech from the parent followed by a physical response from the child. Asher made three hypotheses based on his observations: first, that language is learned primarily by listening; second, that language learning must engage the right hemisphere of the brain; and Third, that learning language should not involve any stress.

4 Review of the last lecture….
A new general approach to Foreign language instruction (FLI) named “ comprehension approach” Total Physical Response is an example of “Comprehension Approach The comprehension approach lays emphasis on listening comprehension. Unlike other methods, TPR method begins with listening skill. The importance is given to Listening Comprehension. Imperative forms are central in teaching Child Acquisition: Natural progression from comprehension to production Learning through playful activities. The idea of Comprehension Approach comes from child language acquisition. Speaking is a natural product of listening.

5 Reviewing the Principles
Today, we will review various principles of TPR method. We will try to answer TIQ.

6 Reviewing the principles
1.What are the goals of teachers who use TPR? Teachers who use TPR believe in the importance of having their students enjoy their experience in learning to communicate in a foreign language. TPR was developed to reduce stress people feel while learning a foreign language.

7 2.What is the role of the teacher? What is the role of the students?
Initially, the teacher is the director of all student behavior. The students are imitators of her nonverbal model. At some point (usually after ten to twenty hours of instruction), some students will be ready to speak. At that point there will be a role reversal with individual students directing the teacher and the other students.

8 3.What are some characteristics of the teaching / learning process?
First phase The first phase of a lesson is one of modeling. The instructor issues commands to a few students, then performs the actions with them. Second phase In the second phase; these same students demonstrate that they have understood the commands by performing them alone.

9 The teacher next recombines the commands to have students develop flexibility in understanding unfamiliar utterances. These commands are often humorous. After learning to respond to some oral commands, the students learn to read and write them. Meanwhile they are ready to speak and become one who issues the commands.

10 4. What is the nature of student-teacher interaction
4.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. Students can learn by watching each other. As students begin to speak, they issue commands to one another as well as to the teacher.

11 5.How are the feelings of the students dealt with?
TPR was developed to reduce the stress people feel when studying foreign languages. Another way to relieve anxiety is to make language learning as enjoyable as possible. Feeling of success and low anxiety facilitate learning.

12 6.How is language viewed? How is culture viewed?
Just as with the acquisition of the native language, the oral modality is primary. Culture is the lifestyle of people who speak the language natively.

13 7. What areas of language are emphasized
7.What areas of language are emphasized? What language skills are emphasized? Vocabulary and grammatical structures are emphasized over other language areas. Understanding the spoken word should precede its production. The spoken language is emphasized over written language.

14 8.What is the role of the students’ native language?
TPR is usually introduced in the student’s native language. After the introduction, rarely would the native language be used. Meaning is made clear through body movements.

15 9.How is evaluation accomplished?
Teachers will know immediately whether or not students understand by observing their actions. Formal evaluations can be conducted simply by commanding individual students to perform a series of actions. As students become more advanced, their performance of skits they have created can become the basis for evaluation.

16 10.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 them and only correct major errors. Even these should be corrected unobtrusively. As students get more advanced, teachers can “fine tune”---correct more minor errors.

17 Reviewing the techniques
The major technique, as we saw in the lesson we observed, is the use of commands to direct behavior. Asher acknowledges that, although this technique is powerful, a variety of activities is preferred for maintaining student interest.

18 Using commands to direct behavior
It should be clear from the class we observed that the use of commands is the major teaching technique of TPR. Asher suggests keeping the pace lively, it is necessary for a teacher to plan in advance which commands she will introduce in a lesson.

19 At first, the teacher performs the actions with the students
At first, the teacher performs the actions with the students. Later, the teacher directs the students alone. The students’ action tell the teacher whether or not the students understand. Asher advises teachers to vary the commands so that students will connect the actions with language.

20 Asher believes it is very important that the students feel successful
Asher believes it is very important that the students feel successful. Therefore, the teacher should not introduce new commands too fast. It is recommended that a teacher present three commands at a time. After students feel successful with these, three more can be taught.

21 People always ask how much of a language can be taught through TPR.
Asher claims that all grammar features can be communicated through imperatives. Example of advanced lesson, one might introduce past tense as follow:

22 Teacher: Ingrid, walk to the blackboard.
(Ingrid gets up and walks to the blackboard.) Teacher: Class, if Ingrid walked to the blackboard, stand up. (The class stands up.)

23 Teacher: Ingrid, write your name on the
blackboard. (Ingrid writes her name on the blackboard.) Teacher: Class, if Ingrid wrote her name on the blackboard, sit down. (The class sits down.)

24 Role Reversal Students command their teacher and classmates to perform some actions. Asher says that students will want to speak after ten to twenty hours of instruction, although some students may take longer. Students should not be encouraged to speak until they are ready.

25 Action sequence As the students learn more and more of the target language, a longer series of connected commands can be given. While we did not see a long action sequence in this very first class, a little later on students might receive the following instructions:

26 Take out a pen. Take out a piece of paper. Write a letter. (Imaginary) Fold the letter. Put it in an envelope. Seal the envelope. Write the address on the envelope. Put a stamp on the envelope. Mail the letter. This series of commands is called an action sequence, or an operation.

27 Conclusion Now that we have had a chance to
experience a TPR class and to examine its principles and techniques, you should try to think about how any of this will be of use to you in our own teaching.

28 Ask yourself — 1.Would you use the imperative to present the grammatical structures and vocabulary of the target language? 2.Do you believe it is possible to teach all grammatical features through the imperative? 3.Would you want to adapt any of techniques of TPR to your teaching situation?

29 Check your understanding of Total physical Response.
Activity — A Check your understanding of Total physical Response. 1.Asher believes that foreign language instruction can and should be modeled on native language acquisition. What are some characteristics of his method that are similar to the way children acquire their native language?

30 2.One of the principles of TPR is that when student anxiety is low, language learning is enhanced. How does this method lower student anxiety?

31 Apply what you have understood about Total Physical Response.
Activity B Apply what you have understood about Total Physical Response. 1.Although the teacher uses imperatives, she does so in a gentle, pleasant way, the way a parent would usually do with a child. 2.A lot of target language structures and vocabulary can be taught through the imperative. 3.In the action sequence, the teacher has the students pretend to write and mail a letter. Think of three common activities which could be used in the classroom.

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