Total Physical Response

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Abstract In this paper we will look at the origin of Total Physical Response (TPR). What is meant by the term Total Physical Response, or TPR, as it is commonly known around the world? Where can we use it and for what age groups is this approach suitable? How can TPR enhance the second language learning experience of young learners? We ask the question if TPR is a useful way to learn vocabulary and idiomatic terms. Lastly we will look at some examples to see how TPR is used in the second language-learning classroom. Keywords: Total Physical Response, Second Language Learning, Teach Young Learners Total Physical Response; an Approach to Teach Young L2 Learners. Total Physical Response (TPR) is based on the principle that a human’s brain is…show more content…
James Asher (Bowen, 2013). In 1970 Dr. James Asher produced a short documentary film. In this film he came up with the expression, “Total Physical Response” (TPR as it is now known worldwide) (Coreil, 2013). The film showed how three, twelve year old, American boys, could understand the complexity of the spoken Japanese language in only 20 minutes. One of the boys was located one year after the experiment and after doing a few warm-up trials, it was established that his retention of the Japanese words was at an extraordinary level of 90 percent. TPR is a method of language teaching, based on the synchronization of language and physical movement (Asher J. J., 1966). In TPR, tutors give instructions to the students in the language to be learned, to which the students react with whole-body actions. This technique is an illustration of the comprehension approach used in language teaching. There are two purposes served by listening and responding with actions; It is a process to quickly recognize the meaning of the language that is being learned, and a way of inertly learning the makeup of the new language itself. Grammar is learned from the language input and not taught explicitly. TPR is a highly valued method to teach vocabulary and especially idiomatic…show more content…
It is very popular with beginner and young learners, and can be used for students of any age group and all levels (Asher J. , 1996). Most of the time spent in a TPR lesson is on doing exercises where the teacher gives instructions using a commanding attitude. Learners respond to these instructions with physical actions. Firstly, learners absorb the meaning of the instructions they hear by observing it directly. After learning the meaning of the words in these instructions, the teacher give instructions that use innovative mixtures of the new words the students learned (Jack C Richard et al., 2001). Teachers must limit the quantity of the new vocabulary they give to their students at all times. This will help learners distinguish the new words from the ones they learned before, and to integrate these words with their existing knowledge. Depending on the level of their language ability and class size, Asher indicates that learners can acquire between 12 and 36 words per hour spend on

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