Total Physical Response is a language learning method based on the coordination of speech and action. It was developed by James Asher, a professor of psychology at San Jose State University. TPR is based on the fact that the human brain has a biological program for acquiring(CSsEOCE) any natural language on earth – including the sign language of the deaf. The process is visible when we observe how infants internalize their first language. The secret is a “conversation” between the parent and infant. For example, the first conversation is a parent saying, “Look at daddy.
Look at daddy. ” The infant’s face turns in the direction of the voice and daddy exclaims, “She’s looking at me! She’s looking at me! ” Dr. Asher calls this “a language-body conversation” because the parent speaks and the infant answers with a physical response such as looking, smiling, laughing, turning, walking, reaching, grasping, holding, sitting, running, and so forth. In a TPR lesson, teachers model actions which students then mimic(iICSsi) as they simultaneously(aUCo) hear vocabulary words and commands in the target language.
For example, a teacher wishing to teach the phrases “stand up” and “sit down” will give these commands, model for students, and then invite students to stand up and sit down as they hear the appropriate command. These simple phrases can easily be “spiced up” in TPR practice, as a teacher may command a student to stand up or sit down “quickly, slowly, on a book, to the right, to the left, twice while sneezing, three times while singing the national anthem, etc. ”
As a particular action is associated with each vocabulary word or phrase, students rapidly and naturally acquire language while establishing long-lasting associations between the brain and the muscles. Much like learning to ride a bicycle, students who learn language via TPR will not soon forget it. it is focused on single-item vocabulary words . Second language learning is parallel to first language learning and should reflect the same naturalistic processes.
Children respond physically to spoken language, and adult learners learn better if they do that too. Once listening comprehension has been developed, speech develops naturally and effortlessly out of it. Adults should use right-brain motor activities, while the left hemisphere watches and learns. TPR seems to work for most languages including the sign language of the deaf and the language of mathematics.