What is Total Physical Response (TPR)

What is Total Physical Response (TPR) - The method was designed primarily for students in the early stages of language acquisition. Since commands can be made comprehensible to students with very limited language, Asher used commands as the basis for TPR (Total Physical Response). The teacher or a more proficient student gives a command, demonstrates the command, and then students respond physically to the command. Because students are actively involved and not expected to repeat the command, anxiety is low, and student focus is on comprehension rather than production. Hence, they demonstrate comprehension before their speaking skills emerge.


Total Physical Response was developed in order to reduce the stress people feel when studying foreign languages. one of the primary ways is to allow learners to speak when they are ready. forcing them to speak before then will only create anxiety.
the emphasis of this method is on students' developing basic communication skills and vocabulary through their receiving meaningful exposure to the target language.
the teacher dominates the class and always use imperative sentence to give commands. teacher should be tolerant of students' errors.
techniques of this method are :

- using commands to direct behavior
- role reversal
- action sequence

After an introduction to key vocabulary, students watch a demonstration of the command and then follow the command. For example, “paper (teacher shows a stack of paper) a piece of paper (teacher holds up one piece), take out (teacher does action with different objects) Take out a piece of paper.” New vocabulary is introduced and previous vocabulary reviewed in a series of related commands. New commands are added until students can respond to variations of several. Summary of the steps follows:

1. Students watch demonstration of key words and then a command using them.

2. Students listen again and watch as the teacher performs the action.
3. The teacher gives the command and models the action again, this time having students perform the actions simultaneously.
4. The teacher gives the command to the group without modeling the action.
5. The teacher gives the command to an individual without modeling the action.
6. The teacher models variations & combinations for the groups.
7. Students perform variations & combinations.
8. If some students are ready, they give commands to classmates.

TPR is a well-known beginning ESL method, but (Total Physical Response) TPR-based activities can be adapted and incorporated into mainstream or multi-level classes, particularly in areas where visible directions can be given. It is very helpful to ESL students when mainstream teachers incorporate TPR into their instruction. This is particularly easy to do in physical education, art, and other classes where directions are commonly used for visual acts. Even in science and math students can gain a great deal of comprehensible input through the use of TPR. For example, any science experiment can be an opportunity to involve beginners through TPR. Total Physical Response also provides a base for literacy development in the second language as students learn to read the commands they followed.

1 comment:

  1. I like this posting cz I can practise it in my School...TPR is good for young students in elementary school


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