Total Physical Response (TPR)

<b> Forum for teachers working with preschool children </b>

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Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 3:00 am
Location: Indonesia

Total Physical Response (TPR)

Post by nicolette.brata » Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:56 am

Using a learner-centered approach to teaching provides LEP students with a greater opportunity to interact meaningfully with educational materials as they acquire English and learn subject matter. (These strategies are good for all students, incl. early childhood)
A. Total Physical Response (TPR)
• Multiply the amount of language input
• Ready to talk sooner
• Tie comprehension with performance
• Whole-body responses
• Build self-confidence
• Wide-ranging passive vocabulary
• Learn by doing
• Adjust to school
1. Setting up
• Set up a situation (use actions, props to act out series of events)
2. Demonstration
• Modeling the series of actions (by teacher or student)
3. Group live action
• Group acts out series
• Teacher assists with commands
• Repeated to internalize before producing
4. Written copy
• Put series on chart paper or whiteboard (for Early Childhood this could be with sequenced photos labeled with text)
• Students read and copy
5. Oral repetition and questions
• Students repeat each line of written copy
• Students ask questions
• Teacher points out pronunciation
6. Student demonstration
• Students play roles (reader, performer)
• Teacher checks comprehension and prompts
7. Pairs
• Groups of 2-3 students
• One telling/reading the series, other(s) listening and responding physically
• Teacher works individually with (other) students

You can find more information about this in the 'Help! They don't speciak English' started kit page 24. This is a great resource for anybody working with ELL students of any age!

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Post by shelleyvernon » Fri May 08, 2009 10:16 am

Hi there,

Here are some concrete examples of TPR for anyone still trying to figure out what it is!

1. doing actions to songs
2. doing actions to words - teach new vocab by showing the picture AND making a symbol with the hands or body to represent that picture.
3. running/jumping or using the body in any way to respond to instructions from the teacher, such as jumping on the picture of the chair, then hopping to the picture of the pencil - or better than pictures use real objects if possible.
4. feeling objects with eyes closed and naming them

And so on...

For games and a free story and song for preschoolers :)

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Location: Nagano, Japan

Post by mesmark » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:21 pm

you can listen to an explanation of the TPR method here:

It's a podcast on the Total Physical Response method and has some ideas for activities and using the method with young learners.

- Mark
certificate templates | printable cards | printable calendars

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Location: New Jersey

Post by Bethany.Blaine » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:47 am

TPR is such a great way to get students of any age involved and eager to learn! I have yet to become a teacher (I'm in graduate school now) but I am thinking that I would like to work with preschool-4rd graders. What TPR activity works best for the preschoolers? I would think activities that involve moving, jumping, dancing, singing? What activities would you not suggest for preschool age students? I can honestly say I wouldn't know what kind of level the students' language (both L1 and L2) would be, which is an intimidating thought. The original list of recommended TPR strategies provided is great - I would love to be able to incorporate these in my future classes.

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