Total Physical Response

1. Definition

Total Physical Response (TPR) is a language teaching method built around the coordination of speech and action; it attempts to teaching lamguage through physical (motor) activity. Develop by James Asher, a professor of psychology at San Jose State University, California, it draws on several traditions, including developmental psychology, learning the ory and humanistic pedagogy, as well as on language teaching procedure proposed by Harlord and Dorothy Palmer in 1925. For demension of the learning theory it draws on three rather influential learning hypotheses. :

a). There exist a specific innate bio-program for language learning which defines an optimal path for first and second language development.

b). Brain lateralization defines different learning functions in the felt and right brain hemispheres.

c). Stress ( an affective filter ) intervense between the act of learning and what is to be learned, the lower the stress, the greater the learning.

2. Objectives

The general objetives of Total physical Response are to teach oral proficiency at a beginning level. comprehension is a means to an end, and the ultimate aim to teach basic speaking skills. A TPR course aim to produce learners who are capable of an uninhibited communication that is intelligible to a native speaker. spesific instructional objectives are not elaborated, for these will depend on the particular needs of the learners. whatever goals are set, however, must attainable through the use of action-based drills in the imperative form.

3. Types of Learning and Teaching Activities

Imperative drills are the major classroom activity in the Total Physical Response. They are typically used to elicit physical actions and activity on the part of the learners. Conversational dialogue are delayed until after about 120 hour instruction.

4. Learner roles

Learner in Total Physical Response have the primary roles listener and perfomer. they listen attentively and respond physically to commands given by the teacher. Learners are required to respond both individually and collectively.

5. Teacher roles

The teacher plays an active and direct role in Total Physical Response ” The instructor is the director of a stage play in which the students are the actors”. it is the teacher who decides what to teach, who models and presents the new materials and who selects supporting materials for the classroom use. The teacher is encouraged to be well prepared  and well organized so that the lesson flows smoothly and predictably.


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