Physical Response : A Language Teaching Method Developed By James Asher Essay

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2.2.3 TOTAL PHYSICAL RESPONSE (TPR) Total physical response (TPR) is a language teaching method developed by James Asher, a professor emeritus of psychology at San José State University. It is based on the coordination of language and physical movement. In TPR, instructors give commands to students in the target language, and students respond with whole-body actions. The method is an example of the comprehension approach to language teaching. The listening and responding (with actions) serves two purposes: It is a means of quickly recognizing meaning in the language being learned, and a means of passively learning the structure of the language itself. Grammar is not taught explicitly, but can be learned from the language input. TPR is a valuable way to learn vocabulary, especially idiomatic terms, e.g., phrasal verbs.James Asher developed the total physical response method as a result of his observation of the language development of young children. Asher saw that most of the interactions that young children experience with parents or other adults combine both verbal and physical aspects. This creates a positive feedback loop between the parent’ speech and the child’s actions. Asher also observed that young children typically spend a long time listening to language before ever attempting to speak, and that they can understand and react to utterances that are much more complex than those they can produce themselves. From his experiences, Asher outlined three main hypotheses

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