Essay on Total Physical Response Method and Spanish

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Total Physical Response Method and Spanish

Teaching strategies of a foreign language class have evolved from a long history of useless methods that do not fulfill the goal of language acquisition. The main goal of a foreign language class in terms of the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards is that the students be able to communicate using the foreign language. Communication refers to the student’s ability to converse with a native speaker of the language that has been studied. In the past, it was assumed that students must first learn the rules of grammar and then use those rules to construct sentences and communicate, but there have been several linguistic theories that have refuted this methodology.

Researchers such as
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Again referring to Krashen’s hypotheses he states in his affective filter hypothesis that language learning must take place in an environment where learners are “off the defensive” and anxiety is low in order for the input to be noticed and gain (Gilsan Shrum). This is especially important for beginners in the language setting because if the focus is on the correctness of the language, then they will stray away from participating in the classroom activities and communication, thus not meeting the New Jersey Core Curriculum standards.

With acquisition as the main focus in second language learning, Total Physical Response (TPR) was developed in 1974, and continues to be used in the language classroom. It was developed by Asher and focuses on comprehension development before speaking. It states that speech will emerge naturally as students internalize the language that is being spoken (Gilsan & Shrum 366), which is also the basis of Krashen’s Input Hypothesis. This method is effective because students become active participants of the language classroom. This is especially useful for
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