TPRS® is: discovering a language via interactive storytelling. It is a natural way of learning a language which focuses on communication. This is the way in which our brain acquires a language best: Our brain is designed to establish meaning and connect information, and is able to retain words, phrases and even complete stories in that way. Our students’ brain makes a lot of connections every day. This is what we call learning. But why is it so hard to remember words from a word list? And why is it so much easier to remember a story we’ve heard or a movie we’ve seen?
The more connections our brain establishes around a certain piece of information, the better. Learning a word from a word list establishes one connection, and therefore, tends to disappear quite easily. However, if this word is embedded in a funny or exciting context, and if this context is combined with emotions, movement and images, many more connections are generated. Because of all these connections, our brain stores the new word effortlessly .TPRS stimulates our students’ brain to establish a lot of connections. TPRS is language teaching via stories, emotions and movement.
Teach with passion. TPRS.
How does TPRS work?
The name TPR Storytelling shows what draws attention most in this method: the storytelling part. However, the core of the method is in delivering and repeating large amounts of compelling and comprehensible input via question-answer techniques and also creating grammar awareness in a non-abstract and efficient manner. Based on these principles the students, guided by the teacher, create and (re)tell stories, have conversations and discussions, and read and write texts. TPRS enables the students to use the language spontaneously and fluently.
Why does TPRS work so well?
Recent literature on language acquisition and processing of the language in the brain supports the TPRSmethod, in which stories and meaningful communication provide compelling and comprehensible input in an interactive context. Together with repetition, grammar awareness and stimulating creativity. they contribute to efficient language acquisition. Apart from that, the intensive interaction in the classroom stimulates
social development and the skill to express oneself in real life situations.
TPRS is a method in which all components reinforce one another, and is easily adaptable to different target audiences, educational contexts and to the teacher’s personal preferences.
How does TPRS fit in with my school’s curriculum?
The goal of TPRS is to achieve fluency, which means that students can apply the language without hesitation. Fluency is not only about spoken production or interaction, but also about writing, and reading and listening comprehension. In order to achieve this goal, TPRS focuses on specific activities. Time-consuming activities that, how funny they might be, generate little progress in the language are not part of a TPRS-curriculum. Informative classes on cultural topics are not necessarily part of a TPRS-curriculum, unless these are being offered as comprehensible input. They can be of added value to the language classes, of course. TPRS is best considered to be a method for the language acquisition part of the language curriculum.
What are the educational principles?
- The language used in class is comprehensible target language
- Repetition results in spontaneous speech
- Grammar as meaning enhances the student’s feel for languages
- Personal engagement is a motivating factor
- A complex task-based approach is real timecommunication
Read more in order to know more about these principles.