TPR–Total Physical Response

TPR–Total Physical Response

A method created by James Asher, TPR is most often used for the first 10 hours of beginning language instruction where commands of most basic and important verbs as well as images or demonstrations of most important objects (nouns) are used to help students acquire vocabulary.  Beginning students indicate understanding with a physical response.  E.g. The teacher says “surgite” and they all stand up (this after having demonstrated sitting and standing with something like:  “Magister sedit.  Magister surgit.”  The teacher says “sella” and the students point to a chair.  The research indicates that most students will not be ready to BEGIN producing any of these words, orally or in writing until after 10 hours of TPR instruction, known as “the great silent period” through which all human beings, of any age, pass while acquiring the beginnings of a language.

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