TPRS–Teaching Proficiency Through Reading and Storytelling

TPRS was developed by Blaine Ray et al as a take off from Asher’s TPR and adding many of the components that are central to all CI work.  The bare bones of TPRS are”:

  • telling a story
  • or, asking a story
  • focused on 4 new “structures” which are placed visibly on the board with English meanings.  The teacher points them out and goes over them before starting.
  • Structures may be new vocabulary or a grammatical structure, e.g. the infinitive
  • In asking/telling a story, the teacher circles encounters of new words by using a basic pattern where X represents the new structure.

○     Students, the character did X.  (ohhhhhhhhh!)

○     Students, did the character do X?  (yes!)

○     Students, did the character do X or Y?  (X!)

○     Students, did the character do Y?  (no!)

○     Of course not!  How ridiculous!  The character didn’t do Y.  Everyone knows that the character didn’t do Y.  The character did X!

○     Who did X?

○     Where did the character do X?

○     With whom did the character do X?

○     Why did the character do X?

○     Did anyone else do X?

○     Any additional questions about the story so far that allow additional repetitions of X.

○     Note: by circling a new structure, the teacher has just obtained 10 or more repetitions of this word/structure, and they will continue to hear it more in the unfolding story.

○     Note: circling as described here can and should be used in almost every form of CI described here.  Circling is basic practice to CI because it so easily allows us to give understandable messages in the target language.

TPRS was originally developed by Blaine Ray and Contee Seely.  Their book and other materials can be found here.