The use of Total Physical Response techniques in teaching English language school
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TABLE OF CONTENT
LIST OF ABBREVATIONS
I. THEORETIC ANALYSIS OF THE PECULIARITIES OF TPR METHOD APPLYING IT TO YOUNG LEARNERS
1. Students' motivation and interests in learning English enhanced through TPR
1.1 The Basic Concept of TPR
1.2 TPR relation with Characteristic of young learners
2. Pedagogical implications teaching English to primary school children using TPR
2.1 The Principles of Total Physical Response
2.2 Teacher’s and learners roles
3. Complexion and techniques of TPR classroom activities
3.1 TPR teaching materials and forms
3.2 Procedures of teaching
3.3 Advantages of TPR
II. THE PECULIARITIES OF TPR METHOD APPLYING IT TO YOUNG LEARNERS EMPIRICAL RESEARCH
1. Methodology and design of an empirical research
2. Analysis of research results
LIST OF ABREVATIONS
TPR — Total Physical Response
LAD — Language Acquisition Device
ESL — English as a Second Language
Tell me and I will forget,
show me and I may remember,
involve me and I will learn.
Teaching English to the primary school students is not an easy task since it requires a lot of creativity. According to Harmer (2001), young learners learn differently from older learners, adolescents, and adults. They easily get bored, losing interest after ten minutes or so. Their world is still full of enjoyable activities. If English is taught interestingly, it will motivate them to learn it better. According to child psychology, children`s language ability is developed through practical application; thus, the acquisition of language should be nature and direct. Brown (2001) states that people speak first instead of both reading and writing. In the classroom, speaking is used twice as often as listening and the most often used skill.
Cameron (2001) states that many teachers still apply traditional method in teaching English for young learners. For example, teachers make the students keep learning through teacher’s explanation of new words or grammar. In fact, this method is not effective because students will easily forget the words and the material if they learn different topics. Especially for young learners, those who are seven to twelve years old, this method is uninteresting. However there are many methods that can be used in teaching English to young learners. But the applied methods need to be not only interesting but also effective in teaching language. Cameron (2001) sais that students will not be able to speak foreign language well just my memorizing lists of words, repeating mechanically some useful expressions, and so on. If young learners do not understand the spoken language, they can’t learn it effectively. Harmer (2007: 84) sais that some students forget the material easily because they are not active during learning process or involved in learning process directly; there are no good atmosphere and environment of learning process in the class if there is no interaction or response between students and teacher. If students just sit in their chairs and listen to teacher’s explanation it will make students bored. and they will not enjoy the learning process. Harmer (2007: 84) states that «the students must be encouraged to respond to texts and situations with their own thoughts and experiences, rather than just answering questions and doing abstract learning activities. The teacher must give them tasks which they are able to do, rather than risk humiliating them».
Therefore the Total Physical Response activities developed by James Asher provide ideas to create the activity for the success of the English language learning. In this paper, we will introduce peculiarities of Total Physical Response method and how this method is practiced to young learners in primary schools. We will also discuss why and how TPR can help teachers to improve their teaching through analyzing the features of children learning. Ways of using TPR in classroom will also be presented.
Object of the research: teaching English to young learners through TPR method
Objectives of the research: to analyse the peculiarities of TPR application in primary school
1. To investigate Students' motivation and interests in learning English enhanced through TPR.
2. To identify pedagogical implications teaching English to primary school children using TPR
3. To analyse the complexion and techniques of TPR classroom activities
I. Theoretical analysis of the literature (Analysis of scientific literature)
I. PECULIARITIES OF TPR METHOD APPLYING IT TO PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENTS THEORETIC ANALYSIS
1. Students' motivation and interests in learning English enhanced through TPR
In this chapter we are going to ascertain what is Total Physical Response, what premises the TPR is based on and how acquiring of second language depends of children development stage.
1. 1 The Basic Concept of TPR
Total Physical Response (TPR) is a language teaching method that was developed by James Asher, a professor of psychology at Jose State University, California, in 1977 (Brown, 2001). This method built on coordination of speech and action; it attempts to teach language through physical (motor) activity. According to Diaz (2005), who is a former language teacher and consultant in TPR and language instruction in general, the research base for TPR dates back to the 1960s, and experiments performed with epileptic volunteers whose right and left brain hemispheres were surgically severed. (The idea was that epileptic seizures begin on one side of the brain and migrated to the other, so if they could isolate the event to one side of the brain, the seizures might be less extreme.) Asher, as a psychologist, was one of the researchers. From then on, he began to investigate some interesting relationships between language and movement. His work led him to formulate the theory known today as Total Physical Response, or TPR.
Asher (as cited in Richards and Rodgers, 2001: 75) developed TPR relying on three learning hypotheses facilitate and inhibit foreign language learning. Those hypotheses are the bio-program, brain lateralization, and reduction of stress.
The first hypothesis is the Bio-program. Asher believed that first and foreign language learning is parallel process. Asher mentioned three processes as essential: first children develop listening competence before the ability to speak. Second, children’s ability in listening comprehension is learned because children are required to respond physically to spoke language in form of parental command. Third, when listening comprehension has been established, speech develops naturally and effortlessly. According to Asher, brain and nervous system is biologically programmed both in a particular sequence and mode. The sequence is listening before speaking. The mode is to deal language with the individual’s body.
The second hypothesis is brain lateralization. Asher suggested that TPR tend to right-brain learning. The Asher’s belief based on jean Piaget’s work (as cited in Richards and Rodgers, 2001: 75) that suggested that children acquire language through motor movement — a right-hemisphere activity. A right-hemisphere activity should precede left-hemisphere activity to process the language for production. Right-hemisphere activity will encourage left-hemisphere to produce language when the right-hemisphere activity has occurred. Therefore, the right-hemisphere activity should expose in the process of the children’s language learning because children frequently learn language indirectly rather than directly. Besides, the right-hemisphere activity emphasizes on the things that seems to be fun. Garcia (2001) explains further that the TPR approach is a right brain method of learning a language because the language is taught mainly through actions. In the other words, commands play as the core of the course.
The third hypothesis is reduction of stress. The fundamental factors for successful language learning is the absence of stress. If students are free from stressful situation, they are able to devote full energy for learning (Richard and Rodgers, 2001)
David (2004) says that Asher’s language learning theories are reminiscent of the views of some behavioural psychologists. She agrees with Asher and sais that his premise is based on Chomsky`s theory of LAD, which insists that humans are born with a special biological brain mechanism, called a Language Acquisition Device (LAD). This theory supposes that the ability to learn language is inborn, that nature is more important than nurture and that the human brain has a biological program for acquiring any language spoken. The process is visible when we observe how infants internalize their first language.
In summary, Total Physical Response (TPR) is one of methods developed by James Asher, a professor of psychology at San Jose State University, California, USA, to aid learning foreign language. TPR is a language learning method which is based on the coordination of speech and action. It is linked to the trace theory of memory, which holds that the more often or intensively a memory connection is traced, the stronger memory will be. In TPR classroom, students respond to commands that require physical movement. Three important hypotheses lying behind his method: the bio-program, brain lateralization, reduction of stress.
1. 2 TPR relation with Characteristic of young learners
In this chapter we will discuss why TPR should be applied teaching English to primary school children Teachers seeking useful teaching results first of all need to know characteristics of children and how their mental abilities develop through different age periods.
The way children learn a foreign language, and therefore the way to teach it, obviously depends on their development stage. «It would not be reasonable to ask a child to do a task that demands a sophisticated control of spatial orientation (for example, tracing a root on a map) if he or she has not developed this skill. On the other hand, beginners of 11 or 12 years of age will not respond well to an activity that they perceive as childish, or well below their intellectual level, even if it is linguistically appropriate (for example, identifying an odd shape out of matching picture halves)» (Sarah Phillips, 2003: 5). To avoid such misapprehension teachers has to remember children’s limitation.
Theorist Jean Piaget (in Queen J. Allen, 2003) suggested that children think differently than adults and proposed a stage theory of cognitive development. He was the first to note that children play an active role in gaining knowledge of the world. According to Piaget’s framework, teaching English to children can mean working with very different age groups with different interest and needs. Brown (2001) also believes that to successfully teach English to children requires specific skill and intuition. Teacher has to know the characteristic of children.
Moreover, Scott and Ytreberg (200: 1−5) sais «there is a big difference between what children of five can do and what children of ten can do. Some children develop early, some later. Some children develop gradually, others in leaps and bounds. Children of five are little children. Children of ten are relatively mature children with an adult side and childish side. What seven to ten years old children can do at their own level? They are competence users of mother tongue. They can tell the difference between the fact and fiction. They love to play and learn best when they enjoy themselves, but they also take themselves seriously and like to think what they are doing is really work. They are enthusiastic and positive about learning. They rely on the spoken word as well as the physical world to convey and understand meaning. They are able to work with others and learn from others. Their own understanding comes through eyes, hands, and ears. They have very short attention and concentration span. Overall, children in primary school still like to play and learn through their hands, eyes, and ears». According to those characteristics most activities for the young learners should include movement and involve the senses.
Phillips (2003) states, that young learners are children from the first year of formal schooling (five or six year old) to eleven or twelve years old. So young learners are unique and different from adult learners. They have special characteristics in the way of learning. They do not learn by thinking, but by doing things. Scott and Ytreber (2007) sais, that giving words to young learners are not enough, but they need activities that include movements and involve senses. Brown (2001) also states that children need to have all five senses stimulated in learning. Young learners pay less attention than adult learners do. Therefore, the learning process of young learners requires a nice environment and attractive and fun methods in order to motivate them.
Moreover, Slattrey and Willis (2001) state that young learners are developing quickly as individuals, they learn in a variety of ways, they try to make sense of situation by making use non-verbal clues, they talk in their mother tongue about what they understand and do, they can generally imitate the sounds they hear, quite accurately and copy the way adult speak, and they love to play and use their imagination.
In addition, TPR and young learners are historically related. Asher (as cited in Brown, 2001) developed Total physical response underlying the principles of child language acquisition. He notes that children in learning their first language appear to do a lot of listening before they speak, and that their listening is accompanied by physical responses (reaching, grabbing, moving, looking, and etc.). That is why Total Physical Response activities give children opportunity to have physical activity in their lessons.
In summary, the way children learn depend on their developments stage. As they have very short attention and concentration span their activities should include movement and involve the senses.
Children are unique and think differently than adult. They have special characteristics in the way of learning and according to child psychology, children`s language ability is developed through practical application. Children are interested to learn by doing or actively involved in the learning process which requires joyful activities and nice environment. TPR activities allow children have motor activities in their lessons and allows silent period before children start speaking.
2. Pedagogical implications teaching English to primary school children using TPR
In this chapter we will get familiar with the main principles of Total Physical Response and peculiarities of teacher’s and learner’s role in learning and teaching process.
2.1 The Principles of Total Physical Response
Before applying the TPR method for teaching a foreign language, in this case, it is English, a teacher should understand its principles well so he will be able to use it properly in the teaching learning process. Asher (1984), as the developer of TPR, elaborates the principles of this method, they are: second language learning is parallel to first language learning and should reflect the same naturalistic process; listening should develop before speaking; children respond physically to spoken language, and adult learners learn better if they do that too; once listening comprehension has been developed, speech develops naturally and effortlessly out of it; delaying speech reduces stress (Asher, 1984).
Moreover, Larsen and Freeman (2000: 114) propose several principles in teaching learning process by using TPR upon which the teacher’s behaviours is based. The principles of TPR are as follows: meaning in the target language can often be conveyed through action; memory is activated through learners' response; the target language should be presented in chunks, not just word by word; the students' understanding of the target language should be developed before speaking; students can initially learn one part of the language rapidly by moving their bodies; the imperative is powerful linguistic device through which the teacher can direct student behaviour; students can learn through observing actions as well as by performing the action themselves; feeling of success and low anxiety facilitate learning; students should not be made to memorize fixed routines; correction should be carried out in an unobtrusive manner; students must not develop flexibility in understanding a novel combination of target language chunks; they need to understand more than the exact sentences used in training; language learning is more effective when it is fun; spoken language should be emphasized over written language; students will begin to speak when they are ready; students are expected to make errors when they first begin speaking; work on the fine details of the language should be postponed until students have become somewhat proficient.
More or less, Dordjowidjojo (2006) after his research defines three principles which are very analogous to Asher’s ideas. He thinks that: skills can be improved by the use of kinaesthetic sensory system; humans, especially children, acquire their language through activities; comprehension precedes production". These three principles are manifested in the classroom practice. Students are allowed to spend as much time as they want to comprehend before they are to produce any sentence. To achieve this goal, physical movements are mandatory.
Frost (2007) also believes in language-body conversation and TPR method. His ideas do not really differ from other researches. Frost sais that parents have language-body conversations with their children, the parent instructs and the child physically responds to this. These conversations continue for many months before the child actually starts to speak itself. Even though it can`t speak during this time, the child is taking in all of the language; the sounds and the patterns. Eventually when it has decoded enough, the child reproduces the language quite spontaneously. TPR attempts to mirror this effect in the language classroom.
Explanations and examples provide us a general idea of the principle of TPR--to imitate the process of infants` first language acquisition i.e. understanding of the target language should be developed before speaking and students will start to speak when they are ready. There is a process which incorporated TPR in the second language learning classroom. Moreover, spoken language should be emphasized over written and presented in chunks, either students should be allowed to make mistakes at the beginning and should not be made to memorize fixed routines. Physical movements are necessary in teaching process in order to achieve teaching goals.
2. 2 Teacher’s and learners roles
Concerning children’s characteristics, a teacher needs to make teaching be more interesting and motivate children to learn. The primary school students still need a specific guide from teacher and people around them in order to follow the lesson well. Students can learn English in an interesting way and learn it through the Total Physical Response method. Therefore we are going to discuss what are teachers and learners roles in order to succeed good teaching results. However, the learners and the teacher play different roles.
Learners in TPR have the primary roles of listeners and performers. They listen attentively and respond physically to commands given by the teacher. Learners are also expected to recognize and respond to novel combinations of previously taught items. They are requires to produce novel combinations of their own. Learners monitor and evaluate their own progress. They are encouraged to speak when they feel ready to speak-that is, when a sufficient basis in the language has been internalized (Richard and Rodgers 2001: 76).
According to Larsen and Freeman (2000), the students are imitators of the teacher’s nonverbal model. There will be a role reversal with individual students directing the teacher and the other students. In TPR, learners monitor and evaluate their own progress. They are encouraged to speak when they feel ready to speak that is when a sufficient basis in the language has been internalized. In the first stage of TPR training, learners should mainly listen to teacher’s commands in silence and watch him or her performing the action. In the next stage pupils respond to the commands with physical action, still keeping in silence, which builds up learner’s confidence for later correct pronunciation. At first they respond to commands as a group, later individually. When students become familiar with commands and feel ready to talk, they can overtake the teacher’s role and instruct other students with their own commands. However, this stage usually comes a bit later as learner’s confidence in understanding develops through the silent period.
In the teaching learning process using TPR method, teacher plays an active and direct role. According to Larsen and Freeman (2000: 116) «teacher is the director of all students' behaviours». Asher (1977) as quoted by Richard and Rodgers (2001: 76) states that «The teacher plays an active and direct role in Total Physical Response». It means that teacher is the one who decides what to teach, who models and presents the new material, and who selects supporting materials for classroom use. Teacher is encouraged to be well prepared and well organized so that the lesson flows smoothly and predictable.
Teacher is the important factor in teaching and learning process. He has a great responsibility to transfer his knowledge and skill to the students, to guide them in developing their mind, and to educate them on how to absorb, to analyze, and to expand their individual knowledge and skills.
Slattrey (2002) extinguishes some characteristics of the elementary school English teacher. They are: encourage students to read in English (stories, comics, reading games); encourage them to work meaning out for themselves; explain thing about language; use a wider range of language input as their model for language use; encourage creative writing and help them to experiment with the language. According to the statements above, it is important for the primary school English teacher to be more creative in teaching, for example by using some interesting media and method. Therefore, the students will enjoy the lesson more.
To sum everything up, language teachers has an active role in this method. He decides what to teach, which materials to use and how they are to be presented. Learners have the roles of listeners and performers. First, they must listen to what the teacher says. Then, they are expected to respond physically to those commands given by the teacher. Teacher must allow period of silence until confidence of understanding is reached and also be tolerant towards the mistakes students make.
3. Complexion and techniques of TPR classroom activities
This chapter will present what advantageous teaching techniques and materials teachers use in order to achieve the best results, how differs teaching procedures and what are advantages and disadvantages of Total Physical response.
3. 1 TPR teaching materials and Activities
TPR can be used to practice and teach various things. It is well suited to teaching classroom language and other vocabulary connected with actions. According to Richard and Rodgers (2001) there are some activities which are done by the teacher and students in teaching learning process, as follows: Imperative drill, Conversational dialogue, Role play, Reading and Writing. Imperative drills are the major classroom activity in Total Physical Response. They are typically used to elicit physical actions and activity on the part of the learners. In this sense, students play main roles as a listener and a performer. They listen attentively and respond physically to commands by the teacher. Students need to respond both individually and collectively. Conversational dialogues should be delayed until after about 120 hours of instruction and students are encouraged to speak when they feel ready to speak. However role plays centre on everyday situations, such as at the restaurant, supermarket, kitchen, hotel, or gas station. In role plays, the teacher (instructor) will be a director of a stage play and the students are the actors/actress. The teacher decides what will be learned, who will be role and show the material of learning. Reading and writing activities are used to add students' vocabulary and to train students arranging the sentence based on tenses, e.c. each time the teacher writes a command, she acts it out. The students copy the sentences from the blackboard/whiteboard into the notebooks (Richards, Rodgers, 2001).
For beginners no textbooks are needed but the teacher’s voice, actions, TPR songs and gestures become the most important tools. Later the teacher may use common classroom objects such as books, pens, radio, furniture that students can not only observe but also touch, use or point to. Later in the course, the teacher will need additional supporting materials including pictures, realia, word cards, and real objects such as toys, goods, clothes or Asher’s TPR student kits. Most of these materials can teachers make themselves or collect them from pet shops, home or magazines. The TPR student kits can be used effectively as they concentrate on specific situations such as home, school, supermarket, park or beach. If the teacher is artistic, the TPR kits can be replaced for example by huge paintings of different rooms in different corners of the classroom or by posters of similar use. Students may use these kits, paintings or posters to construct scenes (Richards, Rodgers, 2001).
It can be concluded that there are four types of TPR activities: Imperative drill, Conversational dialogue, Role play, Reading and Writing. For absolute beginners, lessons may not require the use of materials, since the teacher’s voice, actions and gestures may be a sufficient basis for classroom activities. Later, the teacher may use common classroom objects, such as books, pens, cups, furniture. As the course develops, the teacher will need to make or collect supporting materials to support teaching points. These may include pictures, realia, slides, and word charts.
3. 2 Procedures of Teaching
Asher (in Richard and Rodgers, 2001: 77−78) provides a lesson-by lesson account of a course taught according to TPR principles. It is almost similar to the principles of TPR, as follows: the teacher says the command and he himself performs the action then the teacher says the command and both the teacher and the students perform the action and later on, the teacher says the command but only students perform the action. The four steps in this course are as follows: First is review. This is a warming-up step. The purpose is to check student’s understanding about the previous lesson and to warm-up the students' readiness in new material before they really enter the new material. Next is New Command. Here, the teacher introduces some new vocabularies related to the theme and based on the school’s curriculum, such as: Take a cup. Pour the hot water on a cup Wash your hands. Hold the phone holder. Give me a glass of water. Don’t walk on the floor! Then, the teacher asks simple question which the students can answer with a gesture, such as pointing to something or someone. Second is role reversal. Students readily volunteer to utter commands that manipulate the behaviour of the instructor and other students. Third is reading and writing. The teacher writes on the whiteboard each new vocabulary item and a sentence to illustrate the item. Then, she reads each item and acts out the sentence. The students listen as she reads the material. Some copy the information in their notebook. (Richard and Rodgers, 2001: 77−78).
There are lots of different teaching techniques. Typically, the initial TPR lessons are commands involving the whole body — stand up, sit down, turn around, walk, stop. Those actions are demonstrated by the teacher, who then invites students to participate with her as she continues to say the words. Fairly soon, the teacher quietly stops demonstrating, and the students realize that they somehow just know what to do in response to the words. There is no translation. There is no such thing as cheating — you’re encouraged to look at what others are doing if you’re not sure what to do. You’re also encouraged to trust your body, because sometimes it knows what to do before your brain does (Diaz, 2005).
Wang, Dahlberg, Chiu, Fang and Hwang (2008) propose such teaching sequence: Firstly teacher presents series orally, accompanying words with pantomime, props. Secondly — repeats series orally and class joins with pantomime, props. Thirdly — class pantomimes the series as teacher repeats orally but does not model actions. If students do not perform the pantomime on their own teacher models the action again. Fourthly — teacher makes a mistake in the sequence, perhaps leaving something out to see if students catch it and correct the teacher. Then individual volunteers pantomime the series as teacher repeats orally, without modeling. Do until everyone has had a chance to go solo and finally, class imitates series orally as well as physically, first together and then as individual volunteers lading the class.
According to Frost (2007) the teacher plays the role of parent in the classroom. She can start by saying a word ('jump') or a phrase ('look at the board') and demonstrating an action. The teacher then says the command and the students all do the action; After repeating a few times it is possible to extend this by asking the students to repeat the word as they do the action; When they feel confident with the word or phrase teacher can then ask the students to direct each other or the whole class.
TPR can be used to teach and practice many things. Children can learn vocabulary which is connected with actions (smile, chop, headache, wriggle), tenses past/present/future and continuous aspects (Every morning I clean my teeth, I make my bed, I eat breakfast), Classroom language (Open your books), Imperatives/Instructions (Stand up, close your eyes), Story- telling (Frost, 2007).
Using TPR, firstly the students could do the actions and then drill (chorally and individually). Then teacher gives them an opportunity to practice making the sounds. They are then ready to give commands to each other. There are lots of games for children like Simon Says, when teacher gives a command and students should only do it if teacher says «Simon says…» at the start. Teacher might say, «Simon says, 'slice some bread'» or «Simon says, 'chop and onion'» and the students must do the action. However if teacher says, «Whisk an egg» the students shouldn’t do this. If anyone does the action that Simon doesn’t say then they are out and have to watch for the mistakes of the other students. (Frost and Council)
The best way to start the lesson according to Garcia (2001) is to keep the below mentioned instructions which help pupils not only to remember new vocabulary but also to pre-teach the new set which Asher (in Garcia, 2001) claims to be 12−16 new lexical items in one lesson. It is recommended to let students sit in a semi circle or divide them into two groups facing each other, so there will be ample space for action in the middle. In front of the students there should be placed three chairs. One chair for the teacher to perform the action, and two chairs for the students who are asked to accompany the teacher. The teacher gives a command and performs it. Then the teacher repeats the command again and performs it in company of two volunteer students. Afterwards teacher repeats the command for the third time and only the volunteer students perform it. The teacher asks one of the volunteer student to perform the command and involves observing students by giving them commands. Students give commands to one another and perform each one. The teacher calls for new volunteers to join him or her and the whole process is repeated again and some new elements can be presented.
Richard and Rodgers (2001) think that still and all the activities should be simple enough for the children to understand what is expected of them. The task should be within their abilities: it needs to be achieval but at the same time sufficiently stimulating for them to feel satisfied with their work. The activities should be largely orally based — indeed, with very young children listening activities will take up a large proportion of class time. Written activities should be used sparingly with younger children (Phillips, 2003.)
In summary, there are lots of different ways and techniques of using TPR in classroom activities, games, songs, stories and etc. However the procedures teaching with TPR are very common: The teacher says the command and he himself performs the action then teacher says the command and both the teacher and the students, then perform the action. After that teacher says the command but only students perform the action. And finally the teacher tells one student at a time to do commands.
3. 3 Advantages of TPR method
TPR is very effective teaching method because can be adapted for all kinds of teaching situations, teacher just needs to use his/her imagination. Using TPR it is a lot of fun. Students enjoy it and it can be a real stirrer in the class. It lifts the pace and the mood. This method is very memorable. It really helps students to remember phrases or words. TPR can be used in large or small classes. It doesn’t really matter how many students teacher has as long as teacher is prepared to take the lead, the students will follow. The physical actions get across the meaning effectively so that all the students are able to understand and use the target language. It doesn’t require a lot of preparation or materials. As long as teacher is clear what he/she want to practice (a rehearsal beforehand can help), it won’t take a lot of time to get ready. TPR is very effective with teenagers and young learners as it involves both left and right-brained learning (Frost, 2007)
According to Diaz (2005) using TPR Classes are active — teacher is not in his/her seat all period. The focus for the first weeks is on listening and moving in response to what the teacher says. There is heavy emphasis on listening comprehension, because the larger your listening comprehension vocabulary is, the larger your speaking vocabulary will become. The environment is one in which things happen and are talked about. It is also an environment which is purposely kept very free of stress, because we know that language is not acquired under stressful circumstances. Lots of language is learned in happy circumstances, especially while you’re having fun. TPR instruction is highly creative, for both the teacher and the students. The teacher must design activities that the learning brain perceives as real and interesting. Within these real experiences, students are free to generate all kinds of expressions using the language they’re studying, and to lead instruction in unique directions. Often students don’t realize how much they are learning while they are engaged in a TPR activity. They think they’re just having fun creating all kinds of new utterances and situations in the active environment in the room.
However Frost (2007) sees some minor disadvantages using this method. Students who are not used to such things might find it embarrassing. It is only really suitable for beginner levels. I is not possible to teach everything with TPR and if used a lot it would become repetitive. On the other hand teachers can use it successfully with Intermediate and Advanced levels. They just need to adapt the language accordingly. Using TPR can be a successful and fun way of changing the dynamics and pace of a lesson used in conjunction with other methods and techniques.
Summarizing everything up as a resultant there are lots of advantages using TPR method. TPR activities are enjoyable, memorable and fun. This method is very effective and does not require a lot of preparation and materials. However this method can be embarrassing for some students and if used a lot it would become repetitive. Thus, TPR activities are interesting, challenging and motivating, and almost all the students enjoy them. The use of TPR shows us fun way of teaching and learning English.
II. THE PECULIARITIES OF TPR METHOD APPLYING IT TO YOUNG LEARNERS EMPIRICAL RESEARCH
1. Analysis of methodology
The purpose of the research. This empiric research is to determine the peculiarities of TPR method applying it to young learners.
Exploratories. 5 english teachers.
Teacher 1 is a head teacher having English philology bachelor degree, qualification of pedagogue, 10 years experience and working with children in Klaipлdas' comprehensive school.
Teacher 2 graduated College and has 2 years experience working in Kretingas' gymnasium.
Teacher 3 graduated «College of Business Management and Languages» the speciality of English business language, currently is studying primary education and 2 years working as vicarious teacher in Klaipeda’s comprehensive school".
Teacher 4 graduated Klaipeda State College, the speciality of French-English pedagogy, currently is studying in University the speciality of English Philology and working in Kretinga’s primary school".
Teacher 5 has master degree of English philology, qualification of English pedagogue and 4 years experience working in Vilnius Gymnasium.
The research consist of four stages:
1. Stage. Analysis of the scientific literature. (February, 2011 — April, 2011). In this stage the theme was formulated. The purpose and the tasks of the research were set out and methods applied. The scientific literature was used to analyse the purpose of the research.
2. Stage. Preparation of the research. (May, 2011)
In this stage, the questions for an interview were prepared for English teacher, to find out their opinion about peculiarities of TPR method teaching young learners. Interview questions were opened questions for the teachers.
3. Stage. The beginning of the research. (May, 2011 — June, 2011)
During this period 4 participants were visited at their work place — secondary school and 1- gave an interview via phone.
At this stage 5 teachers were interviewed.
4. Stage. Interview with teachers.
In this stage the teachers had to answer the given questions. Before being interviewed the teachers were introduced to the aim and tasks of the research.
5. Stage. Analysis of the results of the research.(June, 2011)
In this stage of the research was analysed received information of the research, considered and compared with the results of the research.
6. Stage. The end of work.(June, 2011)
In this stage the conclusions of the paper were formulated.
The Ethic of the Research
During the research the rules of the ethics such respect for personal dignity, kindness, justice and the right to get correct and clear information were adhered to. Anonymity was guaranteed to each single respondent.
Respondents were not forced to answer any questions if they don’t want to. The person was able to decide if he wanted to participate in the research. Names, surnames and addresses were not requested.
Results were confined only to the knowledges of the researcher.
Participants were introduced to the aims, tasks and benefits.
Respondents got all facts about information gathering ways and what they are and are not able to do during the research.
The method of interview was chosen because of it’s advantages:
· possibility to gather numerous amount of information;
· objectivity of gathered information;
· reliability of gathered information
ANALYSIS OF THE RESEARCH
In this chapter we would like to analyze the data gathered from the interview.
During this process five teachers were interviewed. The task of the research was to ascertain the peculiarities of Total Physical Response method teaching young learners.
4. How English teaching and learning differs, working with 2−3 grade pupils and 4 grade pupils, integrating TPR method into lessons?
1. All activities, working with 2−3 grade pupils are based on games and other active tasks because children learn through experience. However the older children should be allowed to be self-sufficient, think of their own, be independent, get more creative tasks, learn more words and take the lead.
All five respondents agree that young learners, children 7−11 years old are very active and need activities where they can pour the energy out. The best resort is games. However activities differ a little bit according to experience of children cognitive process. Older children are more mature. Some activities might be too childish for them. They need less activities and get more thinking tasks. 2−3 grade pupils are still little children. They need more activities involving games, songs, role plays, dances. For this reason teacher needs to be prepared very well and consider the complexity of materials and tasks working with different age gropes.
2. Teaching children depends on the children’s cognitive process. Tasks for 2−3 classes must be easier than for classes 4. Teacher also needs to consider complexity and amount of words giving tasks to children. However all pupils needs to be active and get as many visual material as possible to make learning effective
3. Little children are very susceptible in learning if the lessons are interesting through different games. Older ones, who are 10−11years old think that some activities might be too childish. So teacher must be very creative and prepared for the lessons very well. Little ones should have more task than the older children, because 2−3 grade pupils can concentrate on one thing not longer than 10 minutes therefore bigger children get less tasks as they are more mature.
4. Children love playing games and moving around instead of sitting in their desks not depending of their age. So teachers role doe not differ considering the fact that everybody, even adults love to do everything what is fun
5. Children cognitive development from the age of 7 and up to 11 does not really differ, so all of them need more creative and tasks and games where they could gush the energy and learn at the same time. 2−3 grade pupils learn through games, songs and other active activities. Older children are little more serious and get tasks for thinking and creating things, ex. dialogues, role-play.
6. How TPR method stimulates children’s motivation and interest to learn English language?
1. Interesting and memorable
The results showed that this method motivates to learn English because it is interesting, creative, memorable and fun, without lots of thinking and much writing
2. Creative and memorable
3. Pupils learn through senses and experience. It is always interesting when you can participate and experience things on your own
4. Children like and need to be active instead of sitting in their desks.
5. Interesting fun activities which do not require logical thinking, writing and learning by heart.
7. What is your opinion about the statement «second language learning is parallel to first language learning and should reflect the same naturalistic process; listening should develop before speaking; children respond physically to spoken language, once listening comprehension has been developed, speech develops naturally and effortlessly out of it; delaying speech reduces stress; teachers should be very tolerant towards pupils mistakes and do not force them to speak until they are ready second language «
Do you go by these principles and why?
1.I agree with a statement and adopt the principles partially. I think children must be forced to respond and speak.
Four respondents partially agree with a statement. However they do not go by these principles. Most of the teachers have strong opinion that children must be forced to speak and respond. They also say that correction of mistakes is necessary. Only 1 teacher totally agrees with a statement and goes by it’s principles.
2. I agree with a statement but do not go by these principles because of lack of the time.
3.I agree with a statement and go by these principles. In my opinion, the good teaching results will not be reached if we do it forcibly.
4.I agree with a statement. However mistakes should be tolerantly corrected and children should be encouraged to speak.
5.I agree with a statement but do not go by it. Correction of the mistakes is a must. Children must be encouraged to talk.
8. Will teaching English language through TPR will be effective if:
1. spoken language will be emphasized over written language;
2. language will be taught in chunks;
3. children will not be forced to memorize;
1. Children should equally learn writing, speaking, reading and listening and it should be taught in chunks. However nowadays we should force children to learn.
Teachers thoroughly agree with these teaching principles. However the most of them think that nowadays children must be forced to memorize the material they learn.1 respondent think that spoken language should not be emphasized over written language. She states that reading, speaking, writing and listening must be taught equally.
2. I agree with these principles but I think children need to be forced to memorize.
3.I agree with all principles
4. I agree with these principles but I think children need to be forced to memorize.
5. I agree with these principles but I think children need to be encouraged or forced to memorize.
9. What is yours and your pupils roles integrating TPR method into the lesson?
1.I am not the leader in the class. Children must participate. I give the instructions until children get involved in activities.
More or less the results show that the teacher is the leader in the classroom, who presents new material, shows an example and involves children in activities. Firstly all children do activity chorally with a teacher then they are groped or work as a whole class. Only 1 teacher told that she is involved in all the process playing together with children and not only giving directions.
2. My job is to be well prepared so the lesson would flow smoothly and children would willingly perform all the tasks. After presenting new words, we repeat chorally, and work as a whole class or in small gropes creating dialogues, role-pays and playing games.
3. After presenting new material we repeat it chorally then I show an example and then I call a volunteer to demonstrate how the task should be done. I do it in order so the other students would be encouraged to participate. I do all tasks with my students participating together in all activities.
4.I show the example, how the task should be done and call volunteer one by one or in gropes to demonstrate,
play or act. I try to speak less encouraging pupils to speak on their own. I observe them, correct their mistakes and try to encourage them all the time.
5.I creatively prepare the tasks for the lesson, show the example for the pupils. We do the first task together as a whole class and when we feel confident we play games.
11. What materials do you usually use teaching children through TPR?
1. Objects in the classroom, mimes, body movements.
Materials, which teachers use in classroom activities are usually objects in the classroom, body movements and all visual and sound materials like video, pictures, drawings.
2. Visual and sound materials which could be used for games, role-plays, songs dialogues and dances.
3. Objects in the classroom, mimes, body movements.
4. Objects in the classroom, drawings, pictures.
5. All visual and sound materials which allow children to move.
12. What are disadvantage of TPR?
1. It is hard working with big classes. 4th grade pupils reluctantly do acting.
The disadvantages teachers exclude are very different:
· requires lots of preparation
· may be childish for older children
· not appropriate for big classes
· is very limited as only vocabulary, some nouns and verbs can be learnt.
2. This method requires lots of preparation and hard work.
3.I is very limited because through this method only some verbs and nouns can be taught.
4. This method is not appropriate for older children.
5. TPR teaches only vocabulary.
In summary, the results from the tablet indicates that teachers know child`s psichology and their limitation. TPR is a good way teacing children language as in this age they are very active and this method is interesting and fun.
Though the mosto of the teachers agree with the main TPR idea. However most of them do not go by principles of TPR. They prefere old teaching methods which require to force children to memorize, to speak and constantly correct their mistakes.
Integrating TPR to classroom activities teacher is the one who organizes the whole process, but not all of them are relly involved in activities. The materials used in schools are: different visual and sound materials, class objects, body gestures and mimes. Some teachers think that this method requires lots of preparation, is very limited, not appropriate for big classes and might be childish for older children.ПоказатьСвернуть