Comparison of Total Physical Response Approach to Traditional Teaching Model

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Carrie Collins
Donnie Harris
Rosemary Sullivan
TESL 5230 – SLA
October 14, 2010
Case Study Outline

Case Study Outline
1. Introduction
Does TOTAL PHYSICAL RESPONSE (TPR) enhance student learning and growth in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) when used with Middle School students of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) when teaching map skills? (Per Grade Level Expectation SS5 1.4, 1.5 a. Locate states of the United States) Purpose of Study

• In studying SLA we explored the benefits of various approaches that have been used over the years to teach a second language. For many years schools relied on a Traditional Approach when teaching almost every subject including a second language. By Traditional Approach we mean that the teacher lectures and shows new topics while the students sit quietly in their seats listening, repeating, memorizing, doing assignments, taking tests, and interacting very little with each other or the teacher. ( • One of the newer approaches, TOTAL PHYSICAL RESPONSE, introduced by James Asher in 1977, is based on the observations of children learning their first language. This involves use of the five senses along with body movements in activities designed to activate right-brain function. Asher believed that use of the right-brain, which includes much listening and acting, enables the needed processing of language in the left-brain. TPR also emphasizes fun, along with a more relaxed, non-threatening atmosphere in the classroom. (Brown, 2007)

Past Research on Topic
• Asher, J. (2010). A new note about tpr. Proceedings of Project Coach, • Brown, H. D. (2007). Principals of language learning and teaching: fifth edition. White Plains, NY: Pearson Education. • Krashen, S. (1998). Tpr: still a very good idea [Web log message]. Retrieved from • Mohammed, R. (2009, July 28). Total physical response [Web log message]. Retrieved from • Renshaw, J. D. (2007). Total physical response. Retrieved from • Shearon, B. (2004). James asher’s total physical response: a short introduction. • Tomlinson, B. & Masuhara, H. (2009, July). Playing to learn: a review of physical games in second language acquisition. Simulation & Gaming. 40(5), Retrieved from • Traditional Education (n. d.). Retrieved from

• Our subjects were three sixth grade girls from the International Welcome School (IWS). They were recommended highly by their teacher, LaShonda Terry, because of their similar educational background experience, English proficiency and academic levels. • According to their composite scores on the MAC II English proficiency screening test, given a year ago, all three placed at the basic beginner level. • Their Student Academic Survey (SAS) indicated that all the girls have previously received formal education. • On their most recent screening assessment for English proficiency, the WIDA ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT), all three students scored at the mid to high range of level two. Other factors these three students have in common are: • Country of origin is Iraq;

• Native language is Arabic;
• All are eleven years of age;
• All have been in the USA for less than two years; • They share the same culture and religion;
• None of the three wear the traditional head covering worn by other Muslim females; • All girls have siblings attending the IWS and/or the Newcomers’ Program at Roosevelt High School....
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