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Stella Hadjistassou

on 22 October 2013

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March 1, 2013
Total Physical Response
Unlike the audiolingual method and other approaches that we have covered so far, Total Physical Response (TPR) was developed by James Asher, a prominent psychology professor at San Jose State University
Total Physical response was developed
based on the research findings in
laboratory studies;

The approach was applied in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, German, French,
Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Hebrew, and even sign language
Drawing on some of the theoretical pillars of developmental psychology, learning theory humanistic pedagogy, and language teaching procedures, Asher strove to construct an approach that would take into account emotional factors, first language acquisition, and memory connections;

Language teaching procedures adhered to Harold and Dorothy Palmer's (1925) procedures, as described in "English through actions," where the focus was placed on oral drills and exercises in the classroom
LIN 362: Teaching Methodology I
Instructor: Dr. Stella K. Hadjistassou

For instance, Total Physical Response has been linked to
"trace theory"
which asserts that

"the more often or the more intensively a
memory connection
is traced, the stronger the memory association will be and the more likely it will be recalled. Retracing can be done
verbally (e.g., by rote repetition
) and/or in association with motor activity. Combined tracing activities, such as
verbal rehearsal
accompanied by motor activity, hence increase the probability of successful recall"
("Total Physical Response")
The developmental processes involved in L2 learning: L2 is similar to L2 learning. As he claims "speech directed to young children consists primarily of commands, which children respond to physically before they begin to produce verbal responses. Asher feels that adults should recapitulate the processes by which children acquire the native language" (Richards & Rodgers, 2001, p. 73)
From a
humanistic psychology
perspective, Asher was puzzled about the role of affective factors in L2 learning;

Asher went even a step further to propose
gamelike movements
that could be implemented to reduce students'
level of stress
and promote a positive mood which facilitates learning
In Asher's perspective, "most of the grammatical structure of the target language and hundreds of vocabulary items can be learned from the skillful use of the imperative p.73);
Total Physical Response is based on behaviorism (a stimulus-response approach to L2 theory)
What actually facilitates or inhibits L2 learning?
1. Asher builds on 3 instrumental areas of L2 learning:
"1. There exists a specific innate bio-program for language learning, which defines an optimal path for first and second language development;
2. Brain lateralization defines different learning functions in the left - and right-brain hemispheres;
3. Stress (an affective filter) intervenes between the act of learning and what is to be learned; the lower the stress, the greater the learning (Richards & Rodgers, 2001, p. 74)
The bio-program???
Total Physical Response can be perceived as a "natural method" in the sense that it perceives L1 and L2 development as similar processes:

"1. Children develop
listening competence
before they develop the ability to speak. At the early stages of first language acquisition, they can understand complex utterances that they cannot spontaneously produce of imitate.
2. Children's
ability in listening comprehension
is acquired because children are required to respond physically to spoken language in the form of parental commands.
3. Once a foundation in listening comprehension has been established,
speech evolves naturally and effortlessly
out of it" (Richards & Rodgers, 2001, p. 74).
Similar to L1, L2 should be perceived as process in which learners internalize a "cognitive map" of L2 through various listening activities;
Listening should take place along with physical movement.

As Asher (1977) postulates,

A reasonable hypothesis is that the brain and nervous system are biologically programmed to acquire language... in a
particular sequence
and in a particular mode. The sequence is listening before speaking and the mode is synchronize language with the individual's body" (p.4)
Brain lateralization
Unlike most theories, which place emphasis on the role of the left hemisphere in L2 learning, Asher places emphasis on the right hemisphere since as he asserts that "a child language learner acquires language through
motor movement - a right hemisphere
activity... Similarly, the adult should proceed to language mastery through right hemisphere motor activities, while the left hemisphere watches and learns" (Richards & Rodgers, 2001, p. 75)
Reduction of Stress
Learning a second/foreign language should be without any stress...

Think of the most pleasurable moments of your life and L1 development - similar pleasurable moments should also form an integral part of L2 learning;

Focus on movement - not on stressful experiences
Initial attention is placed to meaning;
Grammar is taught inductively;
Grammatical features and vocabulary items are selected according the situation they can be used in the classroom;

Introduce 12 to 36 lexical items;
If something is not acquired fast, then the learners are not ready for it...
conversational dialogues are introduced much more later in learning a second language ;
The Silent Way!
Learning Dari??
The Silent Way was developed by Caleb Gattegno, an Egyptian intellectual
Gattegno believed that learning can be facilitated by encouraging second language learners to speak as much as possible, while instructors should be silent
Gattegno based his work on the following principles:

"1. Learning is facilitated if the learner discovers or creates rather than remembers and repeats what is to be learned.
2. Learning is facilitated by accompanying (mediating) physical objects.
3. Learning is facilitated by problem solving involving material to be learned" (Richards & Rodgers, 2001, p. 81)
The silent way is even used today in various countries, such as Japan, to teach ESL
Group Work:

Group A: What is the theoretical framework upon which Gattegno built his approach? Give a specific example on how this theoretical framework has been applied to develop the approach...

Group B: What role do pronunciation and grammar instruction play in this approach? Please give specific examples.

Group C: What is the role of fidels, colored cuisenaire rods in teaching? Please give specific examples and illustrations?

Group D: Deliver a brief lesson plan using this approach...
Minimal pairs:
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