CI & TPRS

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Re: CI & TPRS

Postby Dial » 11 Jun 2012, 11:40

I’ve just got a new student who’s an adult beginner from Burma. I thought he might be a good person to try and teach via TPRS methods.

Any suggestions of how to begin/proceed, and what to aim for over the next few months as I introduce myself and the student to TPRS would be appreciated.

I know some of you here have been working with the Slavic series. Would that be a good resource for my situation, do you think?

And has anyone tried this set of Webinairs from Chalkboard? I'm considering their 'Steps to Strides' series down the page a little.

http://www.chalkboard-productions.com/webinars.html

Thanks.
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Re: CI & TPRS

Postby ironlady » 12 Jun 2012, 03:08

The main challenge will be how you intend to establish meaning. Does he speak any other languages you speak?
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Re: CI & TPRS

Postby Dial » 12 Jun 2012, 16:23

Thanks for the reply ironlady.

In answer to your question, we share nothing more than a small amount of English. Establishing meaning will be via the usual methods of an English teacher confronted with class that is speaking a strange language: gesture, realia, pictures, role-plays and so on.

The following is my tentative plan of action. If you have any comment or addition to make, please don't hesitate.

I’m going to begin by establishing the 2/3 structures I wish to teach. I will then find some chunks of language that together we can personalize to his life. These chunks will contain the target structures and practice will involve circling using TPRS style questions.

Possible structures will be language related to his family, why he left Burma, what he likes to do, his friends, the weather, shopping for essentials, and so forth. I have a picture-based tool to help him identify what he considers important/would like to learn.

I will be trying to focus on speaking slowly as well as employing simple, yet interesting, ways of going over the structures again and again.

At this stage there will be no story-telling involved. With time, we will string a story together and maybe I will write him a story for practice.

It's my first attempt at TPRS so it will very much be a work-in-progress.
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Re: CI & TPRS

Postby mojoejoe » 18 Feb 2013, 13:41

I have a question how does the most modern incarnation of TPRS compare to higher end TPR lessons?

I found this quote from Asher regarding TPR after I was talking to a TPRS teacher about cutting down the TPR in exchange for more story time.

A high school teacher of Spanish asked me recently, "I was at a TPR Storytelling workshop and the presenter advised us to jump right into storytelling without TPR. I was surprised. What do you think?"

There is no research that I am aware of supporting storytelling without at least three weeks of student preparation with classical TPR. After that, make a transition into storytelling but continue to use TPR for new vocabulary and grammar. This strategy applies to students of all ages and all languages.


I just finished Ashers book and the studies shown comparing it to audio lingual lessons were impressive. I have also looked at a lot of the TPRS studies which normally show pretty decent gains in speech but not that large of gains in reading, listening, and writing compared to communicative approaches.
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Re: CI & TPRS

Postby ironlady » 18 Feb 2013, 21:49

:loco: What "research" are you pointing to "proving" that three weeks of TPR is needed before starting storytelling??

There's no reason to require TPR before starting TPRS if you don't want to. TPR is useful to establish physical-movement words (though I personally believe there are limits to this as well, for the same reasons that the new "almost-kinda-comprehensible input" movement is not succeeding as well as TPRS: meaning is never established beyond a doubt because of the insistence that the native language is somehow "polluting" to the experience). But those words are easily established by simply telling students what they mean and then using them.

TPRS started as a desire to take TPR beyond the realm of commands. Yes, Asher claims you can teach the whole language through TPR, and I'm sure you can -- theoretically. I work with real teachers, though. The average teacher doesn't have the ability to do that beyond the very basics (stand up, sit down, touch your nose, whatever). Commands are important but they are not really the highest-frequency language in terms of what is on most curricula in a school course, and that also becomes an issue.

I start beginners all the time using nothing more than TPRS (and TPRS over Skype to boot, which limits some things). I make sure that the first items I teach are what I call the Super Seven: words that allow students to express and understand, although in a very basic and generic way, the concepts of possession, existence, location, volition, preference/affection, and motion. With those words, you can make some kickass stories, or talk about things that students really want to talk about. (Not all TPRS is stories about blue cats.) Then you go on to expand to the most specific vocabulary.

TPR is useful in a classroom situation because TPRS requires a lot of attention. It requires far more attention on the part of the student than traditional book exercises. They are constantly listening actively and answering and responding in TPRS. So using TPR to continue input while not requiring such close attention and oral responses is a good way to give a "brain break".

Associating gestures with new vocabulary items is very powerful, and is used by many (but not all) TPRS teachers, but that is not really TPR in the sense of Asher's stuff.
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Re: CI & TPRS

Postby mojoejoe » 19 Feb 2013, 01:45

This is one of the main reason I was bringing up the question. I am going over a lot of the TPR stuff off TPR-world and trying to compare it too what I have been reading about TPRS. The research I think he is referring too that done by Todd Mckay. He create another version of TPRS that does not seem to have much relations to Blaines and leans a lot more to traditional TPR roots.

The three weeks is something Asher is referring to. The research I am referring too is mostly stuff I have seen on fluency fast and other tprs sites and journals. Its hard to compare the two groups though since Asher normally is putting tpr up against ALM while TPRS is normally run up against as assortment of communicative approaches. There are some which pull out different techniques and compare them but these normally seem to be done in a very raw manner. Comparing Ashers translation vs tpr studies seem like a poor comparison with PQA translation methods with personalization and context.
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