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TPR教学法在乡镇小学英语课堂的作用和研究
来源:一诺写作论文网网址:http://www.ynxzlw.icoc.cc

On the Application of TPR Teaching Method in English Classroom of Rural Primary School

Abstract Total Physical Response (TPR) is a language teaching method that built around the coordination of speech and action. Emphasizes the interaction of body so as to keep class vivid, relaxed and delighted, TPR attempts to teach language by means of physical activities. Wildly considered as an effective and helpful method being used in primary school, TPR can be applied to reduce children’s stress, arouse students’ interests of learning and develop their intelligence in the process of English studying. It is proved efficient and appropriate in English classroom of rural primary school that English learning conditions or opportunities are poor compare of urban Primary School.

Key Words: Elementary school English Teaching; TPR (Total Physical Response); zero stress; developing interests

I. Brief Introduction of TPR

Developed in the 1960s by James Asher, a professor emeritus of psychology and statistics at San Jose State University, California, Total Physical Response (TPR) is a language teaching method that built around the coordination of speech and action.TPR attempts to teach language through physical activities. Intend to train listening comprehension ability before opening the mouth, implement actions coordinated so as to reduce the psychological pressure in language learning, the teacher put the teaching contents into a series of language instructions, and ask students to respond to these projects with physical activities. In the opinion of "memory trace" theory in psychology, TPR pays great attention to the interaction patterns in language learning. When students initially hear commands in their English learning, respond physically to the commands, just like raising their hands, jumping in place, or walking to the door, and then later produce these commands orally and in writing. TPR lessons get student’s complete activities by using physical motions or visual instructions. Students practice new lessons by seeing, touching, or performing the concepts taught. It seemed like a really fun way to learn English. In this theory, the more frequently and strongly connected to memory, the more easily the association and recall of the memory are. By means of TPR in English teaching, children usually react with their body first, then with the language, and contact these two kinds of reaction, and it makes the memory. The method relies on the assumption that when learning a second or additional language that is internalized through a process of code breaking similar to first language development and that the process allows for a long period of listening and developing comprehension before production.(Asher, 1969; 13-17)

It was assumed that the process of successful foreign language learning and the process of children's acquisition of mother tongue are similar. When children learn their mother tongue, they react to their parent's instructions through physical actions originally, such as “Pick it up”or “Put it down”. As the process of learning the mother tongue is to understand prior to express, learning a second language should also listen first, and then learn to say. As to grammatical structure and vocabulary, it can be mastered through skilled use of the teacher's instructions. On the other hand, since there is no strict requirement for language output, and English learning always accompanies with games, it can reduce the psychological burden of the students, cultivate a happy mood to learn, and improve the efficiency of learning. TPR is suitable for children’s psychology; it can cultivate the students' interests in English learning, make them engage in learning more active, and makes the process of learning easier and happier. The key to junior English teaching of primary school is not give students the language knowledge, but stimulating students interest in learning English, enable students to obtain some English perceptual knowledge, and develop good study habits through listening, speaking, singing and playing games, so as to play basic jobs for higher grade learning.

II. The Necessity of the Application of TPR Teaching Methods in English Classroom of Rural Primary School

Based on the prior studies of the application of TPR teaching methods, I conducted a survey on the application of TPR teaching methods in English classroom of rural primary school by means of site investigation, questionnaire and interview with 139 students and 16 teachers at ??? Primary School in ??? Sichuan Province. The results show that 96.4% of the students think that TPR teaching method in English class is “interesting”, 75% of the teachers think that TPR is an efficient and appropriate way that provides a great help for teachers in organizing classes, and it makes classes active and dynamic.

My investigation results show, 78.42% of the students think that TPR teaching method in English class is “very interesting”, 17.84% of the students think that “interesting”, 2.16% of the students think that “just so so” and 1.4% of the students think that “meaningless or boring” ( as shown below).

Item

Number

Proportion

Very interesting

109

78.42%

interesting

25

17.48%

Just so so

3

2.16%

Meaningless, boring

2

1.4%

(此处因计算机软件原因未能添加饼形图,可自行用饼形图替代表格或待修改文章后替代)

Through interview with 16 English teachers, 12 teachers think that TPR teaching method in English class is “efficient, appropriate, provide great help, makes classes active and dynamic”; 3 teachers think that “efficient, appropriate, but easy to disperse the attention of students, take up too much time ”; and 1 teacher thinks that “ meaningless, nonsense, low efficient, not appropriate, waste time” ( as shown below).

Item

Number

Proportion

efficient, appropriate, provide great help, makes classes active and dynamic

12

75%

efficient, appropriate, but easy to disperse the attention of students, take up too much time

3

18.75%

meaningless, nonsense, low efficient, not appropriate, waste time

1

6.25%

(此处因计算机软件原因未能添加饼形图,可自行用饼形图替代表格或待修改文章后替代)

Generally speaking, in rural primary school, whether school leaders, teachers, or the parents, neither of them pay enough attention to students’ English learning, and it leads English teaching in an awkward position. On the other hand, unlike the city township primary school pupils, many students from rural primary school didn't go to kindergarten, they have no conditions or opportunities to learn English, so most of them are very unfamiliar to English. Since the class teaching is only 40 minutes, it is very easy to lead to separation on students’ inner class learning and outer class learning. Most parents of the students in rural primary school are farmers, they do not realize the importance of the English learning, and even some of them understand that point, they do not know how to help their children learning English.

Everyone would lose their attention in a boring class, especially the lively and vigorous children at the age of 5 to 12. Thus distraction becomes the most common problem in English class, daydreamed, whispered with each other or passed notes and so on; make a lot of trouble to teachers.

If teachers still engage in traditional grammar teaching method to primary students, it would be very hard to accomplish lessons and move forward with subject material, and the worst thing is that students will lose their interests in learning English, some of them even hate the English lessons. If they access TPR in the classroom, distraction problem may be getting far away from it.

Emphasizes the interaction of body as well as the vividness of teaching and learning, TPR attempts to teach English through physical activities, it is wildly considered as an effective and helpful method being used in primary school. TPR can be developed to reduce children’s stress, arouse students’ interests of learning, improve the awareness of autonomous learning, and mobilize the initiative of students’ English learning.

Based on this purpose, TPR teaching method has been introduced to English class teaching in Sichuan??? Primary School.(根据实际情况补充学校名称) Especially at the beginning of the lower grade, focus on strengthening students’ English listening and speaking skills, teachers adopt TPR method to improve the oral English teaching. With the aid of action, static words and sentences become Students’ active action, it help students “feel” or “touch” the meaning of English, this arouses the interesting and most student participate in English learning more actively. Practices show that this teaching method is quite popular with the students, and the teaching effect is very significant.

III. The Application of TPR Teaching Methods in Classroom

Through My investigation which we have mentioned in the former chapter, the results show, 91.37% of the students think that the best method they loved is “games”; 74.1% of the students think that the best method they loved is “painting”; 70.5% of the students think that the best method they loved is “acting”; 68.35% of the students think that the best method they loved is “the intuitive teaching method with interesting models”, 61.87% of the students think that the best method they loved is “alphabet board”; and 58.99% of the students think that the best method they loved is “story”.( as shown below)

Item

Number

Proportion

games

127

91.37%

painting

103

74.1%

acting

98

70.5%

models

95

68.35%

alphabet board

86

61.87%

story

82

58.99%

(此处因计算机软件原因未能添加条形图,可自行用饼形图替代表格或待修改文章后替代)

While the teachers have different choices from students about how to choose TPR teaching methods . According to my interview with 16 English teachers, all of the 16 teachers think that the best method they loved is “story”; 14 teachers think that the best method they loved is “the intuitive teaching method with interesting models”; 12 teachers think that the best method they loved is “alphabet board”;  11 teachers think that the best method they loved is “acting”; 9 teachers think that the best method they loved is “ games”;8 teachers think that the best method they loved is “painting”.( as shown below).

Item

Number

Proportion

games

9

91.37%

painting

8

74.1%

acting

11

70.5%

models

14

68.35%

alphabet board

12

61.87%

story

16

58.99%

(此处因计算机软件原因未能添加饼形图,可自行用饼形图替代表格或待修改文章后替代)

In English learning, it is much easier to comprehend than to produce, and at any stage or degree in the learning process, comprehension is always the most significant in English acquisition. Children may not be able to give a linguistic response to teachers’ instructions but they may make a physical response. For this reason, a teaching strategy based on directions is often employed with young children.

3.1 Intuitive teaching method:

One of the psychological characteristics of children is that they are very easy to be attracted to focus on intuitive concrete objects, and the more intuitive the objects are, the more specific the images are, the more interested the children would be. Therefore, teachers should try to select common things, commonplaces, or what we often use in our daily life as the teaching content. For example, in teaching animal names, teachers could simulate the form or the call of the animals such as "dog, cat, hen, cow" etc. and speak out the corresponding English words, or the teacher asked the students to simulate the form or the call of the animal by themselves and read the animals’ English names repeatedly. By the means of imitating the comic form, issued the call vividly, students associate the animal naturally, and the English words are remembered unwittingly.

3.2 Painting teaching method:

More interested in pictures than adults, children are willing to present their comprehension through a physical action before they give a linguistic response. Moreover, with the employment of pictures and paintings in the classroom, students’ eyes, ears, mouths and hands move together, it makes children respond to language instead of linguistic. So the teacher could draw the teaching contents on the blackboard with the English words. The teacher could prepare some pictures on paper or PPT either and show them to students on the class. Based on association and imagination with the exaggerated or realistic paintings, children master the English words imperceptibly. For instance, when we teach the word "color", we can encourage children to take out painting pens and draw different colors on paper in the classroom, at the same time, we teach the word "red", "blue", ”yellow” and so on. The teachers can also divide the students into some groups, and ask a small group of students to use collected pictures or paintings to instruct concepts that have been taught. For example, the teacher say “a yellow dog under the green tree”, students should point to the specific picture and vice verse.

3.3 Alphabet board teaching method:

The teacher write down 26 English letters in different cardboards, every students hold a cardboard (each letter board can be used repeatedly), the teacher repeated demonstration alphabet pronunciation. The teacher speak out a word, then the students should pick up the letters of the alphabet board in turn and declare "I'm am here", then spell out the word. In this way, the children master the pronunciation and spelling at the same time.

3.4 Acting teaching method:

TPR is a kind of English teaching technique that employs instructions, either written or verbal, to introduce new words and concepts to children. In TPR class, acting teaching method are always applied, and the imperative drills are wildly used. A teacher gives a command and the students follow the command with physical responses. For example, if the teacher says, “hands up” or “stand up and sit down”, followed the command, they would raise their hands or stand up from their chairs and then sit down. Another typical method is that through the use of "body language" vividly, teachers can clarify the language information repeated in the mouth. For example, "I'm smiling" or “I am tired”, the teachers do laugh or tired like; and repeat the sentences, and then ask the children take turns to perform and repeat the sentences. This method can also improve students’ capability of response and develop their left brain and makes them more intelligent. Of course, the most important thing is to enhance those words the teacher spoken repeatedly.

3.5 Games teaching method

Teachers can also use games in class teaching. First of all, the teacher should select suitable teaching contents and design different games carefully. Next, tell the students some supporting words in this game. For instance, “point” means use their finger to indicate the staff what the instructions refers to, and “show” means give classmates to see something or display or have something a look to everyone, etc. Then, tell the students to give actions to their teachers when hearing instructions. If they want to finish the tasks, they have no choice but to concentrate and listen to the teacher carefully. A teacher I interviewed have developed such a game: she designed English teaching contents and related games, divided the students into two groups named "sun", "moon"(or "mountain" and "sea") respectively. Two groups of students standing face to face, keeps the distance of 3 - 5 meters intermediate. At first, the students from the "Sun" team carried a sandbag and thrown into the "Moon" group of children, with a clear voice of "red" or other colors at the same time. Students standing speak out something meet the "object red", such as “apple” or "tomato", and then thrown sandbags back to the "sun" group of a student, and cried "blue" at the same time....., then take turns. The teacher can declare mistakes or delay the time length. At the end of the game, the teacher sentenced the winner and the loser, and award prizes or gives small gifts as reward. These games help develop children's sense of English and English thinking in a relaxed, happy atmosphere.

3.6 The whole teaching method:

The teacher can also tell stories to teach English sentence by sentence, this method is good for students to understand a sentence or the core words or phrases from the whole meaning. For example, the teacher said "yesterday I ate an apple", here, the teacher can change the word "apple" to "a piece of bread", "a bowl of rice", or "a banana" and so on, there is no need to explain grammar but asked the students just understand and repeat the sentence following the teacher.

IV、Conclusion

By means of TPR teaching method, students can train their listening skills and learn how to respond to instructions given orally or visually from the teacher. A huge of activities may be employed in TPR English classes of primary school that can make students pleasure and fun, students have an interesting experience in learning English and feel to be the leader or in the spotlight in learning English consequently.

A fact we have to be aware of is that TPR is totally physical, according to former researches, it is a right-brain approach but not a complete method. Current theories point out that TPR works just because it is an excellent way of providing students with comprehensible input; the teacher's movement provides the background knowledge that makes the directions more comprehensible.

TPR teaching method applies to the nature of children and matches the principle of happy-learning, which enables pupils to learn easily, fast and happily. But this method just suits for the first period of English learning, especially beginners. Because most of its contents are gestures, through which children may not get further knowledge, and it has to be carried out with some other approaches.

On the other hand, TPR teaching method contains a large number of games, activities, role-playing and group competitions, and children would easily get excited when they are happy, so it would be hard to accomplish the expected results even if they have good control of class. Furthermore, to those shy students, it becomes a trouble since they are not generally given the opportunity to express their own thoughts in a creative way. Teachers may find that it is limited in terms of language scope. Certain teaching targets may not be suited to this method.

Because of the diversified characteristics of TPR teaching method, teachers should have extensive knowledge about linguistics, psychology, culture and English teaching etc., it brings great challenge to teachers, especially who teaches in rural primary school with poor teaching conditions.

BIBLIOGRAPH

[1] James, J. Asher (Feb., 1966), The Learning Strategy of the Total Physical Response: A Review, The Modern Language Journal, Vol. 50, No. 2, pp. 79-84 JSTOR

[2] James, J. Asher. (Jan., 1969), The Total Physical Response Approach to Second Language Learning, The Modern Language Journal, Vol. 53, No. 1 pp. 3-17 JSTOR

[3] Jack, C. Richards/ Theodore, S. Rodgers. (2001). Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching. Cambridge University Press; 2 editions, 72-72. ISBN 978-0521008433.

[4] William, J. Celestino Hispania. (Dec, 1993). Total Physical Response: Commands, not Control, Vol. 76, No. 4 pp. 902-903 JSTOR

[5] P. Conroy. (May, 1999).Total Physical Response: An Instructional Strategy for Second-Language Learners Who Are Visually Impaired. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, v93 n5 p315-18 ERIC.

[6] 章兼中. 国外外语教学法主要流派[M]. 上海:华东师范大学出版社,1983:223—237.

[7] 郭小纯. TPR教学法与我国的英语教学[J]. 桂林师范高等专科学校学报,2009(01):112—115.

[8] 罗晓美. 对TPR教学法的理性认识[J]. 湖北函授大学学报,2011(05):139—140.

[9] 王敏.全面认识TPR教学法及其在幼儿英语教育中的运用[J]. 河套大学学报(哲学社会科学版),2005(03):78—81.

[10] 向继霖.全身反应教学法在英语教学中的应用[J]. 海外英语,2011(03):24—25.

[11] 刘明芳罗红.TPR在儿童英语教学中面临的挑战[J].湖北经济学院学报(人文社会科学版), 2013(04):196—197.

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