Longreads’ Best of WordPress, Vol. 5.
TPR Storytelling is a foreign language teaching methodology that was invented by Blaine Ray of Bakersfield, California. TPR Storytelling (TPRS) teachers tell personalized stories in their foreign language or English as a Second language classrooms as their students act those stories out.
Students comprehend the stories by virtue of the live action visual aids and acquire the target vocabulary because it is repeated dozens of times within the daily story. Sentence structure, vocabulary and grammar are acquired because non-stop comprehensible input is provided by the teacher.
Blaine Ray’s TPR Storytelling is used by thousands of elementary school, middle school, high school, college and adult education English as a Second Language, English as a Foreign Language and Foreign Language teachers nationally and internationally. The long-term memory strategies, constant comprehensible input and intense personalization of this methodology are based on the pedagogy of Dr. James Asher (TPR) and Dr. Stephen Krashen (The Natural Approach). TPR Storytelling is similar to Classical TPR, except that the 3 Steps of TPRS® allow students to acquire the narrative and descriptive, rather than the imperative, modes of speech. The goal of TPRS® is to make students fluent and proficient in a second language through ample exposure to interesting, comprehensible input. TPRS® teachers direct their efforts toward their students, rather than the textbook, the grammar or the curriculum. We teach kids. As a result, we have students who are excited about foreign languages, eager to stay in our classes all the way through school…. and who are bilingual.
TPR Storytelling begins with introducing the vocabulary (step 1). Students then act out the stories as the teacher tells (or, more accurately, “asks”) re-tells and asks questions about a story that uses the vocabulary words (step 2). The oral story is then followed up with reading (step 3). Students rapidly acquire the second language just as Dr. Krashen imagined: effortlessly and involuntarily. The method relies heavily on the five hypotheses of The Natural Approach: the acquisition hypothesis, the input hypothesis, the natural order hypothesis, the affective filter hypothesis and the monitor hypothesis, which are explained in detail in Foreign Language Education The Easy Way, by Dr. Stephen Krashen, as well as lots of comprehensible input through access to books.