Tips for Effectively Teaching With TPRSBrooks
Teaching proficiency through reading and storytelling (TPRS) is a great method for engaging students in Spanish class. TPRS involves introducing new vocabulary words, working with your students to create a story that includes variations of the vocabulary words, and finishing it off by letting your students read material containing those same phrases.
This process is all about repetition, engagement, and information retention. These tips for effectively teaching with TPRS will help you use this intriguing technique to you and your students’ advantage.
Provide Ample Time for Questions
Through the vocabulary introduction and storytelling portions of TPRS, take time to pause and ask your students if they have any questions. Encouraging your students to ask questions on their own is also essential to TPRS. Since students won’t always speak up if they’re falling behind, make sure you open the floor for inquiries every few minutes.
If you’re flying through TPRS sessions without asking your students whether they understand everything, you’re going to be wasting a lot of time and energy on something the class won’t remember. However, by clarifying information that a student doesn’t understand, you can prevent the entire class from falling behind. Don’t let students constantly fend for themselves—being independent is important, but so is providing the class with the support they need.
Make Every TPRS Session Unique
For the storytelling portion of TPRS, the teacher should only provide a simple skeleton of a story. Introduce a main character or two and maybe a motivation as well, such as “George and Maria need to go to the pet store to buy a dog.” Your story doesn’t have to be the Iliad.
At the end of the day, the story set-up should be something simple that you and your students can build upon in creative, fun, and educational ways. That said, try not to be too repetitive with each story. One of the best tips for effectively teaching with TPRS is to make each story unique. This tip is so beneficial because it will give students something to associate vocabulary words with when they use them in the future.
When students struggle with a certain phrase, they can use their memory of a certain character or event from your TPRS story, helping them truly evaluate and comprehend new ideas. Use this same method for choosing reading materials for the “R” portion of TPRS.
Give Each Step Some Breathing Room
Sure, you can fit each TPRS step into a single day’s lesson. However, don’t be afraid to slow down and leave the reading for the following day. That way, you can spend time on areas where your students may be struggling. Match your pace to your student’s comprehension. Slowing down is something you should consider for all educational activities you conduct in class. Any teacher should have a quality elementary Spanish curriculum by their side, but feel free to alter each topic’s pace if it benefits your students.