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Understanding TPR Storytelling

The Complete Guide to Understanding TPR Storytelling

TPRS is an acronym that stands for “Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling.” It’s also commonly referred to as TPR Storytelling. This teaching method mixes TPR (Total Physical Response) with second-language reading and storytelling activities in a fun, educational way. To help teachers with understanding TPR Storytelling and the TPRS method, we’ll break down the three key phases below.

Introducing New Vocabulary

For the first phase of TPR Storytelling, you’ll establish anywhere between one and three new vocabulary phrases you want to teach. Once you’ve chosen your phrases, introduce them to your students by clearly and concisely writing them on the board for all to see. Make sure to write the phrases down in the students’ native language as well as the second language you’re teaching them.

Next, you’ll begin teaching your class the phrases through TPR (Total Physical Response, be sure not to confuse this with the TPR in TPRS), which consists of the teacher and students using gestures and physical movements to act out a certain phrase. Once you feel that your students are showing comprehension of these phrases through the gestures they’re creating on their own, ask them a variety of PQA, which stands for “Personalized Questions and Answers.”

These questions are exactly what they sound like—inquiries about your students’ personal lives, from their favorite foods to favorite TV shows. Make sure your questions in your PQA tie into the phrases you’re teaching the students. The results of the PQA will come in handy in the second phase of TPRS, which is creating the class story.

Class Storytelling

The class story should be brief, but within that short story, your goal is to repeat the phrases from your day’s lesson as much as possible. Additionally, ask questions that set up the basic structure of the story, and allow your students to create the story through their answers.

Giving students the chance to figure out how to use these new phrases in multiple ways will help immensely with their comprehension of the subject. Another useful tool for the class story is to implement the TPR method once again, allowing students to act out sections of the story periodically. The class story provides context for the new phrases your students are learning while still being creative and fun for everyone.

Class Reading

After the class story, you can move onto the third and final phase of TPRS, which is the titular reading portion. Prior to the day’s lesson, write out a story for students to read. The story must contain the phrases you’re teaching that day, similar to the class story. This time, however, the teacher is filling in all the blanks.

On the other hand, you can bring in a pre-existing book or have students read from a story of their choosing instead. As long as the story is in the language you’re teaching them and contains relevant vocabulary, it’ll be effective for this portion of the TPRS method.

As you can see, understanding TPR Storytelling is fairly simple and incredibly beneficial to your class’s comprehension of new languages. Using TPRS language learning in tandem with a curriculum aimed toward Spanish for preschoolers will help your young learners simultaneously expand their knowledge and fascination with the subject.

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