In psychology, it is linked to the trace theory of memory, which says that the more often a memory connection is traced, the more likely it will be recalled. Tracing and retracing can be both verbal (language) and motor (actions). The combination of the two fosters the recall.
In addition, in a developmental sense, Asher claims that speech directed to young children consists primarily of commands, which children respond to physically before they begin to produce verbal responses.
The emphasis on developing comprehension skills before the learner is taught to speak links to the so-called Comprehension Approach, the principles of which share the belief that:
(1) comprehension abilities precede productive skills in learning a language;
(2) the teaching of speaking should be delayed until comprehension skills are established;
(3) skills acquired through listening transfer to other skills;
(4) teaching should emphasize meaning rather than form;
(5) teaching should minimize learner stress (Richards & Rodgers, 1986).
1. Innate bio program: listening before speaking (Natural Approach) and synchronized with body. Second learning language should imitate first language learning. 2. Affective Filter: like first language learning, second language learning should take place in a stress-free environment because the lower the stress, the greater the learning. 3. Brain Lateralization: TPR is directed to right –brain hemisphere because the right brain is responsible for motor activities while language activity is situated in the left hemisphere. Right hemisphere activities trigger left hemisphere activities, but right brain activities must occur before the left brain can process language for production.
The teacher plays an active and direct role because he decides what to teach, he selects and models the material.
The learners listen attentively and respond physically to commands. They are expected to recognize and respond to new combinations of taught items and they have to produce new combinations of their own.
Lessons begin with commands by the teacher. Students demonstrate their understanding by acting these commands out. Teachers recombine their instructions in novel and often humorous ways; eventually students follow suit. Activities later include games and skits.
Teacher-Student and student-student: The teacher interacts with individual students and with the group, starting with the teacher speaking and the students responding nonverbally. Later, this is reversed; students issue commands to teacher as well as each other.
The method was developed principally to reduce the stress associated with language learning. Students are not forced to speak until they are ready and learning is made as enjoyable as possible, stimulating feelings of success and low anxiety.
1.Asher believes that foreign language instruction can and should be modeled on native language acquisition. What are some characteristics of his method that are similar to the way children acquire their native language?
2.One of the principles of TPR is that when student anxiety is low, language learning is enhanced. How does this method lower student anxiety?