TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Storytelling)

TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Storytelling)

Postby Louis L Sorenson » October 2nd, 2012, 12:12 am

I stumbled upon a great article explaining the essence of TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Storytelling) by Carol Gaab. It can be found at http://www.tprstorytelling.com/images/TPRS-Lang.Mag2011.pdf. This article is the best summary of the method I have ever read.

TPRS is a method of language teaching that uses the communicative method via 'story asking' to engage the student and get the student to learn language without conscious awareness of morphological structures. Blaine Ray is called the father of this method, and follows upon TPR (Total Physical Response), made famous by James Asher in the 1970's.

TPRS is based on Stephen Krashen's 'Comprehensible Input Hypothesis' nowadays called the "Compelling Input Hypothesis".

Compelling means that the input is so interesting you forget that it is in another language.
It means you are in a state of "flow" (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). In flow, the concerns of
everyday life and even the sense of self disappear - our sense of time is altered and
nothing but the activity itself seems to matter. Flow occurs during reading when readers
are "lost in the book" (Nell, 1988) or in the "Reading Zone" (Atwell, 2007).
Compelling input appears to eliminate the need for motivation, a conscious desire to
improve. When you get compelling input, you acquire whether you are interested in
improving or not. [Stephen Krashen, The English Connection (KOTESOL)]


TPRS is a method designed to get foreign language learners into 'the flow.' TPRS is now about 15-20 years old. It is making inroads into language pedagogy in high schools and colleges. It has been refined and polished over the last 20 years. (Randall Buth, one of B-Greek's advisors, is a strong believer in this methodology, and whole-heartedly endorses this pedagogical technique.) Carol Gaab's article explains the basics of how and why TPRS works. Here are several quotes from her article:

TPRS instruction is laden with dozens of strategies that provide an
abundance repetition that is highly engaging and comprehensible, but
that is not obviously predictable or repetitious. This allows the teacher
to remain in the target language 95-98 percent of the time. The goal is
to scaffold language so that it remains completely comprehensible and
accessible to students, resulting in successful and relatively rapid
acquisition of the language. A constant flow of scaffolded input ensures
that students will understand every message and be able to respond
successfully, whether it is with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, one word, or an
entire phrase or sentence. Input may take the form of graduated questions,
circling questions, personalized questions, cooperatively created
stories, mini-stories, short stories, fairy tales, sequences, songs,
poems, rhymes, chants and a wide variety of readings.


Note that TPRS does not focus on forms, grammar or vocabulary or paradigms. It focuses on meaning and structures (phrases). Here is another short quote from the article:

Most TPRS lessons are broken down into
learnable ‘chunks’ of language, typically no more than 3 Target
Language Structures (TLS) for every 60 to 90 minutes of instruction. A
TLS could be any word, phrase or sentence that naturally occurs in
written or spoken communication, and its complexity is dependent
upon the age and the level of the learner. For example, a beginning
kindergarten structure might be ‘Billy runs,’ or ‘the strong man,’ while a
beginning high school structure might be ‘the woman ran quickly’ or
‘the strong man wanted to cry.’ Regardless of the level, structures are
prioritized according to their frequency of use or their usefulness to the
learner and are generally organized in groups of three, according to
their relevance to a topic, discussion, story or subject.


This article is a great introduction to how TPRS can be a vehicle for teaching a second language. The 'catch' is that it requires a verbal communicative approach to teaching - not a grammar-translation approach where 95-98% of the class time is spoken in a language other than ancient Greek. The results of TPRS have been impressive in teaching modern languages like Spanish, English, French, German. Anyone who is interested in how TPRS works, should read Carol's article. Blaine Ray's book "Fluency through TPR Storytelling" (5th edition, 2008) http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=blaine+ray is an in-depth look at TPRS.

Those interested in learning or teaching ancient Greek from a living language approach need to read Carol Gaab's article.
Louis L Sorenson
 
Posts: 582
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 9:21 pm
Location: Burnsville, MN, USA

Re: TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Storytelling)

Postby Paul-Nitz » October 9th, 2012, 2:26 pm

Louis, Thanks much for that article. You are an amazing source for good stuff!

I entirely agree that this article is a 'must read.' Ray's book is the most complete treatment of TPRS I know of, but his line of thought reminds me of a tangled Slinky. Perhaps it was intentional - TPRS circular questioning and repetition applied to writing. In contrast, Gaab's article is as straightline logical as it comes. But, it's not complete enough to give a person a good idea of how to implement TPRS. The book and the article are good complements.
In a nutshell, what I've gleaned from Gabb and Ray, is this:
    Choose about 3 Target Language Structures (TLS). Write a story using them.
    Use a series of stock questions (preferably personalized) to drill the structures.
    Tell the story by asking students to offer their input and going with the flow.
    After each statement in the story is estabished, use the same series of stock questions about that statement.
I've had great fun with the little TPRS I've done in my first three weeks of classes. But with our current vocabulary and my current ability, I'm not able to do nearly as much "story-asking" or personalizing of questions as Ray and Gabb would suggest. But engagement hasn't suffered so far.
νοηματα υμων τί ἐστιν;
Paul-Nitz
 
Posts: 200
Joined: June 1st, 2011, 4:19 am

Re: TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Storytelling)

Postby Paul-Nitz » October 15th, 2012, 10:14 am

TPRS Articles:

Nice and simple description of TPRS by 7th-8th Grade Latin teacher, John Piazza.
http://www.johnpiazza.net/how_to_begin_ci

More articles by Susan Gross. http://susangrosstprs.com/wordpress/articles/
This looks like a goldmine. (I've just read one called "Order of Acquisition" that has really helped to relieve me of the desire for the perfect progression for introducing language structures.)
Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi
Paul-Nitz
 
Posts: 200
Joined: June 1st, 2011, 4:19 am

Re: TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Storytelling)

Postby Paul-Nitz » October 16th, 2012, 9:03 am

.
If we needed any more evidence that the "Direct Method" is a grandfather of TPRS, we have it the book, "Via Nova." The author suggests just the sort of questioning Blaine Ray (of TPRS™) calls "circling."

    ὁ πατήρ μου οἰκίαν ἔχει ἐν ἀφροῖς. My father has a home in the countryside.
    Q: τίς οἰκίαν ἔχει; Who has a home?
    Q: τί ἔχει ὁ πατήρ σου; What does your father have?
    Q: ποῦ ἐστις ἡ οἰκία τοῦ σοῦ πατρός; Where is your father's home?
    page 132

Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi
Paul-Nitz
 
Posts: 200
Joined: June 1st, 2011, 4:19 am

Re: TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Storytelling)

Postby David Lim » October 16th, 2012, 9:30 am

Paul-Nitz wrote:ποῦ ἐστις ἡ οἰκία τοῦ σοῦ πατρός;


τι εστιν "εστις" και τι ου γραφεις "που εστιν η οικια του πατρος σου"
δαυιδ λιμ
David Lim
 
Posts: 885
Joined: June 6th, 2011, 6:55 am

Re: TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Storytelling)

Postby Jason Hare » October 16th, 2012, 8:02 pm

David Lim wrote:
Paul-Nitz wrote:ποῦ ἐστις ἡ οἰκία τοῦ σοῦ πατρός;


τι εστιν "εστις" και τι ου γραφεις "που εστιν η οικια του πατρος σου"


The original says ἐστιν. It was a typo.
Jason A. Hare
Rehovot, Israel
Jason Hare
 
Posts: 378
Joined: June 2nd, 2011, 5:28 pm
Location: Rehovot, Israel

Re: TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Storytelling)

Postby David Lim » October 16th, 2012, 10:13 pm

Jason Hare wrote:
David Lim wrote:
Paul-Nitz wrote:ποῦ ἐστις ἡ οἰκία τοῦ σοῦ πατρός;


τι εστιν "εστις" και τι ου γραφεις "που εστιν η οικια του πατρος σου"


The original says ἐστιν. It was a typo.


Oh I see. Does the original say "του σου πατρος" too? I found that unusual.. in that position it would have to be a possessive pronoun right?
δαυιδ λιμ
David Lim
 
Posts: 885
Joined: June 6th, 2011, 6:55 am

Re: TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Storytelling)

Postby Stephen Carlson » October 17th, 2012, 4:43 am

Paul-Nitz wrote:


Hi Paul, it would be much better if you could post to the Archive page http://archive.org/details/vianovaorapplica00jonerich which presents a choice of viewing options for this book, rather than to the PDF which it very big and causes problems for some systems.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Faculty of Theology, Uppsala
Stephen Carlson
 
Posts: 1845
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Uppsala University

Re: TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Storytelling)

Postby Stephen Carlson » October 17th, 2012, 4:56 am

David Lim wrote:
Paul-Nitz wrote:ποῦ ἐστις ἡ οἰκία τοῦ σοῦ πατρός;


Oh I see. Does the original say "του σου πατρος" too? I found that unusual.. in that position it would have to be a possessive pronoun right?


Yes, and it's good Greek. Similar constructions are found in Demosthenes and Plato:
Plato, Euthypro wrote:Ἔστιν δὲ δὴ τῶν οἰκείων τις ὁ τεθνεὼς ὑπὸ τοῦ σοῦ πατρός;


Note that the circumflex accent over σοῦ here is critical, though you've deleted it from your quotation. It signals that it is the genitive of the possessive adjective σός (rather than the enclitic personal pronoun σου with no accent), and its position between the article and the noun is perfectly fine.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Faculty of Theology, Uppsala
Stephen Carlson
 
Posts: 1845
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Uppsala University

Re: TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Storytelling)

Postby David Lim » October 17th, 2012, 7:10 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
David Lim wrote:
Paul-Nitz wrote:ποῦ ἐστις ἡ οἰκία τοῦ σοῦ πατρός;


Oh I see. Does the original say "του σου πατρος" too? I found that unusual.. in that position it would have to be a possessive pronoun right?


Yes, and it's good Greek. Similar constructions are found in Demosthenes and Plato:
Plato, Euthypro wrote:Ἔστιν δὲ δὴ τῶν οἰκείων τις ὁ τεθνεὼς ὑπὸ τοῦ σοῦ πατρός;


Note that the circumflex accent over σοῦ here is critical, though you've deleted it from your quotation. It signals that it is the genitive of the possessive adjective σός (rather than the enclitic personal pronoun σου with no accent), and its position between the article and the noun is perfectly fine.


Yup thanks for confirming!
δαυιδ λιμ
David Lim
 
Posts: 885
Joined: June 6th, 2011, 6:55 am

Next

Return to Teaching Methods

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest