Whether you are preparing to interview, planning for your mock class, or looking for ways to improve your teaching effectiveness, TPR is a term you’ll hear over and over through your VIPKid career.
What is TPR?
TPR stands for “Total Physical Response.” In layman’s terms, it’s using gestures and actions to demonstrate words. There are two main types of TPR that you’ll need to use in the VIPKid classroom:
- Instructional TPR: Instructional TPR includes actions that you don’t want the student to repeat, but that help you let the student know what to do. Examples of common instructional TPR include:
- Cupping your ear when you want them to speak
- Making a circle with your finger when you want them to circle
- Pointing to your mouth when you want them to focus on how your mouth is making a sound
- TPR: Standard TPR includes motions that you want your student to repeat to help in understanding or memory of a word. Examples include:
- Standard letter motions (for example, a crooked finger that looks like a snake is used to represent the sssss sound.)
- Motions that reflect the word you are demonstrating (for example, imitating an elephant trunk with your arm)
Why is TPR important?
- It’s fun! Especially with younger students, TPR makes learning fun! Kids (and teachers) enjoy fun in the classroom, and TPR is a great way to do it!
- It helps them understand. If they are struggling with comprehension, actions can help them understand your intended meaning.
- It helps them remember. I still remember my mom helping me study when I was younger. She would do crazy actions that I might laugh at, but then the next day during my test I would visualize her doing them.
How do I get comfortable using TPR?
It doesn’t always feel natural to use TPR motions.. So how do you get comfortable? You might laugh, but I practiced in the shower. I use video conferencing frequently during my day job, and so I also began using (toned down) TPR on those calls. Anytime I could gesture to illustrate something, I would do so, just to see how it came across on video. If you have kids at home you can practice with, that’s also a great option because you can see how children respond and participate! Whatever option you choose, PRACTICE is the key to becoming comfortable!
I encourage you to watch as many videos as possible to help you get familiar with different TPR techniques. If I can help in any way, please feel free to contact me or comment below! If you are looking for a mentor to help guide you through the process, feel free to reach out to me and use my referral link to get started.