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Some Myths About TPR

Here are some myths that I often hear about TPR and my answers:

Myth 1: TPR will only work for children.

When you use TPR to give adults a "level playing field" with children, something quite extraordinary happens. Adults outperform children. The only advantage children have is acquiring a near-native pronunciation. For the complete story, read Learning Another Language Through Actions.

Myth 2: TPR is limited to the imperative.

The imperative is the "golden tense" because students of all ages have instant understanding of the target language. From here, students can make a smooth transition to all other grammatical features. To discover how to do it, read Eric Schessler's English Grammar Through Actions (also in Spanish and French), Ramiro Garcia's Instructor's Notebook, Steven Silver's The Command Book, and Blaine Ray's Look, I Can Talk series.

Myth 3: TPR is limited to beginning students.

TPR is a powerful tool that enables students to internalize a huge volume of the target language with high-speed. But, this achievement can exhaust students. The secret here is to switch back and forth to other techniques.TPR should be reserved for any new vocabulary or grammatical feature. Internalize the item first through the body, then switch to the verbal side of the brain in short dialogues, stories, patterned drills, etc. All of our books will guide you step-by-step in how to apply TPR for best results at all levels.

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Dr. James J. Asher


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