An ELT Glossary : TPR/Total Physical Response

  • Definition : A method developed for use in the first 60 hours of a beginners course, whose primary (but not sole) activity type is that the T demonstrates language which the Ss show they understand by responding physically to commands rather than by speaking. 
  • Example : to consolidate understanding of the present continuous the T. might say : If you're wearing blue socks, stand up. If you're holding a pen, go to the door. etc.
  • The method was developed by Asher and is linked to the theories of Krashen, in particular the idea that learners need exposure to "roughly tuned input" to aid acquisition and that beginners need a "silent period" where they understand, but are not forced in to speaking before they're ready (which, in Krashen's terms, might "raise the affective filter" and be detrimental to learning.)