Wednesday, April 4, 2012

TPRS resource

TPRS is an instructional strategy that involves teaching a second language by having students build a story around some core vocabulary or grammar concepts.  The idea is that the learners learn the language as it's used, not as vocabulary in isolation, and certainly not by memorizing verb charts.  I've dabbled in it with limited success; I use it as one of my tools, usually supplementary to other instructional techniques.  Come to think of it, it's probably more of a practice tool than an instructional technique.

It's something I would like to know more about, though.  It plays off of what I understand to be best practice in language learning: use the language for communication; use it in an engaging, interesting way; work in a variety of instructional and practice techniques; alter between communicative methods and communicative modes; make the students the focus of the classroom, and not the teacher or the textbook or the standards.  I'm kind of trying to scrape together the $300 or so that the formal training session would cost.

In the meantime, Jeanette Borish writes about her experiences with the methodology here.  She has some interesting insights, and overall, she appears to appreciate TPRS.  She has 30 years in the business, too, so she should know her stuff.

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