TPRS & A Comprehensible Classroom



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What is Total Physical Response Storytelling and Comprehensible Input? Why are so many foreign language teachers pushing for this new concept in FL education? What does TPRS/CI mean to me?

Education is in a constant rotation. The good and the bad, what works and what doesn’t, out with the old, in with the new and sometimes we even revisit the old with new ideas and concepts. TPRS and Comprehensible Input are a new concept in foreign language education that focus on teaching a second language using the same skills from our earliest forms of language acquisition. Just like a baby learns to speak by absorbing all that is around them, a TPRS instructor hopes to fully emerge students into a language and culture so that comprehension comes naturally. Participants should be educators of foreign language or have an interest in using story telling within their core subject. Those participating in this mini-course will leave with:

1. Understanding the concept of what TPRS and Comprehensible Input are.

2. What are some basic ideas behind TPRS and CI? What are some misconceptions?

3. How to implement activities into your already developed curriculum.

Required Materials for this course are:

  • Access to online materials. This is a synchronous course and will require the particiaption in activities within the classroom as well as online.
  • Knowledge and access to Google drive and associated apps
  • Required Text: Fluency Through TPR Storytelling by Blaine Ray & Contee Seely

These are all questions that I have been struggling with for two years now and I hope that as you proceed with this mini-course these answers will be answered for you just as they were for me and you too will see the huge gains in engagement and achievement that your students can obtain with implementing just a little of TPRS/CI into your curriculum or revamping the entire way you look at foreign language education.

Needs Assessment

Instructional Problem

Traditional methods of teaching FL are outdated. Students are more apt to recite memorized material than be able to use and comprehend language through proper language aquisition.

Learning Objective

Within this mini course, educators will develop an understanding of what TPRS and CI are and how to implement them into their current practices and curriculum.

Learner Analysis

The learners within this course will be foreign language teachers who see the value in full language aquisition and comprehension. These educator are able to see that traditional methods are lacking and are eager to learn new innovative ways to bring engagement and comprehension into their classrooms.

Context of Learning

Learners will participate in a series of units that introduce them to TPRS and CI and will give them basic TPRSCI activities that can be implemented into their current practices.

Unit 1- What is TPRS & CI?

unit 2 - Why is TPRS & CI the way to go?

Unit 3 - How can I start using TPRS & CI?

Unit 4 - How can I blend TPRS & CI into what I'm already doing?

Course Goals

The main goal of this mini course is to introduce educators to an innovative style of teaching aimed at engaging students and create a more meaningful comprehensible language aquisition. The process of implementing TPRS and CI is not an easy one but as educators is is important to remember

"It is more about your students success versus your own." ~ Carrol Gaab

Performance Based Objectives

1. Participants will explain what TPRS (Total Physical Response Storytelling) and Comprehensible Input are in regards to foreign language education.

2. Participants will clarify misconceptions about the concepts of TPRS & CI.

3. Participants will employ specific TPRS & CI activities into their current practices.

4. Participants will analyze the pros and cons of the implementation of a TPRS & CI activty into their current practices.

5. Participants will decide if and how TPRS & CI will function within their current practices.

Course Units

TPRS Unit 1

TPRS Unit 2

TPRS Unit 3

Course Wrap-up

Resources and References

Bex, M. (n.d.). The Comprehensible Classroom. Retrieved December 14, 2016, from

Bex.Martina.(2012.October.5).TRPS Demo for Cierra la Puerta.

Coxon, Michael.(2014.June.13).MovieTalk Demo.

Darling-Hammond, L. et al. (2008). Powerful learning: What we know about teaching for understanding. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Express Fluency. (20014.October.20). Express Fluency: The Easiest Way to Learn a Language!.

Fluency Matters / Ci Central. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2016, from

Larson, M. B., & Lockee, B. B. (2013) Streamlined ID: A practical guide to instructional design. New York, NY: Routledge.

Oleynick, Marc. (2012.April.7).Language Acquisition with TPRS.

Ray, B., & Seely, C. (1998). Fluency through TPR storytelling: Achieving real language acquisition in school. Berkeley, CA: Command Performance Language Institute.

Torre, Angie.(2015.December.1). TPR Storytelling Strategies and Comprehensible Input.

TPRSPublishing's channel.(2010.April,14)Marcos_PQA.