TPR Method In Foreign Language Education

TPR Method In Foreign Language Education

‟Why most of the individuals trained in Turkey can not speak a foreign language fluently?” This question has been a subject of our daily conversations for a long time. Many of us might have heard some comments in the upper mentioned conversations such as ‟ inappropriate applications/approaches in our education system are the reasons for the problem”, or ‟language education was tried to be established through memorizing methods”. In fact, it is proved by scientific studies that these conclusions are not completely wrong. James J. Asher’s approach mentioned in his book -Learning Another Language through Actions, Total Physical Response – TPR, has proved itself with its practices and successful results in the last 60 years. For these reasons, one of the most basic techniques in foreign language education has been accepted as TPR. So what is TPR?

The logic behind TPR was developed based on how babies have learned their mother language from their parents since the beginning of the mankind. Accordingly, babies first learn the language with comprehension. In this process, they begin to grasp and understand the actions that parents executed and repeated. There is no speech during this process. But, it was seen that babies understand what is spoken and react to many questions. Speaking takes place spontaneously at the end of the comprehension process. In this process, babies match sounds that are elements of language with actions. These processes are carried out by the right lobe of the brain. They naturally understand and then speak the language in its natural process without a need for additional study, memorizing words, learning grammar, and taking exams. This natural process is the main scientific resource taken into account in developing the TPR methodology.

Memorizing vocabulary used in classical foreign language education, introducing grammar rules, putting children into patterns, and making the kids repeat lists of phrases usually use the left lobe of the brain and very little of the right lobe. In this process, as the brain is overloaded, the process of learning slows down. The information learned is not well memorized and usually forgotten before the lesson is over. Students cannot internalize the vocabulary which are completely foreign to them such as chair-desk-book. These concepts, which they hear for the first time, mean nothing to them. So learning does not happen.

TPR solves this problem by considering the fact that every individual needs to learn the language just as a baby learns its mother language. Accordingly, the teacher uses the language when making actions just like parents. As he/she stands up –  says ‘stand up’. The teacher does this many times. In this way, the student hears the ‘stand up’ while doing that action and understands by practicing-living as he stands up. After similar applications are carried out by the teacher in a certain number, the student then internalizes the sounds he/she has actively practiced, seen, and heard and then understands the meaning. Now when the teacher says stand up, he starts to practice the action he learned. Speech, the next stage, will emerge spontaneously with activities after these and similar basic concepts are well established.

In foreign language teaching, TPR applications are implemented with body language and facial expressions. It is performed by showing elements of the foreign language to the student and asking him to act. In this way, after the reinforced basic level, classical language teaching methods will be used in certain proportions. TPR applications are not only a method of education for children. Individuals who want to learn foreign languages of all ages can learn much faster and easier with TPR.

In this context, let us briefly touch upon the principles of TPR applications:

  1. Second language learning is possible with the repetition of the natural process as happens in the mother language learning. Therefore, the elements of the language can only be transferred to the other party with the help of actions.
  2. Listening and understanding skills should improve before speaking. Speech will develop spontaneously as a result of this process.
  3. Children respond better to the education with actions, body language and speech. Thus, language is learned so quickly.
  4. Students can learn the vocabulary more permanently by seeing and repeating actions. In this way, while language teaching moves away from monotony, it becomes extremely entertaining and fun. The motivation of the children, who perceive this process as a game, increases and this speeds up the language learning.

So why, as Viptalkers, do we apply the TPR technique in our lessons?

Because;

The lessons are extremely fun with the TPR technique. A fun and active learning environment is provided instead of a monotonous lecture environment.

  1. It is extremely memorable and instructive. Since elements of the language are learned and lived by students, forgetting does not occur.
  2. As the learning with actions and body language takes place, students understand the subject very clearly.
  3. Apart from the conventional and boring teaching techniques, with TPR, students’ motivation and their interest in language learning increase, and they begin to participate the class activities voluntarily.

Learning foreign languages is not difficult at all when the right techniques are applied. I have not witnessed any baby crying for not being able to memorize the vocabulary J Because they learn the language naturally, by matching the actions of their parents with language. It has been seen in the TPR applications in the last 60 years that the same technique is equally effective even for old people.

For this reason, Viptalkers provides language education using the TPR technique with its expert tutor staff. All of our teachers are trained and certified (TEFL-TESOL).

If you or your child want to learn the language naturally and easily, Viptalkers, which provides language education with TPR technique, is ready for you…

 

Resources

https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ed028664.pdf

https://core.ac.uk/reader/71396210

http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/total-physical-response-tp is

 
Effective Learning Time: 25 Minutes

Effective Learning Time: 25 Minutes

The duration of a course is an issue that every educator thinks and ponders. There are still different opinions and practices about how long a course should be for effective learning and concentration. The most important problem here is, of course, the overlap of the syllabus and course curriculum. Therefore, in formal education institutions, the duration of the course is generally between 30-45 minutes whereas the decision of the course time is left to the teacher at the countries in pioneering in education. In that context, the teachers evaluate the course duration on a subject basis and can extend the course up to 50 minutes on simple and non-concentration subjects, and prefer to limit the course to a maximum of 30 minutes on more difficult and cognitive topics.

Another issue related to the duration of the course is the student’s interest in the subject. Research has shown that no matter which course, all age group students pay attention to the course with an interest of 5-10% in the first 5 minutes of the course. Therefore, educators actually use these first 5 minutes, which may be considered worthless, to attract the attention of the student and warm up the class. Subsequently, the transition to the main subject is made and the flow of information is intensified where the student increases his attention. According to the content of the course, this section is extended at the teacher’s initiative until the student’s concentration continues, but it is ensured that no matter more than 20 minutes. Hence the attention will be distracted, and interest will begin to decline after 20 minutes. At the end of this period, a break of at least 5 minutes and a different activity of the student during this 5-minute interval is necessary for effective and quality learning. If the student feels ready, the course can be continued for a second or third 25-minute period.

As mentioned before, there are different approaches to course duration. What should be the duration of the course in foreign language education? The VIPTalkers ​team, with its professional educator staff, a brand in foreign language education has decided that the duration of the program to be 25 minutes. As the student, who wants to learn a different language, uploads information to the language-learning center of the brain, which is almost never used by the brain in daily life. The language-learning center of the brain is located in the left lobe and is the part where direct cognitive functions such as mathematics, logic and analysis are carried out. Therefore, learning a different language is a difficult and separate process. For this reason, if you do not take a break when you begin to study daily with foreign language, the feeling of boredom may soon outweigh. That’s why courses at www.viptalkers.com are limited to 25 minutes. In this way, you will realize that you can comprehend the same subjects in short times with a different technique.

One of the indispensable subjects in foreign language education is the warming phase. Because entering to the language-learning center of the brain that we do not use in daily life with an intensive course program means having a cold shower effect, which is often done as a mistake causing the student get bored quickly. Warming is a rule that must be followed by educators dealing with foreign languages at any level. For this reason, the experts of the subject recommends to reading 1-2 pages before foreign language exams and avoiding the use the mother tongue as much as possible until the exam. It is also possible to compare this practice to the warm-up movements you have done before an intense sport activity. Even if you do not want this 5-minute warming period, the language learning area of your brain will automatically warm and full learning of the foreign language will start after the 5th minute.

Finally, in a classical learning environment, teacher and student communication is different and the presence of the teacher inevitably has a positive effect on student interest. For this reason, classical lessons can be extended up to 30-40 minutes. However, the fact that the duration of the online trainings is so long means that the student will not understand half of the subject. The main aim of foreign language education is to make the students love the language and make the student live with the language. Otherwise, boredom and reverse motivation will soon be seen. This reverse motivation and frustration play a vital role in the basis of the foreign language trainings you have started so far, maybe a few times. Because the language learning center of our brain does not tolerate any failure. If you quit training with loss of boredom and motivation, it may be more difficult for you to start again.

The viptalkers.com team builds course content with scientific data, contemporary training methods and experience in the field of education, making learning a foreign language fun regardless of age and level. Our main objective is to contribute to the education of our students with similar steps to the processes in which a baby learns the mother tongue without exhausting the language-learning center of our brain. At the heart of this goal is to make English popular and to advance the student one step further at the end of each lesson. With VIPTalkers, English language education is growing and expanding with participants at all levels and ages.

A New Window in English Training: VIPTalkers

A New Window in English Training: VIPTalkers

The importance of foreign language has become an indisputable fact in our increasingly globalized world. In particular, the effect of the media and the internet on shortening the distances, and on increasing the speed of communication and interaction to an unimaginable level, made it inevitable that even in daily life, foreign language and especially English would be encountered here or there. Given that three-quarters of the total Internet content or half of the business agreements in the world are in English, there is nothing to be surprised about. Today, we encounter English almost every day in any web site we visit, in the name of a new technological product, at almost all of the computer games or the famous Hollywood television series that we watch with subtitles.

Because of this and many other reasons, even more impotantly because of the fact that it is the language of trade and science and technology, all developed and developing countries pay particular attention to English education. In this respect, our country is not an exception. Our education system has been giving importance to foreign language education for many years. For this reason, preparatory classes have been established, the number of the lessons has been increased and English education has been planned as of primary school.

Although there are many efforts to improve the quality of English education, I wouldn’t be wrong if I claim that the results we have achieved are not satisfactory for us. The reason why English comprehension and speaking competence of the students who have studied English for 11 years, starting from the 2nd grade to the 12th grade, are at very low levels is a research subject on its own.

Of course, there are many different reasons. However, in my opinion, the most important one is our lack of knowledge about the difference in the structure of a foreign language and about the process of learning a foreign language. Me, as one of the students who had been studying English for many years during the school life, I first understood this after going to the USA for getting my masters’ degree and later when working abroad in a multi-national company. Let’s open this up a little.

After arriving in the United States for a masters’ degree program, I had a hard time communicating at first, although my English level was not bad. It wasn’t because of my lack of grammar or vocabulary, my lack of speaking practice, or my weakness in listening. Furthermore, I had received very high marks from internationally recognized exams. The reason was that the English spoken in everyday life by native people was different from the English had been taught to me. Isn’t that the same for Turkish? When we look at the language we use in our daily life, it is quite common to see that there is no compliance with the rules of grammar, inverted sentences are used from time to time, and even some of the main elements of a sentence such as subject-object-predicate are missing. The same goes for English. Unfortunately, our approach to language, even as an individual, is usually focused on grammar and vocabulary. But real-life English is more than just grammar and vocabulary. For example, in a country whose native language is English, how many times do you hear someone asking how you are doing by saying “How do you do?”? or somone answering this question with a “Fine, thanks and you?” Let me answer, I have hardly seen it in my five years of experience. Hasn’t it been taught to us for years? I realized this when an American told me “what’s up!” and I couldn’t find out exactly what the answer would be. This is exactly why a language is learned by living or experiencing. You can find some suggested solutions for this at the end of the article.

The first thing I noticed when I started working abroad was that some of the other nations, such as Germans, Dutch, Danes, etc., could speak English more easily and fluently. Of course, the diversity of education systems, cultural affinities, etc. have a lot of influence on this, but there is another aspect that is as effective as them. I noticed this while chatting with a German colleague. When I was checking my e-mails that day, my German friend, who asked me to translate an e-mail from Turkish into English, complained about the time I spent for the translation. Then I told him that we could do an experiment if he wanted to. I translated the words directly into English without changing their place in the sentence and asked him how much he could understand. The answer was less than a quarter of the whole paragraph. We tested the same thing with a German e-mail. More than 70% of the words in one paragraph were already in the correct place as they would be in the translated sentence into English. Even if you put only the English meaning of the words, the whole paragraph was understandable. This meant that; we cannot speak by originating from our language structure and translating in our minds while speaking English.

We have two solutions ahead; we will either make the sentence in Turkish first and then find out how to express it according to the English sentence structure or think directly in English. The second option is of course the ideal one. But it is a fact that it takes time. What is important at this point is that we should be aware of both of the situations I mentioned above before we start studying English. So we need to know that; We can’t speak English like Turkish. We need to learn English like English. Just like the kids learn to talk. Children learn to talk by imitating. They constantly watch around, record conversations, and see in what situation and how people react. This will be a grammatical detail, but when building sentences, they don’t think what form of past tense they should use. Because they use language as a reflex. Same as a 7-year-old native English child doesn’t think either it should be if clause 2 or 3 as he speaks without thinking. This is exactly why English is best learned by exposure. Firstly listening and reading, but then necessarily speaking. Because speaking requires productivity, forces the mind, and makes learning more permanent. The more you are exposed to sentences set up in similar situations, the less you think and strive to speak when you come across them in real life.

This is the approach that VIPTalkers is based on in learning English. In addition to grammar and vocabulary, to expose the student to English as much as possible (as it is used literally) and to make the English become a reflex, to raise the student from a passive listener position to an active element in the center of the course and to make him think English as a result. The basis of the training at VIPTalkers is speaking. Because, as mentioned above, speaking actively enables the use of language. For this reason, the courses are designed to allow students to speak as much as possible. In this way, it is possible to learn English much faster and in a more fun way. Remember that knowing English is not just about knowing meanings of the words or grammar rules. On the contrary, it is far beyond that…

Impact of Native Speaker on Learning English

Impact of Native Speaker on Learning English

One of the most effective and undisputed factors that make learning English easier is to carry out English learning with native English teachers.

Our most important sense of learning is our sense of hearing. It is our sense that makes the most contribution to learning. Sometimes we realize that we have memorized the lyrics of a song without realizing it. The reason for this is that even if you do not pay attention, what you hear is transferred to memory. You learn and speak the same way you hear English. A native English speaker speaks natural English than a teacher who learns English later, and it seems that people who learn English from the native speaker are much more natural than others. Accents and pronunciation errors are minimized. In this method, students are carefully focused on establishing correct sentences, and teachers immediately correct pronunciation errors. Teachers whose native language is English can more easily detect and correct accent and pronunciation errors in your English. This gives you a chance to see your mistakes and correct them quickly.

Especially when it comes to children, a tutor whose mother tongue is English is very important. Kids are like an empty sheet (tabula rasa). That’s why they learn English in the same way they hear. When he grows up, the English he speaks is too smooth to be distinguished from a native speaker.

We should know that language lessons are not like math. So memorizing grammar rules or words is not enough to speak English. Each language has the characteristics of the country of birth and the language changes and develops with the changing culture of the country. Therefore, apart from the correct pronunciation, another important point is that a ‘‘Native Speaker teacher” is able to convey not only the language but also the culture of that language. Thus, while learning the language, they teach people how to use the language, the patterns used, social relations and rules of society, and it increases your communication with the people who speak the language. Your control on the language increases.

Another important issue in learning a foreign language is to hesitate speaking to a foreigner. Difficulties are experienced due to the fear of making mistakes and the fear of understanding wrong. We shouldn’t forget that speaking can only be learned by speaking. It is important to know that language is something spoken and if you are unable to speak, you can’t make use of many advantages of knowing a language. In private lessons with a Native Speaker teacher, these fears will be left behind and the necessary speech training will be done ideally.

Benefits of Learning and Speaking English

Benefits of Learning and Speaking English

There is an old saying. A foreign language is a new person​. Yes, speaking a foreign language can help you a lot. Knowledge of a foreign language; There are many benefits such as getting a new job, traveling freely in a foreign country, working when necessary and following foreign press. So why English? Although English is not the most spoken language in the world today, it is the official language of 53 countries and is spoken by around 400 million people. It is also the language of science and a language in which international people can speak among themselves. Speaking English provides opportunities to speak and communicate not only with native English speakers, but also with people from other countries.

The language of aviation is English. Today, a Danish pilot, passes through Turkey’s airspace and airspace from any country, must speak English and deal with ground control elements. If you are wandering around Istanbul Eminönü, the question that a tourist will ask you will probably be in English. For example, a tourist who came to our country from Arab countries is likely to use English when asking you for an address. It will not be misleading to conclude from these examples that: The language of speech and agreement in international settings is English.

The language in which many international companies correspond, speak, and understand among their employees and with other companies is English. Today, regardless of the country of origin, if you want to work in an international company, you have to use, speak and write English very well.

If you like cinema, if you like listening to music, if you follow the NBA basketball league, you will enjoy much more than the ones who can’t understand English. Many feature films and popular songs are also in English. You are more likely to reach a resource you are looking for on the Internet by knowing English again. For example, a computer programmer is more likely to find the solution to a problem he / she encounters during software by writing in English to search engines like Google.

There are many reasons why English is so widely accepted and used in almost every field. The most important of these is that those who make technological progress and scientific developments use this language. We would also like to have our native language a common language of science, business and entertainment. However, for now, English is the language that the world’s people have decided on for many areas. Today, our better understanding and reading of English will contribute us to both individual and social issues.

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