Wednesday, March 5, 2008

TPR Saved My Life!

TPR (Total Physical Response) is the greatest game ever created for poor, frustrated ESL teachers struggling with kindergartners! I should know. I used that game today with my littlest kids, and it was a resounding success. Not only did they love the game, they also learned a couple of basic commands far faster than they would have in a lesson.

TPR is easy to teach, too, which is necessary with that class. All you have to do is shout out commands, and the kids follow them. For instance, today I had the kids doing "sit down," "stand up," "hello," "open," "close," and "walk." They had so much fun that it never occurred to them that they were actually learning. Tomorrow, I'm going to use TPR again, but with new commands added. I highly recommend this technique to any other ESL teachers.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"