Total Physical Response:
James Asher


This approach to second language teaching is based on the belief that listening comprehension should be fully developed before any active oral participation from students is expected (just as it is with children when they are learning their native language).

Asher, James. (1982). Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition. New York: Pergamon Press, 9-32.

James Ashers' Total Physical Response:
1) Skills in second language acquisition can be more rapidly assimilated if the teacher appeals to the students' kinesthetic-sensory system. Asher believes that understanding of the spoken language must be developed in advance of speaking.

2) Understanding and retention is best achieved through movement (total movement of the student's bodies) in response to command sequences. Asher believes that the imperative form of language is a powerful tool that can be used to guide them to understanding as it manipulates their behavior--many of the gramatical structures of the target language can be learned through the use of the imperative.

3) Never force students to speak before they are ready. Asher believes that as the target language is internalized, speaking will automatically emerge (you must decide, as the teacher, when YOU will encourage your students to participate orally in the classroom).

          *For more information see: TPR.