How To Use TPR in Online Teaching [Total Physical Response]

What is TPR?

It stands for Total Physical Response.

And all this is, is simply over-exaggerated body language. So why is this relevant to online teaching?

Well, communicating with someone who speaks a different language to you is a tricky thing. I know it is very tempting to simply say English words louder…but this doesn’t really help.

Using this over the top body language helps to aid the student’s comprehension of your communication…imagine sign language to a deaf person, and you’re on the right path.

So here are some TPR tips and tricks in the video below:

How Do You Use Total Physical Response?

You would simply point your finger to your eye and say ‘Can you see?’

It’s as simple as that.  You can gesture to your mouth and say ‘Can you say?’

Here is a picture of me doing a typical TPR gesture:

How to use TPR

Act Like a Clown!

Seriously, just let your silly side out. How many opportunities are there in the real world to be as animated as possible with absolute relevancy? So embrace the TPR!

Here are some examples of ways you can use TPR:

  • Pretend to have some binoculars using your hands – ‘Can you see?’
  • Tap your chin and pretend to be puzzled when asking a question.
  • Animate the sentence, for example, explaining an umbrella with the action of opening an umbrella.
  • Imitate animals, like a pig, by holding your nostrils up.

And that’s just to name a few.




Obviously, it depends on the ability of the student, regarding how much TPR you use. For the younger students, try and use as much TPR as possible to keep them engaged.

Final Top TPR Tip!

ManyCam helps as well…you can use a glasses accessory for ‘Can you see?’ type questions. This could come in handy if your arms begin to get tired from all the Total Physical Response action!

If you’d like to learn more tips and tricks for ManyCam, then visit the article below:

How to use TPR

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