10 TPR Examples! Total Physical Response (What is TPR? How To Use it in Teaching)

10 TPR Examples! Total Physical Response (What is TPR? How To Use it in Teaching)

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 teach from home jobs such as Cambly Kids or PalFish?

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.

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 a typical TPR gesture:


With this example you cup your hand behind your ear to gesture to the student that you need them to speak louder, or simply indicating that it is their turn to speak and you are listening.

With TPR you don't have to act like a clown…but it's important to be more animated than usual

Don't be afraid to 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. Picture examples of TPR can be found below.

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. It is not as necessary for an adult student on platforms like:

TPR Actions Picture Guide

Although most actions are basic, they can be easy to forget while teaching online for companies like Cambly or Allschool.

TPR Actions can be considered fairly obvious, but it’s crucial to remember to be consistent when using them.

If you are going to assign a gesture to an action, word, or sound, make sure you use the same one every time. Below we've listed 10 TPR actions to use that are the most effective.

Hopefully, this quick picture guide will help you remember what to use and when to use it, and get your students understanding and engaging.

10 TPR Examples


Final Thoughts on TPR (Total Physical Response)

Hopefully you can see that using TPR gestures in online teaching isn't as technical as the name suggests. It's simply a helpful technique to help your classes run smoother along with concepts such as ICQ and CCQ. If you would like to start putting your new TPR skills to the test, you can find an online teaching platform by clicking below…

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