I’ve always liked Total Physical Response (TPR) as as an approach to language learning. It’s a safe and relatively unchallenging activity for learners, but at the same time it provides them with lots of meaningful and highly memorable language exposure. Perhaps most importantly, it’s fun and it tends to make people laugh. Over the past two years I’ve used it a lot in the Hands Up Project, particularly in the form of physical stories where the I tell a story and ask for volunteers to come up to the webcam and act it out with me. In fact my first ever blog post was about it, and I also like this variation that I wrote about here
Recently, however I’ve started doing things the other way around. As a follow up to a physical story – often as homework – I ask the students to create their own physical stories and I tell them them that in the next session I will listen to their stories and act them out as they tell them.
In the video below you can see this happening in practice. The girls are taking in turns to come up and tell the stories that they wrote for homework. In fact it’s not just me, but also our newest volunteer Iwan who is performing the stories (Iwan was expecting to be just observing the session!) I’d be interested to know what you think of it as a technique and whether it is something that’s achievable in your classes.