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Look and Listen and Do (Total Physical Response – TPR)

Level: Beginner

Skill: Listening comprehension

Purpose: To learn to recognize vocabulary words when you hear them and do something to show you have understood. The goal is vocabulary building.

What To Do:

Step 1: Associating meaning with sound. You point to a picture or an object and the LH says the name of the object or person or action. You listen really well to try to associate the word you are hearing with the object or picture. You do this with 3-5 items. Repeat pointing and listening several  times for each item until you feel confident that you can recognize them.   For this step YOU decide what word or picture you want to hear, and point at the item so the LH knows which word you want to hear.

Step 2: Testing your memory. Now you put out the 3-5 items you have practiced and ask the LH to say them one at a time, in random order. You point to the picture or item the LH says and point to it or pick it up to show that you have understood. The LH indicates if you are right or wrong. If you are making a lot of mistakes, go back to Step 1 and do it with fewer items, then do Step 2 again. Add new items slowly, at a rate such that you get most of the items right.

Step 3: Combining and recombining. When you are comfortable that you can recognize the words when you hear them, start to combine the words into longer phrases. For example, if you have learned words for pen, pencil, cup, paper  and for red, yellow, and blue,  and numbers 1-5, then look for some items of each of the colors, and get the LH to say things like “blue pencil”, “yellow cup”, “red paper”.  And then “2 yellow pencils, 3 blue cups”. Then “Give me the yellow cup. ” Eventually work toward understanding longer sentences such as “Give me two red pencils and 3 yellow cups.” Remember to  build up slowly so that you succeed most of the time in doing what the LH asks you to do.

Step 4: Recording. Make a digital recording of what you have done with your LH, so you can practice again by yourself and reinforce what you have learned.  Record in two ways: 1.A glossary in which words are said in the same order as a vocabulary list or set of pictures you use for a reference (as in Step 1 above), and 2. A recording of the words said in random order, so you can practice Step 2 above.

Note: Research has shown that people can learn to recognize words much more quickly than learning to say them. In fact, different parts of the brain are involved in these two activities. It seems to work best to learn to recognize words first, and show you have recognized them by doing something, like pointing, before you try to say the words. That is why Listen and Do comes before Listen and Do and Speak.

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