TPR Storytelling Student Book, English Year 3 is used with with TPR Storytelling Teacher's Guidebook, also by Todd McKay.
My name is Todd McKay. I teach middle school students in Pennsylvania. My subject is Spanish and I have been doing this for many years. "Teaching" a language is easy but it bothered me that "learning" a language is difficult for students. I searched for a way to make the equation equal - that is, learning should be as easy for students as teaching the subject was for me. The answer I discovered is TPR. I discovered this in 1992 during my first year teaching when I felt like I was pounding my head against a wall and was about ready to quit.
TPR was CPR for my career. When I tried TPR for the first time, I was thrilled that it actually worked. Within minutes, my beginning students were not listening to "noise" coming from my mouth, but messages they could understand with no translation. It was instant understanding of an "alien" language. They understood and to my amazement, actually enjoyed the learning process. For the first time, I observed students excited to be learning.
What happened was this: after three weeks, the novelty wore off. Dr. James J. Asher, the originator of TPR, calls this adaptation. For more on this phenomenon and how to cope with it, read his book Learning Another Language Through Actions, now in the 7th edition, with more than 60,000 copies in print throughout the world.
You know that your students have adapted (that is, they are no longer responding) when they mutiny with comments such as: "If you ask me to perform one more time, I will throw up in the wastebasket." or "Please, no more. I have a terrible headache." The simple answer, as Dr. Asher recommends, is "Never stay with any novelty too long. Switch to a different activity frequently." One of the "different activities" that worked with my students is storytelling.
So what I want to share with you is a technique for switching between two powerful tools, classic TPR and TPR Storytelling, to keep the students excited with the learning process. They internalize the target language in chunks rather than word by word memorization. Along the way, I will share other ways to switch activities to guarantee a successful learning experience for your students.