I started using TPRS last year after being really unhappy about the amount of English I was using in the classroom. I assumed it was to do with my medium proficiency in Indonesian (I felt so embarrassed when students asked me for a word that I didn’t know) but then I started reading about TPRS.
It just seemed to fit totally with my philosophy of teaching. So I read up on the methodology, watched many video demos and started using TPRS in the second term of 2105, initially just with Year 2s. The best part was the input is controlled!!! So it does not matter if I don’t know a word – I can look it up for next time, and learn as I go!
In third term I jumped in with all my classes! Even my lowest students were writing simple sentences and putting words together to tell me in Indonesian. ‘Ibu Anne nakal’ one told me cheekily! (We had a story about a naughty student who would not follow any teacher directions, so in the story I pretended to hit the naughty student, much to their delight!)
Below is the piece of writing that convinced me that TPRS was a winner! It totally blew me away! Granted, she is a bright student but this is a Year 2 piece of writing – one of the early ones.
I found it more difficult using TPRS with the younger students in Prep and Year One, but began using blocks and connecting links to teach them colours and numbers while they were busy with their hands. I started bringing in toys from home and asking students to give them to others etc so they were moving around. We played a game outside after learning some movement verbs where they had to ‘lari ke merah’ (run to red) or ‘berjalan ke biru mudah’ (walk to light blue). Keeping them moving seems to be the key…
They also loved being the ‘anjing’ up the front while I asked the class what colour the dog was and what its name was.
I had a very talkative Year 4 class that I struggled with all year, but had some success with timing them to see if they could stay in Indonesian for longer than the other Year 4 class!
I must mention that I gained much inspiration and advice from Bu Cathy’s blog. Bu Cathy also teaches Indonesian, but in South Australia. As far as I know Bu Cathy and her colleague are the only ones using TPRS in Australia apart from myself.