TPRS – Teaching Proficiency Through Storytelling

What is TPRS, I hear you say? Here are some facts to whet your interest:

TPR Storytelling (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling or TPRS) is a method of foreign language teaching. TPRS lessons use a mixture of  reading and storytelling to help students learn a foreign language in a classroom setting. The method works in three steps:

1. in step one the new vocabulary structures to be learned are taught using a combination of translations, gestures, and personalized questions;

2. in step two those structures are used in a spoken class story; and finally,

3. in step three, these same structures are used in a class reading.

TPR Storytelling  was invented by Blaine Ray, a Spanish teacher in Bakersfield, California, in 1990.

The following sums up the appeal for me of this pedagogy:

Are you a foreign language teacher who has ever wondered how to inspire a deep and passionate interest in learning a second language in your students?

Have you ever wanted your students to get fired up about your class, speak the target language all period long and laugh the whole time?

Have you ever wanted your students to leave your class…..bilingual? Then you’re in the right place.

TPR Storytelling is a foreign language teaching methodology that was invented by Blaine Ray of Bakersfield, California. TPR Storytelling (TPRS) teachers tell personalized stories in their foreign language or English as a Second language classrooms as their students act those stories out.

Students comprehend the stories by virtue of the live action visual aids and acquire the target vocabulary because it is repeated dozens of times within the daily story. Sentence structure, vocabulary and grammar are acquired because non-stop comprehensible input is provided by the teacher.

Some great reading on TPRS can be found on the following blogs: a brilliant list of resources and information The comprehensible Classroom TPRS Teacher What is embedded reading a site for Spanish language learners & educators</p

Watch these inspirational videos: – Blaine Ray (the inventor) demonstrating TPRS a brilliant video for beginners explaining every aspect of TPRS

Follow this link and discover a fantastic selection of handouts available online.

Have a look at Eric Herman’s collection of videos!! Here you can find demo videos about all aspects of TCI.

4 thoughts on “TPRS – Teaching Proficiency Through Storytelling

  1. Margaret Foulkes says:

    Hi Bu,
    Do you have any copies of TPRS stories that you have already made that you are happy to share?
    Thanks Bu Margie


  2. Bu Jem says:

    Hi Bu Cathy,
    Thank you so much for your site and resources. I was wondering if you are interested in speaking to me about coaching. I am a Primary classroom teacher of 13 years in Lara, Victoria but I am new to language teaching and would love to up skill into TPRS and TCI please?
    Terima Kasih,
    Bu Jem


    • bucathy says:

      Please pm me on messenger so I can give you contact details for Ibu Anne who is a TPRS/TCI teacher living close to you! She would be thrilled to work with you!!


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