Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Teachers' Experiences with the Teaching Proficiency Through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS) Method of Language Instruction: A Qualitative Study Using a Quasi-Phenomenological Approach
by Baker, Richard J., Ed.D., Neumann University, 2017, 316; 10646025
Abstract (Summary)

This quasi-phenomenological study identified the common lived classroom experiences of high school (grades 9-12) teachers who used the Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS) method of world language instruction. The study also explained why some teachers who were trained in and had some experience using TPRS abandoned the method, and what they perceived as obstacles to its use. Additionally, the study identified the techniques perceived as effective by traditional teachers for promoting student success in producing and comprehending the target language with the goal of bridging the gap between TPRS and non-TPRS teachers.

The central phenomenon studied was teachers’ lived experiences using TPRS, a method of world language teaching for providing a near-immersion classroom learning experience. The TPRS method required no textbook or grammar syllabus and focused on providing students with interesting, repetitive, and comprehensible input of commonly used verb structures and high-frequency vocabulary within the context of a story. For this study, a non-TPRS traditional approach included using a textbook, a grammatical syllabus, and production-based communicative classroom learning activities.

A purposeful sample of study participants included three groups of ten teachers each. The first two groups constituted the phenomenological part of the study because they had training and experience with TPRS. In the first group, ten participants used TPRS and considered themselves primarily as TPRS teachers. In a second group, ten teachers were selected because they were trained in TPRS and had some experience using the method but discontinued or limited its use when they encountered obstacles and resistance. A third group, not part of the phenomenological portion of the study, consisted of ten teachers who were not trained in TPRS, used a traditional approach, and had no experience using the method. That group provided a perspective outside of TPRS training and experience to discover which teaching techniques they perceived as effective. That input was included in the study to inform the researcher of potential improvements to recommend for the continuously developing TPRS method.

Data were collected through in depth, face-to-face, in-person, open-ended, semi-structured interviews. The results of the data analysis identified sixteen common lived experiences of TPRS teachers, twelve obstacles encountered by teachers when using or trying out TPRS, and four recommendations to consider incorporating into this changing and evolving method of world language instruction.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Houck, James A.
Commitee: Lichtman, Karen, Murphy, Aideen
School: Neumann University
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: English as a Second Language, Foreign language education, Near Eastern Studies
Keywords: Blaine Ray, Comprehensive input, TPR storytelling, TPRS, Teaching proficiency through reading and storytelling, World language method
Publication Number: 10646025
ISBN: 978-0-355-19278-0
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