The Place of Total Physical Response and Cooperative Learning in Second Language Acquisition and in the Language Classroom
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Total Physical Response and Cooperative Learning are two constructivist teaching methods devised during the Twentieth Century to help strengthen Second Language Acquisition curriculum by incorporating the findings of brain research. The first method relies on having students pantomime words while saying them, and the second upon a system of elaborately structured group work. This paper examines the strengths and weaknesses of the two methods and compares them to prevalent nonconstructivist teaching techniques, in order to devise an ideal balance of the three. The author bases conclusions upon published documentation of the two constructivist methods and upon experience gleaned from an academic quarter as a student teacher in a high school Spanish class in Southwest Michigan.Ideally, methods must complement each other. This can be achieved by beginning academic units with TPR, ending them with CL, and structuring them with more traditional means.
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