Research on TPR Storytelling

Karen Lichtman

I got into the field of Linguistics through TPR Storytelling, a language teaching method that promotes the development of fluency through comprehensible input (and a more implicit way to learn languages). Since 2009, I have been collecting published research and empirical studies on TPRS. Below you will find .pdf versions of my conference handouts and published chapters on TPRS research. If you know of a new study, email it to me! Also, if you need a .pdf copy of the articles referenced below (not all are easy to find) or a copy of the full conference slides, email me.

My book on TPRS is now available through Routledge and on Amazon as a printed book or e-module!

2018 ETPRS presentation

Lichtman, K. "Implicit learning works: How ten years of TPRS research explains why we teach with comprehensible input." Invited keynote speech at ETPRS (European Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling conference), October 5, 2018.

Handout: Research on TPR Storytelling (TPRS): A handout for teachers, parents, students, and administrators, updated summer 2018


2018 NTPRS presentation

Lichtman, K. "Research on TPRS." NTPRS 2018 (National TPR Storytelling Conference), Boston, July 12, 2018.

Handout: Research on TPR Storytelling (TPRS): A handout for teachers, parents, students, and administrators, updated summer 2018


2016 NTPRS presentation

Lichtman, K. "TPRS Research." NTPRS 2016 (National TPR Storytelling Conference), Reno, July 28, 2016.

Handout: Research on TPR Storytelling (TPRS): A handout for teachers, parents, students, and administrators, updated summer 2016


2015 Research summary in the 7th edition of the "green book"

Lichtman, K. 2015. Research on TPR Storytelling. In B. Ray & C. Seely, Fluency Through TPR Storytelling, 7th ed. Berkeley: Command Performance Language Institute..

Appendix C: Research on TPR Storytelling


2014 NTPRS presentation

Lichtman, K. "Research on TPR Storytelling." NTPRS 2014 (National TPR Storytelling Conference), Chicago, July 24, 2014.

Handout 1: Research on TPR Storytelling (TPRS): A handout for teachers, parents, students, and administrators, updated summer 2014
Handout 2: Master Class: Doing (better) TPRS Research: A handout for readers of research, graduate students, and teacher researchers


2013 NTPRS presentation with Stephen Krashen

Lichtman, K., & Krashen, S. "Show me the data: Research on TPRS." NTPRS 2013 (National TPR Storytelling Conference), Dallas, TX, July 25, 2013.

Handout, page 1: Show me the data: Research on TPR Storytelling. A handout for teachers, parents, students, and administrators
Handout, page 2: Understanding Statistics and Next Steps in TPRS Research. A handout for readers of research, graduate students, and teacher researchers


2012 Research summary in the 6th edition of the "green book" (right)

Lichtman, K. 2012. Research on TPR Storytelling. In B. Ray & C. Seely, Fluency Through TPR Storytelling (304-311). Berkeley: Command Performance Language Institute.

Appendix C: Research on TPR Storytelling

Full references (not in pdf):
Alley, D. & Overfield, D. (2008). An Analysis of the Teaching Proficiency Through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS) Method. Dimension, 2008, 13-25.
Asher, James J. 2009. Learning Another Language Through Actions: The Complete Teacher's Guidebook. 7th ed. Los Gatos, CA: Sky Oaks.
Avant Assessment (2002). Retrieved August 4, 2008, from http://avantassessment.com
Beal, K.D. (2011). The correlates of storytelling from the Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS) method of foreign language instruction on anxiety, continued enrollment and academic success in middle and high school students. (Doctoral dissertation.) Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. (Accession Order No. AAT 3449943)
Beyer, F. (2008). Impact of TPR on the preterit tense in Spanish. (Master's thesis). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. (Accession Order No. AAT 1453782)
Braunstein, L. (2006). Adult ESL learners' attitudes towards movement (TPR) and drama (TPR Storytelling) in the classroom. CATESOL, 18:1, 7-20.
Bustamante, M.C. (2009). Measuring the effectiveness of a TPRS pilot course in Spanish at the 100 college level. (Master's thesis). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. (Accession Order No. AAT 1470219)
Davidheiser, J. C. (2001). The ABCs of TPR Storytelling. Dimension, 2001, 45-53.
Dziedzic, J. (2012). A Comparison of TPRS and Traditional Instruction, both with SSR. International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 7:2 (March 2012), pp. 4-7. Foster, S.J. (2011). Processing instruction and teaching proficiency through reading and storytelling: A study of input in the second language classroom. (Master's thesis). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. (Accession Order No. AAT 1504823)
Garczynski, M. (2003). Teaching proficiency through reading and storytelling: Are TPRS students more fluent in second language acquisition than audio lingual students? (Master's thesis). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. (Accession Order No. AAT EP30485)
Krashen, S. (1981). Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning. Oxford: Pergamon
Krashen, S. (1982). Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Pergamon.
Oliver, J.S. (2012). Investigating Storytelling Methods in a Beginning-Level College Class. The Language Educator, February 2012.
Perna, M. (2007). Effects of Total Physical Response Storytelling versus traditional, versus initial instruction with primary-, reinforced by secondary-perceptual strengths on the vocabulary- and grammar-Italian-language achievement test scores, and the attitudes of ninth and tenth graders. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. (Accession Order No. AAT 3279261)
Rapstine, A.H. (2003). Total Physical Response Storytelling (TPRS): A practical and theoretical overview and evaluation within the framework of the national standards. (Master's thesis). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. (Accession Order No. AAT 1416100)
Spangler, D.E. (2009). Effects of two foreign language methodologies, communicative language teaching and teaching proficiency through reading and storytelling, on beginning-level students' achievement, fluency, and anxiety. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. (Accession Order No. AAT 3396360)
Taulbee, A.M. (2008). Twenty Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS) lessons for the Spanish I classroom. (Master's thesis). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. (Accession Order No. AAT 1460842)
VanPatten, B. (1996). Input processing and grammar instruction. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Varguez, K. C. (2009). Traditional and TPR Storytelling Instruction in the Beginning High School Classroom. International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 5:1 (Summer), pp. 2-11.
Watson, B. (2009). A comparison of TPRS and traditional foreign language instruction at the high school level. International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 5:1 (Summer), pp. 21-24
Webster, Mark A. 2003. "Research for Developing an In-service for World Language Curriculum Within the Tenets of Second Language Acquisition And Total Physical Response Storytelling," unpublished M.Ed. thesis, Grand Valley State University, Holland, MI.


2011 NTPRS presentation

Lichtman, K. "The state of the research on TPRS: what's been done, how to explain it, and how to participate." NTPRS 2011 (National TPR Storytelling Conference), St. Louis, July 17-21, 2011.

Handout, page 1: Research on TPR Storytelling:A handout for teachers, parents, students, and administrators
Handout, page 2: Doing Research


TPRS: an Input-Based Approach to Second Language Instruction

Fluency Through TPR Storytelling, 6th ed.


This research has been featured on the Netherlands TPRS Academy Scientific Research Page, where you will also find a few more articles on TPRS.

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