Interesting Reading – Learning a new language through storytelling

You might already be aware of Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS.) We were contacted by OptiLingo and sent this article written by founder Jonty Yashima:

What You Need to Know About TPRS (And How to Use It Effectively) We think it is interesting reading for anyone learning BSL.

There are clear parallels between TPRS explained in the article and our British Sign Language teaching. We think it is interesting reading for anyone learning BSL.

To become fluent in BSL, students need comprehension and to be able to take part naturally in spontaneous conversation. This is why our teachers sign with you on a subject – this is like storytelling. They encourage you to do homework- practising your receptive skills by watching a fluent signer; as the article says, at a level not too hard, not too easy, in order to build understanding and confidence.

TPRS pairs movement with language education and encourages the incorporation of action. This is meant to reflect how infants learn language. It underlines how sign and gesture aid learning. The importance of eye contact is stressed.

Our BSL students need to contribute in class by ‘re-telling a story’, ‘creating a plot’ as they discuss a topic and practice conversations. Assessments are conversations, and at higher levels presentations, or ‘storytelling’ – either informally or formally. Within class our BSL teachers include ‘pop-up grammar’ – incorporating BSL linguistics to fit the learning such as use of signing space, placement, timelines, BSL order, classifiers etc as the students become more fluent.

Enjoy the read, and think how you can incorporate storytelling into your BSL learning.

You can find more language-related information on the OptiLingo blog