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TPRS for Adults in the ESL Classroom 1

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TPRS for Adults in the ESL Classroom 1 Title Page A Pilot Study Comparing Total Physical Response Storytelling™ With the Grammar-Translation Teaching Strategy to Determine Their Effectiveness in Vocabulary Acquisition Among English as a Second Language Adult Learners Rubén Castro Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science in Education School of Education and Counseling Psychology Dominican University of California San Rafael, CA May 2010TPRS for Adults in the ESL Classroom 2 Acknowledgements I thank my professor Dr. Madalienne Peters for her words of encouragement and invaluable support; Dr. Sarah Zykanov, and Dr. Linda Sartor for their unflinching support; Dr. Suresh Appavoo who fulfills his role with great wisdom and love; Dr. Harlan Stelmach, Dr. Phil Novak, Prof. Carlos Rodríguez, and Prof. Chase Clow. I thank fellow teachers who contributed important insights Dr. Janet Irby, Prof. Rebeca Martínez-Chavez, Cathy Burns, Mary Pozzi, and Jan DelaBriandais. I thank my elementary school teachers Esperanza and Alberto Picil who may still be alive somewhere in México, and who taught me honesty; my middle school teacher Padre José Oriol who taught me the rigors of academic life, my high school teachers Padre Carlos who engaged my imagination with knowledge, understood the problems of youth and was a great ally and Mr. Anthony Lowell. I thank my wife Catalina and my daughters Luce and Gina for their support and patience during my school years and for bearing some sacrifices. I thank my mother Lupita García Badillo who has worked so hard to provide me with a solid education and my siblings who have always supported me.TPRS for Adults in the ESL Classroom 3 Abstract This study evaluated the effectiveness of Total Physical Response Storytelling (TPRS™) compared to the Grammar-Translation approach for acquiring and retaining new vocabulary in an English as a Second Language (ESL) class. The subjects were adult Hispanic learners with limited literacy. An experimental design approach was used to gather information on the effect of TPRS™ and Grammar-Translation approaches on student vocabulary retention. A total of 25 participants signed the consent to be a research subject. All participants took two written pretests that examined their knowledge of common words. Following each pretest, the instructor taught three classes using the Grammar-Translation approach and three classes using TPRS™. Following the treatments, all adults took the written vocabulary test. Pre-test and post-test results were analyzed to note similarities and differences in vocabulary retention. Results indicated that both Grammar-Translation and TPRS™ approaches made an important difference in student retention of vocabulary. The improvements in vocabulary acquisition and retention were 49% using Grammar-Translation and 45% using TPRS™. Additional research is needed on how to work effectively with adult students who need to learn English under challenging circumstances. These students have complex lives and are trying to survive in addition to studying to improve their language ability.TPRS for Adults in the ESL Classroom 4 Table of Contents Title Page ................................................................................................................................... 1 Acknowledgements ....................................................................................................................2 Abstract......................................................................................................................................3 Table of Contents .......................................................................................................................4 Chapter 1 Introduction................................................................................................................ 6 Statement of Problem.............................................................................................................. 9 Purpose................................................................................................................................. 10 Research Questions............................................................................................................... 10 Theoretical Rationale............................................................................................................ 10 Assumptions ......................................................................................................................... 13 Background and Need........................................................................................................... 14 Summary .............................................................................................................................. 14 Chapter 2 Review of the Literature ........................................................................................... 15 Historical Background .......................................................................................................... 15 Review of the Previous Research .......................................................................................... 15 Summary of Major Themes................................................................................................... 22 How Present Study Will Extend Current Literature............................................................... 24 Chapter 3 Method ..................................................................................................................... 25 Sample and Site .................................................................................................................... 25 Access and Permissions ........................................................................................................ 26 Data Gathering Strategies ..................................................................................................... 27 Procedures ............................................................................................................................ 27 Pretests ............................................................................................................................. 27 Instruction......................................................................................................................... 27


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