Why do TPRS teachers insist on choral responses?

If you have watched a TPRS/CI classroom, you notice the students saying “yes” or “no” or “ahhhh!”, or giving one-word answers, in response to teacher statements and questions.

Why do teachers want this?

A) Because a stong choral response indicates that most members of the class understood the statement or question. In TPRS, we want, above all, to make sure that people understand. A weak choral response can indicate that the students either don’t understand our question, or aren’t listening, in which case

B) Because it shows us that students are actively listening. People on phones, side-talking, fiddling with whatever…are not getting comprehensible input.

Choral responses, along with “eyes on teacher” and “nothing on desks” for students, keep kids “tuned in” to the teacher. The teacher, in turn, must go slowly, pause while pointing to what is on the board, and “teach to the eyes,” all to ensure that kids hear it and understand it.


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