Developing english language learners linguistic efficacy through total physical response storytelling drawing on understanding of the "flow" phenomenon.

Year: 2012

Author: Zavros, Agli, Geiblinger, Helmut

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


Education research addressing the issues of inclusion and diversity highlight the important of re-examining pervasive discourses that define the experiences of learners (Ashman & Elkins, 2008).  The current educational landscape necessitates the testing of students' language skills, forgetting the organic manner in which language is acquired.  High stakes testing regimes often result in pedagogical practices that at times ignore key principles of language acquisition.  Total Physical Response Storytelling (TPRS) is a pedagogical method that closely aligns with Krashen's (1987) theory.  This paper discusses TPRS in relation to the "flow" phenomenon, a mental state in which a person is fully immersed in what they are doing, characterised by a feeling of energised focus, dedication, and feelings of success and engagement (Jackson and Csikszentmihalyi, 1999).  This paper explores the relationship between these two theories in supporting English Language Learners (ELL) linguistic efficacy.  Efficacy beliefs "are constructed from four principal sources of information: enacted mastery experience that serves as indicators of capability; vicarious experiences that alter efficacy beliefs through transmission of competencies and comparison with attainments of others; verbal persuasive and allied types of social influences that one possesses certain capabilities; and physiological and affective states from which people partly judge their capableness, strength, and vulnerability to dysfunction" (Bandura,1997, p79). In this paper we propose that these three perspectives can serve to revitalize the dialogue around language acquisition and the ethical responsibility of educators to deliver learning experiences that support ELL linguistic efficacy and subsequently their access and success in attaining desired educational outcomes. 


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Jackson, S. & Csikszenmihalyi, M. (1999). Flow in Sports: The keys to optimal experiences and performances. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Krashen, Stephen D. (1987).  Principles and practice in Second Language

Acquisition.  New York:  Prentice-Hall International.