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James Asher promoted this method (you can't invent a method!!! I'm sure teachers were doing this for a long time before him). Here's a good rundown on it.
Krashen also enters the discussion -

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Comment by Ellen Pham on December 9, 2009 at 3:26am
I DO like this method, esp the part where acquring another language should not be painful!

The one big difference I see is that the child is also constantly communicating with the mother.. what they are showing between the baby and the mother doesn't actually go on very much... it would be pretty annoying to both mother and child to constantly be questioning/questioned.. A little of that goes a long way : )

The one exceptional, notable thing about a baby is that they are always trying to engage... pull you into a little game, and they can make games out of the funniest things. My point is that the communication is anything but one way... it's not teach, learn - see, do. The imitation is imaginative, creative, and the baby pulls the mom in directions absolutely as much as she pulls the baby.

For example, Chucky's first word was "no". He was about 7-8 months old, and had just started pulling himself up from a crawl. I was sitting on the couch and he was crawling across the room and pulling himself up using a floor lamp. I would run to catch him before the lamp fell over, saying a very musical "no" and bringing him back to me. He'd start giggling and making a bee line for the lamp as soon as I put him down- he was making a game of it. This kind of game would probably end, after 7 or 8 tries, with him being twirled in the air and given tummy kisses... then on to another activity (I'd give up sitting on the couch). But at some point when I wasn't rushing over with quite the same energy, he pulled himself up all the way and said a very playful nooooo- big celebration, he said his first word! But he was teasing me : )

Language is used to engage before it is used to name : )

Maybe this back and forth engagement and creative use of language as it is being learned happens early on in the TPR method. But I suspect any method that is used for prolonged periods to "teach" and not to specifically engage will become painfully tedious.

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