November 3, 2010
Krashen and language acquisition. My bubble is burst, or is it?
I received the following comment on one of my youtube videos about Krashen and language acquisition.“Hate to burst your bubble, but almost all of Krashen’s Five Hypotheses a.k.a. MANIA (Monitor, Acquisition, Natural Order, Input, and Affective filter) have been largely and systematically refuted in Second Language Acquisition research. ……”I am not a die hard Krashenite. I believe that output, when the learner is ready for it, does help. It is necessary to practice what one has learned. It helps to notice gaps. I also favour regular although sporadic reviews of grammar, and vocabulary. These are all things that help us notice. And eventually output is the goal for most people, so at the right moment, most learners will want to produce the language at some point, ideally a point of their choosing.The great value of Krashen is to point out, and elegantly, the tremendous benefit to be derived from input activities, especially reading. I would add listening, as the foundation of reading, whether for second language learners, or for people wanting to improve literacy in their native language.These activities are easy to do, inexpensive, available to everyone. They are powerful, and most of the time more effective than all the deliberate learning activities and strategies proposed by well meaning teachers who often want to force learners to produce the language accurately before they are ready.I think that no enough emphasis is put on promoting reading and self-learning via input. So my Krashen bubble is not burst, even though I do not agree with everything he says. He is a positive influence on language learning, at least from a learner’s perspective.
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