lunes, 18 de octubre de 2010

Something to say about: Stephen Krashen or the Natural Approach revisited

Back in the 1970´s, Stephen Krashen formulated his famous hypothesis that led, together with Tracy Terrel, to the Natural Approach. In this very short article Krashen´s five hypothesis are revisited with the intention of making teachers think a little bit about what he proposed and what we can do in class with his ideas. There is also a 15-minute video of Stephen Krashen explaining his theory of language acquisition, who better than the man himself.

The five hypothesis

The Acquisition-Learning hypothesis. There is a difference between acquiring a language and learning it. When we acquire it, we do it unconsciously, in natural settings; when we learn it, we do it consciously, in artificial settings.

The Monitor hypothesis. We can self-correct our language production provided we have the linguistic information in our mind.

The Natural Order hypothesis. We all acquire language in the same way; and in a specific order.

The Input hypothesis. In order to acquire a language, the language input has to be comprehensible, that is, we must understand what is being transmitted to us in order to acquire language.

The Affective Filter hypothesis. To acquire a language, anxiety must be zero; in other words, if we are stressed our mind will erect “walls” that will prevent us from taking in the input.

The video below (downloaded from YouTube) features Dr. Krashen explaining his theory in a very clear and convincing way. However, as an eclectic teacher myself, I must say to you: Keep an open mind, not everything about language acquisition (and teaching a language, of course) has been said yet.

So you want to know more about Krashen´s theory? Visit these links:

Stephen Krashen´s official web site:

Other Krashe related sites:

As always, comments are welcome.

Cesar Klauer

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