The Acquisition-Learning hypothesis According to Krashen, there are two ways of developing language ability. Acquisition involves the subconscious acceptance of knowledge where information is stored in the brain through the use of communication; this is the process used for developing native languages. Krashen states that this is often the product of formal language instruction. According to this theory, the optimal way a language is learned is through natural communication. As a second language teacher, the ideal is to create a situation wherein language is used in order to fulfill authentic purposes.
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Language acquisition does not require extensive use of conscious grammatical rules, and does not require tedious drill. Acquisition requires meaningful interaction in the target language - natural communication - in which speakers are concerned not with the form of their utterances but with the messages they are conveying and understanding. The best methods are therefore those that supply 'comprehensible input' in low anxiety situations, containing messages that students really want to hear.
These methods do not force early production in the second language, but allow students to produce when they are 'ready', recognizing that improvement comes from supplying communicative and comprehensible input, and not from forcing and correcting production.
In the real world, conversations with sympathetic native speakers who are willing to help the acquirer understand are very helpful. Stephen Krashen University of Southern California is an expert in the field of linguistics, specializing in theories of language acquisition and development.
Much of his recent research has involved the study of non-English and bilingual language acquisition. Since , he has published well over books and articles and has been invited to deliver over lectures at universities throughout the United States and Canada. This is a brief description of Krashen's widely known and well-accepted theory of second language acquisition, which has had a large impact in all areas of second language research and teaching.
The Acquisition-Learning distinction is the most fundamental of the five hypotheses in Krashen's theory and the most widely known among linguists and language teachers. According to Krashen there are two independent systems of foreign language performance: 'the acquired system' and 'the learned system'. The 'acquired system' or ' acquisition ' is the product of a subconscious process very similar to the process children undergo when they acquire their first language. It requires meaningful interaction in the target language - natural communication - in which speakers are concentrated not in the form of their utterances, but in the communicative act.
The "learned system" or " learning " is the product of formal instruction and it comprises a conscious process which results in conscious knowledge 'about' the language, for example knowledge of grammar rules. A deductive approach in a teacher-centered setting produces " learning ", while an inductive approach in a student-centered setting leads to " acquisition ". According to Krashen 'learning' is less important than 'acquisition'.
The Monitor hypothesis explains the relationship between acquisition and learning and defines the influence of the latter on the former. The monitoring function is the practical result of the learned grammar. According to Krashen, the acquisition system is the utterance initiator, while the learning system performs the role of the 'monitor' or the 'editor'.
The 'monitor' acts in a planning, editing and correcting function when three specific conditions are met:. It appears that the role of conscious learning is somewhat limited in second language performance. According to Krashen, the role of the monitor is minor, being used only to correct deviations from "normal" speech and to give speech a more 'polished' appearance.
Krashen also suggests that there is individual variation among language learners with regard to 'monitor' use. He distinguishes those learners that use the 'monitor' all the time over-users ; those learners who have not learned or who prefer not to use their conscious knowledge under-users ; and those learners that use the 'monitor' appropriately optimal users.
An evaluation of the person's psychological profile can help to determine to what group they belong. Usually extroverts are under-users, while introverts and perfectionists are over-users. Lack of self-confidence is frequently related to the over-use of the "monitor".
The Input hypothesis is Krashen's attempt to explain how the learner acquires a second language — how second language acquisition takes place. The Input hypothesis is only concerned with 'acquisition', not 'learning'.
See here an enlightening video by Krashen about comprehensible input. Your browser does not support the video tag. The Affective Filter hypothesis embodies Krashen's view that a number of 'affective variables' play a facilitative, but non-causal, role in second language acquisition. These variables include: motivation, self-confidence, anxiety and personality traits. Krashen claims that learners with high motivation, self-confidence, a good self-image, a low level of anxiety and extroversion are better equipped for success in second language acquisition.
Low motivation, low self-esteem, anxiety, introversion and inhibition can raise the affective filter and form a 'mental block' that prevents comprehensible input from being used for acquisition.
In other words, when the filter is 'up' it impedes language acquisition. On the other hand, positive affect is necessary, but not sufficient on its own, for acquisition to take place.
For a given language, some grammatical structures tend to be acquired early while others late. Krashen however points out that the implication of the natural order hypothesis is not that a language program syllabus should be based on the order found in the studies.
In fact, he rejects grammatical sequencing when the goal is language acquisition. According to Krashen, the study of the structure of the language can have general educational advantages and values that high schools and colleges may want to include in their language programs.
Any benefit, however, will greatly depend on the learner being already familiar with the language. It should also be clear that analizing the language, formulating rules, setting irregularities apart, and teaching complex facts about the target language is not language teaching, but rather is "language appreciation" or linguistics, which does not lead to communicative proficiency.
The only instance in which the teaching of grammar can result in language acquisition and proficiency is when the students are interested in the subject and the target language is used as a medium of instruction.
Very often, when this occurs, both teachers and students are convinced that the study of formal grammar is essential for second language acquisition, and the teacher is skillful enough to present explanations in the target language so that the students understand.
In other words, the teacher talk meets the requirements for comprehensible input and perhaps, with the students' participation, the classroom becomes an environment suitable for acquisition.
Also, the filter is low in regard to the language of explanation, as the students' conscious efforts are usually on the subject matter, on what is being talked about, and not the medium. This is a subtle point. In effect, both teachers and students are deceiving themselves. They believe that it is the subject matter itself, the study of grammar, that is responsible for the students progress, but in reality their progress is coming from the medium and not the message.
Any subject matter that held their interest would do just as well. Ricardo E.
Language Proficiency pp Cite as. In developing his theory of second language acquisition, Krashen suggests five hypotheses: the acquisition-learning hypothesis; the natural order hypothesis; the input hypothesis; and the affective filter hypothesis. The first three of these hypotheses are central to the organization of a language program using the natural approach Krashen and Terrell ; that is, they form the underlying bases for a program whose purpose it is to develop in beginning students as much communicative competency as possible in a beginning language course or series of courses. The latter two, the input and affective filter hypotheses, however, determine on a day-to-day basis what actually takes place in the second language classroom. The notion of the affective filter, originally presented in Dulay and Burt , which is much less controversial, and valid for almost all language teaching methodologies, states that the affective variables of motivation, self-confidence and anxiety Krashen have a profound influence on language acquisition not learning.
Stephen Krashen's Theory of Second Language Acquisition
The input hypothesis , also known as the monitor model , is a group of five hypotheses of second-language acquisition developed by the linguist Stephen Krashen in the s and s. Krashen originally formulated the input hypothesis as just one of the five hypotheses, but over time the term has come to refer to the five hypotheses as a group. The hypotheses are the input hypothesis, the acquisition—learning hypothesis, the monitor hypothesis, the natural order hypothesis and the affective filter hypothesis. The input hypothesis was first published in The hypotheses put primary importance on the comprehensible input CI that language learners are exposed to. Understanding spoken and written language input is seen as the only mechanism that results in the increase of underlying linguistic competence , and language output is not seen as having any effect on learners' ability.
The Affective Filter Hypothesis: Definition and Criticism
Language acquisition does not require extensive use of conscious grammatical rules, and does not require tedious drill. Acquisition requires meaningful interaction in the target language - natural communication - in which speakers are concerned not with the form of their utterances but with the messages they are conveying and understanding. The best methods are therefore those that supply 'comprehensible input' in low anxiety situations, containing messages that students really want to hear. These methods do not force early production in the second language, but allow students to produce when they are 'ready', recognizing that improvement comes from supplying communicative and comprehensible input, and not from forcing and correcting production. In the real world, conversations with sympathetic native speakers who are willing to help the acquirer understand are very helpful.