Stephen Krashen: Theories in Second Language Acquisition


Stephen Krashen's five hypotheses of secondary language acquisition.
Katy Marie Hamm
Mind Map by Katy Marie Hamm, updated more than 1 year ago
Katy Marie Hamm
Created by Katy Marie Hamm over 8 years ago

Resource summary

Stephen Krashen: Theories in Second Language Acquisition
  1. Monitor Hypothesis
    1. Examines the relationship between acquisition and learning, specifically the influence learning has on acquisition. Learned language acts as a monitor to correct acquired language. The monitor method is difficult to use when speaking because the rules of language are complex and there is not usually enough time when speaking to self-evaluate.
      1. Krashen divides EELS into three categories according to how they use the monitor method: over-users, under-users, and optimal users. Under-users are often extroverted whereas over-users may be self-conscious or perfectionists. The Monitor Hypothesis could be applied in the classroom to determine which students are less confident or struggling. Once identified those students could be offered additional support. The monitor is only of minor use when students begin to have a grasp on language, so focus in the classroom should remain on acquisition.
      2. Input HYpothesis
        1. Attempts to explain how second language acquisition takes place (completely unconcerned with the learning component). Students make progress and improve when they receive second language input that is one step ahead of their linguistic ability;:: language that students are not able to produce themselves but can still understand (Comprehensible Input).
          1. This can be applied in the classroom by using Krashen's formula i (current input level)+1 (Comprehensive Input) to determine when to introduce specific content to ELLs; the information should be more advanced than they are able to produce but still within their range of understanding.
          2. Natural Order Hypothesis
            1. Although Krashen himself does not recommend this approach, one way to apply the Natural Order Hypothesis in the classroom would be to order instruction based on the natural way people learn language. With this theory Krashen is more so emphasizing the point of his Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis in tha teaching language should be centered on grammar and structural conventions as little as possible.
              1. Details more specifically the process of language acquisition; Krashen claims that there is a natural progression in learning language (specifically grammatical structure) where some ideas will be grasped early on and some later, no matter is the learner is a baby learning a first language or an adult learning a second language. The natural order in which we learn languages cannot be affected by instruction.
              2. Affective Filter Hypothesis
                1. Addresses the part outside variables play in second language acquisition. These variables include motivation, self-confidence, and anxiety; confident students have a lowered affective filter whereas students with low confidence or anxiety have a raised filter which prevents them from acquiring a new language effectively.
                  1. Keeping in mind this "affective filter" could help educators distinguish which students might be struggling with language acquisition as well as why certain students already are. The knowledge of the affective filter may also encourage teachers to create a low-stress environment feasible to language acquisition.
                  2. Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis
                    1. Two systems of second language performance: "acquisition" refers to a subconscious process for learning language similar to what babies learning a first language experience. "Learning" refers to the conscious effort to learn a language via formal instruction.
                      1. Krashen says "learning" is less important than "acquisition;" this theory can be applied in the classroom by focusing less of teaching the conventions of language such as grammar and spelling and spending more time practicing speaking the language, since Krashen believes that the way we learn languages does not deviate much from the way we learn our first language.
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