When kids didn't get it, I used to suspect they were stupid and lazy. Now that I realize people acquire language by comprehensible input, I suspect that I am.
Engaging students at a personal level is the way to their hearts and minds. Aaron Mendelsohn, a high school teacher in Massachusetts, sent me this note the other day: I just want to share with you that I have gotten A LOT of mileage out of Persona Especial! What a great activity. Thank You! When I asked him to elaborate, he replied with this: Persona Especial has been a success for a number of reasons. I'm gonna start off by sharing what was on my mind when I wrote to you a few days ago: PE is almost a O [...]
Check Your Understanding of Krashen's Hypotheses: (See all 9 posts in this series, plus a satirical piece on Krashen's work here) Check Your Understanding of Krashen's Hypotheses . 1. _________________________ is the unconscious absorbing of language when exposed to comprehended messages. 2. _________________________ is getting conscious, focused knowledge of certain elements of a language through grammatical explanations, drills and studying. 3. _________________________ results in knowing about the language. 4. _________________________ results in being able to understand and use the language spontaneously and unconsciously. 5. The ________________________ hypothesis suggests that the grammatical elements of a language are acquired in a predictable sequence that cannot [...]
Did a seminar in Seattle this week (the 5th of 5 this month) for the Institute for Educational Development, a division of the Bureau of Education and Research (BER). 62 enthusiastic attendees. Fabulous group! Saw some old friends and made some new ones. Woven throughout every aspect of the day was the crucial need for relationships and empathy. Talked about what works in the world language classroom to make it a place where acquisition happens joyfully and enthusiastically: • How modern Second Language Acquisition (SLA) theory applies to best-practice teaching • The difference between acquisition and learning in world language teaching [...]
All of the posts about Stephen Krashen's Hypotheses are available here. (Previous post: The Monitor Hypothesis) The next post in this series (#4/9), The Natural Order of Acquisition, is found here. MANIAC A: The Acquisition/Learning Hypothesis Very important for teachers to get "Language acquisition and language learning are two different things." Language acquisition is an unconscious process. Acquisition happens when the student is hearing the language or reading in the language but is focused on something other than on the language itself as subject matter. Acquisition happens when the student is focused on the message. Language learning is conscious, focused and purposeful. [...]
The next post in this series (#3/9), The Acquisition/Learning Hypothesis, is found here. MANIAC M: The Monitor Hypothesis "Knowing grammar rules can help students to monitor their speech and correct themselves." The first of Krashen's hypotheses we will discuss here is the monitor. This is for two reasons. First, every conversation among language teachers ends with discussing a point of grammar. We like language and we like figuring out how it works. We went into language teaching because we enjoy the nerdy side of it like debating the finer points of obscure grammar. The other reason is that whenever comprehensible input [...]