C.I. Skeptics


When you feel discouraged, keep at it my friends. You do not know what the long-term results of your teaching will be. This is a recent letter from Rachel, a college French graduate who has dealt with the consequences of a traumatic head injury and many personal challenges over the past several years. Her perseverance and ingenuity, as well as the power of acquisition-based teaching are both on display here. Dear Mr. Hedstrom, The other day I got into a minor traffic accident. The other driver spoke only Spanish, but I ended up feeling like a TPRS superstar because I [...]

By |2019-02-23T15:19:14-06:00February 23rd, 2019|Categories: Acquisition, C.I. Skeptics|0 Comments


These are the quotes I use to motivate students and to justify reading in the classroom to skeptical parents and administrators:   READING IS FASTER THAN TRADITIONAL INSTRUCTION “Picking up word meanings by reading is 10 times faster than intensive vocabulary instruction.” ―Stephen Krashen (1993). The Power of Reading, p. 15, citing a study by Nagy, Herman and Anderson   READING BUILDS BIGGER VOCABULARIES “Less frequent words... may best be learned by reading extensively, because there is just not enough time to learn them all through conscious study.” ―Norbert Schmitt (2000). Vocabulary in Language Teaching, p. 137   READING STORIES [...]

By |2019-01-15T20:57:44-06:00January 15th, 2019|Categories: Books, C.I. Skeptics, Encouragement, Krashen, Light Reading, Reading|0 Comments

COMPREHENSION CHECK & DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (Krashen’s Hypotheses Series, #9 of 9)

  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 [...]

OTHER HYPOTHESES (Krashen’s Hypotheses Series, #8 of 9)

The final post in this series (#(9/9), Comprehension Check and Discussion of Krashen's Hypotheses, is found here. There is overlap between each of these 3 hypotheses, as well as with the previous ones in this series. The Net Hypothesis    (A refinement of the Input Hypothesis) “Given enough comprehensible input at the i + 1 level, all the vocabulary and grammatical structures the student is ready to acquire is automatically provided.” •  i + 1 is the level of language that has been acquired (i) and just a little bit more (+1). i + 1 is a level of language that [...]

By |2018-10-22T20:47:03-06:00May 16th, 2018|Categories: C.I. Skeptics, Krashen|0 Comments

Seminar in Seattle

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 [...]

ACQUISITION / LEARNING (Krashen’s Hypotheses Series, #3 of 9)

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. [...]

By |2018-10-22T16:55:11-06:00April 29th, 2018|Categories: Acquisition vs. Learning, C.I. Skeptics, Krashen, SLA Theory|0 Comments