- Language acquisition is an unconscious process and the linguistic system itself, completely implicit (unconscious).
One can not consciously memorize or learn language fragments (linguistic data) and then incorporate them into a system that is by nature, unconscious.
- Based on the unconscious nature of the acquisition process and the linguistic system, it is logical to conclude that language can not be ‘taught’ like other subject matter. Language can only be ‘used’.
- Using language means providing input that is comprehensible and conducive for language acquisition.
- Comprehensible Input (CI) is the single most critical element necessary for second language acquisition to occur.
CI is most conducive for language acquisition when it is in context, compelling and meaningful to students.
- Comprehensible it not enough! For CI to result in acquisition/fluency, it must be delivered through a variety of platforms contexts in order to provided repeated exposure to linguistic data.
- Each exposure to a piece of linguistic data helps students to gradually and naturally internalize language, which ultimately results in FLUENCY!’
- Repeated exposure to CI is naturally accomplished by focusing on multiple contexts through a variety of media/approaches. (i.e. class discussions, storytelling, story-asking, TPRS, Modified MovieTalk, video-based lessons, guided reading strategies and reading activation strategies).
- Reading provides a powerful avenue for acquiring language!
- Students can only use (produce) the language that they have in their heads, so it stands to reason that beginners will not produce with 100% grammatical accuracy.
- Language acquisition is a S L O W and complex process. There are no shortcuts and direct instruction / conscious learning will not shorten the process.
If Fluency Matters to you, be intentional about ensuring that the principles of second language acquisition drive your instruction. Learn more!
- While We’re on the Topic. ACTFL (American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages) Bill VanPatten
- From Input To Output: A Teacher’s Guide to Second Language Acquisition. Bill VanPatten
- Making Communicative Language Teaching Happen. Bill VanPatten and James F. Lee
- Theories in Second Language Acquisition: An Introduction. Bill VanPattenJessica Williams
- Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning (PDF). Oxford: Pergamon. Krashen, Stephen D. (1981).
- Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition (PDF). Oxford: Pergamon. Krashen, Stephen D. (1982).
- The natural approach: Language acquisition in the classroom (PDF). New York: Prentice-Hall. Krashen, Stephen D.; Terrell, Tracy D. (1983).
- The Input Hypothesis: Issues and Implications, New York: Longman Krashen, Stephen D. (1985)
- Case for Comprehensible Input: Language Magazine. Krashen, Stephen D.
- The impact of reading on second language learning. Reading Research Quarterly, 19(1), 53-67. Elley, W.B. & Mangubhai, F. (1983).