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Name: Salvador Lopez Lugo

Date: Feb 28th 2013

Module number: 2

Do you agree with Krashen when he says that all you need to become communicatively competent is plenty of comprehensible input? Why/Why not? Introduction The following assessment project was written by Salvador Lopez, an EFL English teacher in a small town in Hidalgo Mexico. It will attempt to answer the question outlined above.

| In an article published by the New Times titled Krashenburn written by Jill Stewart in the late nineties Stewart harshly criticizes Krashen for his bilingual education program in California which mainly states that teaching immigrant children for up to seven years in their native Spanish, before they learn English, is the best way to ensure their literacy in English. In the same article Christine Rossell a researcher from Massachusetts found, California-style bilingual education is working nowhere. "The idea that one should withhold English from a child so that he can gain his skills first in the language of his parents, and that this will translate into becoming literate more quickly in English, is simply not how it works," Rossell asserts. "You do not teach someone five years of skateboarding when you want them to learn to surf, even if skateboarding helps a little with things like balance and fitness. But that is what California is doing with Mexican-American children. When I tell researchers in Europe that in America we are teaching children Spanish first to move them into English later, they act like I'm joking."
Krashenburn published by the New Times, written by Jill Stewart. Retrieved from:

On the other hand these are some cites of the so called Krashen-ology who millions of devoted teachers follow: "Language acquisition does not require extensive use of conscious grammatical rules, and does not require tedious drill." Stephen Krashen "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." Stephen Krashen. "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." Stephen Krashen "In the real world, conversations with sympathetic native speakers who are willing to help the acquirer understand are very helpful." Stephen Krashen.
Schtz, Ricardo. "Stephen Krashen's Theory of Second Language Acquisition." English Made in Brazil <>. Online. 2 de julho de 2007.

In the first place, I agree with Rossell when she says that the bilingual method is not better than simply teaching immigrant children intensive English from day one. It is wrong to deny children to learn intensive English from day one. It seems to me that Krashen-ology has lost some credibility in part, due to the more conscious research conducted by Krashens critics. In effect, lets take a look of Krashens critics. Krashen has been criticised on several grounds. For example, LarsenFreeman and Long (1991) classify it as a nativist theory due to the reliance of his explanation of acquisition on a biologically given language acquisition device. Cook (1991) sees it as a mixed model relying both on innate faculties and language processing abilities.
MA applied linguistics/TESOL by Collin Fry M4KRASH.pdf Created 28/01/2004

In addition, Maclaughling (1989) also gives careful consideration to Krashens input model addressing each of the ten lines of evidence that Krashen presents, arguing that it is not sufficient to simply say that certain phenomenon can be viewed from the perspective of the Input Hypothesis. The concept of a learners level is extremely difficult to define, just as the idea of I + 1 is. Further, there are many structures such as passives and yes/no questions that cannot be learned through context. Also there is no evidence that a learner has to fully comprehend

an utterance for it to aid in acquisition. Some of the first words that children and second language learners produce are formulaic expressions that are not fully understood initially. Finally Gass & Selinker in their book, Second Language Acquisition: An introductory course, write about important sub-areas in SLA, among others, Interlanguage, fossilization and language transfers. Also they include a vast repertoire of data analysis from reliable authors in the field which is worth to take a look by every teacher. In the last chapters they explain the importance of linguistics and psychology in the study of SLA. Back to the question posed at the beginning of this essay one cannot wonder why there are such big divergences in Krashens points of view. First he promotes a theory that affects thousands of immigrants with no right to study English until fifth grade and secondly his political views totally contradict the notion that comprehensible input is the answer to become communicatively competent. I strongly believe that Krashens input theory will undoubtedly continue to be object of study but in my opinion this is a good theory to start teaching languages, I am going to call Krashens input theory, the igniter theory, meaning the theory is only feasible in the early stages of acquisition, a teacher can do marvelous things giving comprehensible input and really see great improvements in her pupils, but what happens when topics like interlanguage, fossilization or even backsliding are embedded in your everyday teaching practice. Clearly, it is time for the modern educator to become an investigator. My question is: Who can get more data from students if not the teacher? It is time to analyze these data and find your very own path to a successful achievement in learning languages.

Gass/Lesinker Second Language Acquisition: An introductory course. Krashenburn published by the New Times, written by Jill Stewart. Retrieved from:

Schtz, Ricardo. "Stephen Krashen's Theory of Second Language Acquisition." English Made in Brazil <>. Online. 2 de julho de 2007.