Where does the whole concept and idea behind Comprehensible Input (CI) come from? In this episode I walk you through Stephen Krashen’s Input Hypothesis that is part of his theory of second language acquisition that he calls the Monitor Model. Krashen’s Input Hypothesis is the origin of what what we are doing with Comprehensible Input today.
What Is Comprehensible Input?
- Comprehensible input means that students should be able to understand the essence of what is being said or presented to them.
- This does not mean, however, that teachers must use only words students understand. In fact, instruction can be incomprehensible even when students know all of the words.
- Students learn a new language best when they receive input that is just a bit more difficult than they can easily understand. In other words, students may understand most, but not all, words the teacher is using. (i+1)
Stephen Krashen’s Monitor Model (late 1970’s, early 1980’s):
5 individual, yet somewhat interrelated theories and comprehensible input is just one.
- Acquisition-Learning hypothesis
- Input hypothesis
- Affective Filter hypothesis
- Natural Order hypothesis
- Monitor hypothesis
- Brown (2000): Krashen’s theory of SLA is oversimplified and the claims he made are overstated.
- McLaughlin (1987): Krashen does not provide evidence in any real sense of the term, but simply argues that certain phenomena can be viewed from the perspective of his theory.
- Gregg (1984): bypasses counter-evidence
Ideas have evolved and are still driving SLA research today often unacknowledged and under new terminology.
- The Acquisition-Learning Distinction
implicit versus explicit learning
- The Natural Order Hypothesis
- The Input Hypothesis.
communicatively embedded input
Motivated Classroom Podcast (Liam Printer) : Episode 50
Translating second language acquisition research into motivational practice with Dr. Karen Lichtman & Dr. Bill VanPatten
Where does this leave us?
- Always come back to the fundamentals of what we can agree on in SLA, rather than individual methods.
- There are parts that will work well for you and your students and perhaps others won’t.
- Look back at episode 16 when I talked about the teacher – researcher relationship.
- If it meets your goals for your students you are on the right track.