Stephen Krashen's Theory of Second Language Acquisition
Assimilação Natural -- o Construtivismo Comunicativo no Ensino de Línguas Ricardo Schütz
Last revision: July 2, 2007
"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 Introduction
Stephen Krashen (University of Southern California) is an expert in the field of linguistics, specializing in theories of language acquisition and development. Much of his recent research has involved the study of non-English and bilingual language acquisition. During the past 20 years, he has published well over 100 books and articles and has been invited to deliver over 300 lectures at universities throughout the United States and Canada. This is a brief description of Krashen's widely known and well accepted theory of second language acquisition, which has had a large impact in all areas of second language research and teaching since the 1980s. Description of Krashen's Theory of Second Language Acquisition Krashen's theory of second language acquisition consists of five main hypotheses: * the Acquisition-Learning hypothesis,
* the Monitor hypothesis,
* the Natural Order hypothesis,
* the Input hypothesis,
* and the Affective Filter hypothesis.
The Acquisition-Learning distinction is the most fundamental of all the hypotheses in Krashen's theory and the most widely known among linguists and language practitioners.According to Krashen there are two independent systems of second language performance: 'the acquired system' and 'the learned system'. The 'acquired system' or 'acquisition' is the product of a subconscious process very similar to the process children undergo when they acquire their first language. It requires meaningful interaction in the target language - natural communication - in which speakers are concentrated not in the form of their utterances, but in the communicative act.The 'learned system' or 'learning' is the product of formal instruction and it comprises a conscious process which results in conscious knowledge 'about' the language, for example knowledge of grammar rules. According to Krashen 'learning' is less important than 'acquisition'. (Veja o texto ao lado e também outra página em português sobreAcquisition/Learning).The Monitor hypothesis explains the relationship between acquisition and learning and defines the influence of the latter on the former. The monitoring function is the practical result of the learned grammar. According to Krashen, the acquisition system is the utterance initiator, while the learning system performs the role of the 'monitor' or the 'editor'. The 'monitor' acts in a planning, editing and correcting function when three specific conditions are met: that is, the second language learner has sufficient time at his/her disposal, he/she focuses on form or thinks about correctness, and he/she knows the rule.It appears that the role of conscious learning is somewhat limited in second language performance. According to Krashen, the role of the monitor is - or should be - minor, being used only to correct deviations from 'normal'...
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