The Affective Filter Hypothesis: Some Insights

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The Affective Filter Hypothesis: Some Insights

“The attendance for Miss Zaljiah’s English class has never been below 80% throughout her six teaching years in the polytechnic. You can often find her sitting beside the students working and guiding them through answers and task completion. Students’ commitment are often witnessed through their energy level, engagements during discussions in reaction to her video-recorded lectures. Smartphones, ‘Google’ and ‘Facebook’ are often their constant companion. At 55, she is an inspiration.”

Teachers today go the extra mile to create relevant content, reflective enough of the real world. With the birth of screen-staring culture, it is undeniable how technology has overwhelmed current classroom pedagogies increasing the dire need for more enjoyable and stress-free learning environment. From Krashen’s perspective, Affective Filter seem to have its stand.

The affective filter by Krashen is a ‘mental barrier’ students and teachers must reduce for learning fluidity. (Dulay and Burt, 1977 in Krashen, 1981). These three factors; low motivation and self-confidence combined with high anxiety built in students a ‘mental wall’ which impedes language from being acquired and internalized. (Krashen, 1982). Students’ affective filter must be kept low with confidence and motivation, in order for the highest input to possibly reach the acquisition part of the brain. (Krashen, 1981). Supported and summarized by Macintyre (1995), he stated “language learning is a cognitive ability that relies on encoding, storage and retrieval processes. Anxiety can interfere by creating divided attention scenarios for anxious students.” (p. 96). Gardner and Macintyre’s (1993) characterized this apprehension as derogatory self-related cognitions. Now, the question is does learning stop when the fun stops? Does learning fail because of students’ anxiety and boredom? Or learning fails because students feel anxious and bored? We only focus...
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