How do we learn a second language?
There is still no definitive answer to this question but the most convincing explanation comes from Stephen Krashen, emeritus professor at the University of Southern California. Krashen claims that second language acquisition is very similar to first language acquisition. Language acquisition takes place when:
learners are exposed to language that is relevant and (made) comprehensible to them, at
i + 1 - a level a little beyond their current linguistic competence (input hypothesis)
- learners are receptive to the input, i.e. anxiety or low self-confidence do not prevent language uptake (affective filter hypothesis)
Implications for FIS mainstream teachers:
- create an anxiety-free classroom
- allow for the silent period
- make it relevant/interesting
- make it comprehensible
More on Krashen's language learning theories.
More from the ESL website on i+1 and the role of the mainstream teacher in ESL language learning.
More from Wikipedia about second language acquisition