Stephen Krashen

THREE SHORT PRESENTATIONS:

The Comprehension Hypothesis vs. The Skill-Building Hypothesis: Why accept a delayed gratification hypothesis when the gratification never comes?

Developing Academic Language: How the language teaching profession has backed the wrong horse.

Pleasure and Ecstasy: Is language acquisition a junior ecstasy? Link to recording of presentation

Stephen Krashen is Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Southern California.

He is best known for developing the first comprehensive theory of second language acquisition, introducing the concept of sheltered subject matter teaching, and as the co-inventor of the Natural Approach to foreign language teaching.

He has also contributed to theory and application in the area of bilingual education, and has done important work in the area of reading.

He holds a PhD in Linguistics from UCLA, was the 1977 Incline Bench Press champion of Venice Beach and holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He is the author of The Power of Reading (Heinemann, 2004, second edition).

His recent papers can be found at www.sdkrashen.com.

 

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9 Responses to Stephen Krashen

  1. Elisenda says:

    I can’t believe I’m going to “attend” a conference where you are the protagonist, as I studied you at University and several times in my favourite topics to get the stable job as a teacher in Secondary School here in Catalonia, Spain.
    It’s like I’m going to listen to a man I read about in my books! hahaha!
    GREAT EVOOO!!!!!!!! Thanks!

  2. osnacantab says:

    This is the handout Stephen sent to us. (You will find a downloadable version in the FILES section of the Yahoogroups list.

    Dennis along with ffinlo and Helen
    ——————————————————————————————————————-

    Three Short Presentations
    S Krashen

    http://www.sdkrashen.com
    twitter: skrashen

    Part one:
    The Comprehension Hypothesis vs. The Skill-Building Hypothesis: Why accept a delayed gratification hypothesis when the gratification never comes?

    I Two views of language/literacy development
    A. The comprehension hypothesis: we acquire language when we understand it.
    1. grammar, vocabulary = RESULT of language acquisition
    2. pleasant immediately
    B. The skill building hypothesis: first learn about language, practice rules
    1. grammar, vocabulary learned first, then you can use the language
    2. delayed gratification (that never arrives)

    II. A special case of the comprehension hypothesis: the reading hypothesis – reading is the source of our reading ability, writing ability (writing style), vocabulary, spelling, grammar competence.
    Most powerful form = free voluntary reading (FVR)

    III. Support for the comprehension hypothesis
    1. method comparison studies: beginning, intermediate, self-selected reading
    2. correlational studies: more CI/FVR > more language/literacy development
    3. Serious problems with skill-building:
    acquisition without conscious learning
    scarcity of correction, output
    complexity
    4. conscious learning not useless but very limited

    Part two:
    Developing Academic Language: How the language teaching profession has backed the wrong horse.

    I. The new focus on Academic Language Proficiency = vocabulary, grammar, and discourse style of academic, or professional language.
    A. traditional approach: describe academic language, prepare materials, teach it. (English for Special Purposes, ESP; English for Academic Purposes)
    B. My view: This has never worked. What works: massive free voluntary reading, then motivated reading for your own interests.

    II. Development of academic language:
    Stage One – self-selected reading (pre-academic stage); the bridge from conversation to academic language
    1. Biber (1988): fiction falls between conversation and academic texts in terms of linguistic complexity
    2. SSR studies – SSR better on tests of academic language (reading, vocabulary, writing, grammatical accuracy): true for children, teenagers, and university students
    3. Multivariate analyses: rival hypotheses in direct competition!!
    a) Spanish as a foreign language for English speakers – test of subjunctive was “monitor-free”;
    Reading (FVR) only significant predictor!

    Competence in the subjunctive in Spanish as foreign language in the US
    predictor beta p
    study 0.0052 0.72
    residence 0.051 0.73
    reading 0.32 0.034
    subjunctive study 0.045 0.76

    Stokes, Krashen & Kartchner, 1998

    b) TOEFL test

    Predictors of TOEFL scores: multiple regression (EFL)
    predictor beta
    extracurricular reading 0.53
    native speaker teacher 0.43
    total instruction -0.21
    extracurricular speaking -0.2

    From: Gradman & Hanania, 1991

    Predictors of TOEFL scores: multiple regression (ESL)
    predictor beta
    free reading/books read 0.41
    English study in home country 0.48
    Length of residence in US 0.42

    From: Constantino, Lee, Cho & Krashen, 1997

    c) English writing performance, EFL in Taiwan (SY Lee, 2005)
    Significant predictors: FVR
    Not significant predictors: amount of free writing; strong belief in instruction

    4. The TOEFL study (Mason, 2006): gains in TOEFL scores from FVR alone = 3.5 pts/wk = full time TOEFL prep course, gains on all sections (listening, grammar, reading)
    5. Narrow reading: one author, one genre ….
    Lamme, 1976: good readers do more narrow reading
    KS Cho: the Sweet Valley studies.
    From Sweet Valley Kids (reading level: grade 2) > Sweet Valley Twins (grade 4) > Sweet Valley High (grades 5,6)
    6. Another case history: comic books > baseball stories > science fiction, all very narrow

    Stage Two: Narrow Academic Reading

    A. stage 1 (pre-academic) provides linguistic, knowledge background to make academic input more comprehensible; stage 2 provides academic language competence
    B. narrow reading of academic texts, in an area of great personal interest to the reader.
    C. Reading as the main source, not classroom input (Biber, 2006: classroom discourse is closer to conversational language than to academic language).
    D. A case history: works of Chomsky, in chronological order > small area of brain research (dichotic listening); work of single author > other areas of brain research > language acquisition and language education: reading for my purposes, not for “academic purposes.”
    E. Influence of the first language:
    1) some features of academic language similar in different languages
    2) background knowledge gained thru L1 makes L2 input more comprehensible

    Can academic language proficiency be “learned”?
    The complexity problem
    Example: Hyland’s discussion of “quite” (only one of many, many examples)
    1) both a “booster” (e.g. “the results were quite phenomenal”) and a “hedge” or slight attenuation (e.g. “he couldn’t quite do it”),
    2) meaning varies with different stress: “I QUITE like the idea of walking” (but I’d prefer not), versus “I quite LIKE the idea of walking” (and maybe I will),
    3) and different word order: “a quite beautiful garden” versus “quite a beautiful garden,” the former expressing “greater commitment.”
    Hyland: pedagogical grammars & professional linguists disagree!
    SK: those second language acquirers who have better “quite-competence” have read more, especially in self-selected academic texts of personal interest.
    Acquisition without learning: ALL CASES of the acquisition of Academic Language
    Only a small part of academic language can be consciously learned.

    Part three:
    Pleasure and Ecstasy: Is language acquisition a junior ecstasy?

    The pleasure hypothesis:
    I. if good for language acquisition, perceived to be pleasant
    A. continuation data from CI-based methods
    B. free reading as “flow”: Csikszentmihalyi (1993),
    1. reports of free reading: 1985: adult Americans rate reading 8.3/10; 7.5 for hobbies, 7.8 for TV, 7.2 for conversation (Robinson & Godbey, 1997)
    2. reading as addiction (W. Somerset Maugham: “Conversation after a time bores me, games tire me, and my own thoughts, which we are told are the unfailing resource of a sensible man, have a tendency to run dry. Then I fly to my book as the opium-smoker to his pipe …” (Nell, 1988, p.232).
    3. why reading in bed is so pleasant (and addictive): Nell (1988)
    C. read alouds
    II. If not good for language acquisition, perceived to be unpleasant (Krashen, 2003;Explorations)
    A. forced speech:
    1. my neighbor and her Spanish class
    2. universally feared by students
    3. the suggested “cure”!
    B. correction: they say they want it, but they don’t
    C. grammar: they say they want it, but they don’t (Egasse’s observations)

    The ecstasy hypothesis
    I. Din in the head
    A result of acquisition/CI:
    A. after i+1/CI, not drill or study; cure for shyness; not in advanced
    B. confirmed in a series of studies
    II. The generalized din
    A. music: song stuck in your head (Tim Murphey)
    B. kinesthetic: dance, martial arts
    C. intellectual: new ideas
    D. visual: art, nature
    E. infatuation (Tim Murphey)
    F. DIN a result of NEW LEARNING
    G. Frank Smith: the brain learns (not confusion or boredom)
    H. FLOW: optimal challenge/right problem, right background
    1. chemistry of infatuation = chemistry of ecstasy = chemistry of the din?

    Postscript: How to keep your brain young.

  3. Susan Hillyard says:

    Really enjoyed your presentations. We are teaching English through Drama in Special Education in Buenos Aires, backed by the Ministry of Education. We feel like pioneers in a barren and remote land but we are convinced that this methodology works. We work with comprehensible input from authentic short stories in our own teacher designed ACTIONSACKS and all the activities are text driven through process drama. We do not do plays as such but we insist on NO desks and NO texts. The regular teachers in L1 are amazed at the response we are getting. If you would like to research the project you are very welcome!

    • Elisenda says:

      Hi Susan, where can we find mor information of this project? “research the project”…? as you invite us to.
      Thanks! Very interesting

  4. Susan Hillyard says:

    I am hoping somebody in the world will come to Bs As to do a real research project on English in Action!
    I’m afraid I do not have a blog or a website as I’m always too busy running around DOING the training and co-ordinating but we are writing a book together and hoping to get published one day!
    I can send you the theoretical background and an interview I did with the local press if you would like that.
    Thanks for your interest.
    Susan Hillyard

    • Aleksandra piasecka-Till says:

      Dear Susan,
      First of all, congratulations on your ideas and the drama project, which seem very sucessful. I`m writing to you from Curitiba, Brazil, where at the moment I`m engaged in developing a way of teaching Polish in an alterantive way in public schools (it`s a partnership between our university and the municipal `secretaria de educação`). I imagine that your book won’t be published immediately, so I’d be grateful if shared some of your experience with us. Please, contact me through my e-mail address, so that our dialogue can become more specific. I hope you find time for this!
      My best,
      Aleksandra Piasecka-Till (piasecka@yahoo.com)

  5. Pingback: Will everyone be speaking Chinese in 2030? | A journée in language.

  6. Elisenda says:

    Thanks! I’ll wait for the book then! 😉 Good job!

  7. osnacantab says:

    I have (26 February 2014) just re-posted this thread to the regular YLTSIG discussion group.

    Dennis

    ———-

    8 Responses to Stephen Krashen
    Elisenda says:
    January 28, 2012 at 9:56 am (Edit)
    I can’t believe I’m going to “attend” a conference where you are the protagonist, as I studied you at University and several times in my favourite topics to get the stable job as a teacher in Secondary School here in Catalonia, Spain.
    It’s like I’m going to listen to a man I read about in my books! hahaha!
    GREAT EVOOO!!!!!!!! Thanks!
    Reply
    osnacantab says:
    January 30, 2012 at 11:43 am (Edit)
    This is the handout Stephen sent to us. (You will find a downloadable version in the FILES section of the Yahoogroups list.

    Dennis along with ffinlo and Helen
    ——————————————————————————————————————-

    Three Short Presentations
    S Krashen

    http://www.sdkrashen.com
    twitter: skrashen

    Part one:
    The Comprehension Hypothesis vs. The Skill-Building Hypothesis: Why accept a delayed gratification hypothesis when the gratification never comes?

    I Two views of language/literacy development
    A. The comprehension hypothesis: we acquire language when we understand it.
    1. grammar, vocabulary = RESULT of language acquisition
    2. pleasant immediately
    B. The skill building hypothesis: first learn about language, practice rules
    1. grammar, vocabulary learned first, then you can use the language
    2. delayed gratification (that never arrives)

    II. A special case of the comprehension hypothesis: the reading hypothesis – reading is the source of our reading ability, writing ability (writing style), vocabulary, spelling, grammar competence.
    Most powerful form = free voluntary reading (FVR)

    III. Support for the comprehension hypothesis
    1. method comparison studies: beginning, intermediate, self-selected reading
    2. correlational studies: more CI/FVR > more language/literacy development
    3. Serious problems with skill-building:
    acquisition without conscious learning
    scarcity of correction, output
    complexity
    4. conscious learning not useless but very limited

    Part two:
    Developing Academic Language: How the language teaching profession has backed the wrong horse.

    I. The new focus on Academic Language Proficiency = vocabulary, grammar, and discourse style of academic, or professional language.
    A. traditional approach: describe academic language, prepare materials, teach it. (English for Special Purposes, ESP; English for Academic Purposes)
    B. My view: This has never worked. What works: massive free voluntary reading, then motivated reading for your own interests.

    II. Development of academic language:
    Stage One – self-selected reading (pre-academic stage); the bridge from conversation to academic language
    1. Biber (1988): fiction falls between conversation and academic texts in terms of linguistic complexity
    2. SSR studies – SSR better on tests of academic language (reading, vocabulary, writing, grammatical accuracy): true for children, teenagers, and university students
    3. Multivariate analyses: rival hypotheses in direct competition!!
    a) Spanish as a foreign language for English speakers – test of subjunctive was “monitor-free”;
    Reading (FVR) only significant predictor!

    Competence in the subjunctive in Spanish as foreign language in the US
    predictor beta p
    study 0.0052 0.72
    residence 0.051 0.73
    reading 0.32 0.034
    subjunctive study 0.045 0.76

    Stokes, Krashen & Kartchner, 1998

    b) TOEFL test

    Predictors of TOEFL scores: multiple regression (EFL)
    predictor beta
    extracurricular reading 0.53
    native speaker teacher 0.43
    total instruction -0.21
    extracurricular speaking -0.2

    From: Gradman & Hanania, 1991

    Predictors of TOEFL scores: multiple regression (ESL)
    predictor beta
    free reading/books read 0.41
    English study in home country 0.48
    Length of residence in US 0.42

    From: Constantino, Lee, Cho & Krashen, 1997

    c) English writing performance, EFL in Taiwan (SY Lee, 2005)
    Significant predictors: FVR
    Not significant predictors: amount of free writing; strong belief in instruction

    4. The TOEFL study (Mason, 2006): gains in TOEFL scores from FVR alone = 3.5 pts/wk = full time TOEFL prep course, gains on all sections (listening, grammar, reading)
    5. Narrow reading: one author, one genre ….
    Lamme, 1976: good readers do more narrow reading
    KS Cho: the Sweet Valley studies.
    From Sweet Valley Kids (reading level: grade 2) > Sweet Valley Twins (grade 4) > Sweet Valley High (grades 5,6)
    6. Another case history: comic books > baseball stories > science fiction, all very narrow

    Stage Two: Narrow Academic Reading

    A. stage 1 (pre-academic) provides linguistic, knowledge background to make academic input more comprehensible; stage 2 provides academic language competence
    B. narrow reading of academic texts, in an area of great personal interest to the reader.
    C. Reading as the main source, not classroom input (Biber, 2006: classroom discourse is closer to conversational language than to academic language).
    D. A case history: works of Chomsky, in chronological order > small area of brain research (dichotic listening); work of single author > other areas of brain research > language acquisition and language education: reading for my purposes, not for “academic purposes.”
    E. Influence of the first language:
    1) some features of academic language similar in different languages
    2) background knowledge gained thru L1 makes L2 input more comprehensible

    Can academic language proficiency be “learned”?
    The complexity problem
    Example: Hyland’s discussion of “quite” (only one of many, many examples)
    1) both a “booster” (e.g. “the results were quite phenomenal”) and a “hedge” or slight attenuation (e.g. “he couldn’t quite do it”),
    2) meaning varies with different stress: “I QUITE like the idea of walking” (but I’d prefer not), versus “I quite LIKE the idea of walking” (and maybe I will),
    3) and different word order: “a quite beautiful garden” versus “quite a beautiful garden,” the former expressing “greater commitment.”
    Hyland: pedagogical grammars & professional linguists disagree!
    SK: those second language acquirers who have better “quite-competence” have read more, especially in self-selected academic texts of personal interest.
    Acquisition without learning: ALL CASES of the acquisition of Academic Language
    Only a small part of academic language can be consciously learned.

    Part three:
    Pleasure and Ecstasy: Is language acquisition a junior ecstasy?

    The pleasure hypothesis:
    I. if good for language acquisition, perceived to be pleasant
    A. continuation data from CI-based methods
    B. free reading as “flow”: Csikszentmihalyi (1993),
    1. reports of free reading: 1985: adult Americans rate reading 8.3/10; 7.5 for hobbies, 7.8 for TV, 7.2 for conversation (Robinson & Godbey, 1997)
    2. reading as addiction (W. Somerset Maugham: “Conversation after a time bores me, games tire me, and my own thoughts, which we are told are the unfailing resource of a sensible man, have a tendency to run dry. Then I fly to my book as the opium-smoker to his pipe …” (Nell, 1988, p.232).
    3. why reading in bed is so pleasant (and addictive): Nell (1988)
    C. read alouds
    II. If not good for language acquisition, perceived to be unpleasant (Krashen, 2003;Explorations)
    A. forced speech:
    1. my neighbor and her Spanish class
    2. universally feared by students
    3. the suggested “cure”!
    B. correction: they say they want it, but they don’t
    C. grammar: they say they want it, but they don’t (Egasse’s observations)

    The ecstasy hypothesis
    I. Din in the head
    A result of acquisition/CI:
    A. after i+1/CI, not drill or study; cure for shyness; not in advanced
    B. confirmed in a series of studies
    II. The generalized din
    A. music: song stuck in your head (Tim Murphey)
    B. kinesthetic: dance, martial arts
    C. intellectual: new ideas
    D. visual: art, nature
    E. infatuation (Tim Murphey)
    F. DIN a result of NEW LEARNING
    G. Frank Smith: the brain learns (not confusion or boredom)
    H. FLOW: optimal challenge/right problem, right background
    1. chemistry of infatuation = chemistry of ecstasy = chemistry of the din?

    Postscript: How to keep your brain young.
    Reply
    Susan Hillyard says:
    January 31, 2012 at 10:39 pm (Edit)
    Really enjoyed your presentations. We are teaching English through Drama in Special Education in Buenos Aires, backed by the Ministry of Education. We feel like pioneers in a barren and remote land but we are convinced that this methodology works. We work with comprehensible input from authentic short stories in our own teacher designed ACTIONSACKS and all the activities are text driven through process drama. We do not do plays as such but we insist on NO desks and NO texts. The regular teachers in L1 are amazed at the response we are getting. If you would like to research the project you are very welcome!
    Reply
    Elisenda says:
    February 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm (Edit)
    Hi Susan, where can we find mor information of this project? “research the project”…? as you invite us to.
    Thanks! Very interesting
    Reply
    Susan Hillyard says:
    February 2, 2012 at 6:26 pm (Edit)
    I am hoping somebody in the world will come to Bs As to do a real research project on English in Action!
    I’m afraid I do not have a blog or a website as I’m always too busy running around DOING the training and co-ordinating but we are writing a book together and hoping to get published one day!
    I can send you the theoretical background and an interview I did with the local press if you would like that.
    Thanks for your interest.
    Susan Hillyard
    Reply
    Aleksandra piasecka-Till says:
    February 26, 2014 at 5:01 am (Edit)
    Dear Susan,
    First of all, congratulations on your ideas and the drama project, which seem very sucessful. I`m writing to you from Curitiba, Brazil, where at the moment I`m engaged in developing a way of teaching Polish in an alterantive way in public schools (it`s a partnership between our university and the municipal `secretaria de educação`). I imagine that your book won’t be published immediately, so I’d be grateful if shared some of your experience with us. Please, contact me through my e-mail address, so that our dialogue can become more specific. I hope you find time for this!
    My best,
    Aleksandra Piasecka-Till (piasecka@yahoo.com)

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