A Forty Years' war, speak first - read & write later: Acquisition vs Memorisations

Best S. Krashen's Presentation on everything about Foreign Language Acquisition

Days and words

The best video on why memorisations don't work and how to really go about language learning.

The Resources

Key Points:

1. Passing exams does not necessarily indicate speaking ability.
2. In conversations, there is no time to think about grammar because people speak quickly.
3. The focus in conversations is on understanding the content, not on grammar.
4. Language acquisition occurs when we understand messages, not how they are said.
5. Children acquire language through repeated exposure to language structures.
6. Learning grammar rules and monitoring speech for correctness is ineffective in conversation.
7. Relying solely on grammar rules requires time, attention, and knowledge of specific rules.

Key Points:

1. Traditional language learning methods that focus on grammar rules and conscious application are limited.
2. Understanding the limitations of grammar-focused learning is important.
3. Optimizing for language acquisition through comprehensible input leads to faster progress in language learning.
4. Research has shown that acquisition, rather than conscious grammar learning, leads to fluency and accuracy in language use.

Key Points:

1. The traditional methods of language learning often overlook the acquisition stage.
2. Children acquire language through comprehensible input, such as listening to stories and commands.
3. Native speakers and teachers, who often focus on grammar, may not be the best advisors on language learning.
4. Explicit grammar instruction is not the main factor at all, in developing fluency.
5. It is more beneficial to follow someone who has learned a language in a similar situation to yours.

The Resources

Key Points:

1. The study conducted by Cohen and Robbins in 1976 challenges the belief that conscious grammar rules are necessary for language proficiency.
2. There are three types of language learners: over users, optimal users, and under users of the conscious monitor.
3. Over users heavily rely on conscious grammar rules, which can hinder fluency and natural language production.
4. Optimal users primarily rely on their acquired system of language and only occasionally check grammar rules for writing purposes.
5. Under users rely solely on their acquired system and may not even be aware of the grammar rules they are using.
6. Studies show that learners who are exposed to the language in a natural and meaningful context can acquire the language without explicit instruction of grammar rules.
7. External factors like cultural acceptance can impact language proficiency.
9. Language acquisition is a subconscious process that occurs through repetition of exposure in meaningful contexts, and conscious grammar study should be used as a supplement, not the primary method.

Key Points:

1. Understanding transitional forms in language learning is important to avoid frustration and demotivation.
2. Studies have shown a surprising uniformity in the transitional language that occurs when acquiring a second language.
3. Learners tend to make similar errors and struggle with similar aspects of the language.
4. Not understanding transitional forms can lead to constant correction from teachers and feeling discouraged.
5. Learners may feel overwhelmed by constant correction and start to doubt their abilities.
6. The order of acquisition of language rules is gradual and cannot be changed, even with conscious knowledge of the rules.
7. Language acquisition occurs gradually through repeated exposure to vocabulary.

Key Points:

1. The input-heavy approach to language learning is not widely known or implemented, despite its effectiveness.
2. Traditional language learning methods, such as focusing on grammar rules and speaking from day one, are still prevalent because they are financially beneficial for the publishing industry and language schools.
3. The resistance to adopting the input-heavy approach is different to the Chomskyian revolution in linguistics, because the theoretical debate did not have financial consequences.
4. The traditional language school system offers multiple levels and courses that do not effectively teach the language, but only serve to generate more revenue.
5. The lack of financial incentives and the absence of a textbook-based approach make it difficult for the input-heavy approach to gain widespread acceptance.
6. Platforms like Netflix could potentially provide compelling and comprehensible input for language learners, but the current lack of suitable content for beginners poses a challenge.

The Resources

Key Points:

1. The traditional method of language learning focuses on grammar as the main component, while other skills like reading and writing are secondary.
2. Polyglots believe that grammar should be seen as a shortcut to understanding the language and that mixing up different grammar concepts is more effective for the brain.
3. Polyglots emphasize the importance of revision and prefer exercises that require decision-making and critical thinking.
4. The traditional approach of learning vocabulary in lists of categories is bad due to circle of forgetting, learners should focus on the most frequent vocabulary instead.
5. The polyglot approach is considered more effective because it aligns with how the brain learns.

Automated Courses/Youtube vs Input from Live Human Beings:

On advantages and disadvantages of getting Input through automated online courses/videos. "In this video, I discuss why, although radio, podcasts, and watching YouTube videos in German are highly beneficial, they still can't compare to the speed of learning when the same input is provided by live human beings—native speakers."

Sorry for the video quality.

Key Points:

1. Why is acquiring grammar through exposure to comprehensible inputs important?
2. How do children naturally acquire grammar without explicit instruction?
3. The importance of focusing on acquiring sentences and phrases before studying grammar
4. Why is it a mistake for adults to skip the step of acquiring grammar and go straight to studying grammar?
5. How does the process of acquiring grammar compare to how children learn languages?

3 Important talks from Krashen

Key Points:

1. Why is acquisition more important than learning for fluency and accuracy in language use?
2. How does the ability to acquire language not disappear with age?
3. Why is speaking seen as a result of acquisition, not its cause?
4. How does providing comprehensible input facilitate both fluency and accuracy in language acquisition?
5. Why is the focus on comprehensible input suggested instead of traditional grammatical sequencing in language classes?
6. How would a focus on comprehensible input address the problems with the grammatical syllabus and provide a more effective way of acquiring language?

Last 3 Minutes of this Part 2 are Especially Important to Understand

1. The importance of providing comprehensible input in language acquisition
2. Why is it crucial to create a low anxiety environment for effective language acquisition?
3. How do affective variables such as motivation and self-esteem impact language learning?
4. The importance of language classes in offering comprehensible input
5. Why is it essential for language classes to provide comprehensible input?
6. How can teaching subject matter in a comprehensible way supplement language classes?
7. The importance of promoting autonomy in language learning
8. Why is promoting autonomy in language learning the ultimate goal?

Key Points:

1. Importance of comprehensible input in language acquisition
2. Role of understanding messages and engaging in meaningful communication
3. Input hypothesis
4. Affective filter hypothesis
5. Need for a low anxiety environment for effective language acquisition

The Resources

Key Points:

1. The traditional method of language learning focuses on grammar as the main component, while other skills like listening and reading are secondary.

Key Points:

On broken foreign language school systems.

Key Points:

Use intensive over-learning and heavy period to be able to coast after 3 months, and enjoy the language... as opposed to go easy on it with one class per week f.e., learn nothing and never get to coast.

3 Important talks from Krashen

Key Points:

1. Why is acquisition more important than learning for fluency and accuracy in language use?
2. How does the ability to acquire language not disappear with age?
3. Why is speaking seen as a result of acquisition, not its cause?
4. How does providing comprehensible input facilitate both fluency and accuracy in language acquisition?
5. Why is the focus on comprehensible input suggested instead of traditional grammatical sequencing in language classes?
6. How would a focus on comprehensible input address the problems with the grammatical syllabus and provide a more effective way of acquiring language?

Last 3 Minutes of this Part 2 are Especially Important to Understand

1. The importance of providing comprehensible input in language acquisition
2. Why is it crucial to create a low anxiety environment for effective language acquisition?
3. How do affective variables such as motivation and self-esteem impact language learning?
4. The importance of language classes in offering comprehensible input
5. Why is it essential for language classes to provide comprehensible input?
6. How can teaching subject matter in a comprehensible way supplement language classes?
7. The importance of promoting autonomy in language learning
8. Why is promoting autonomy in language learning the ultimate goal?

Key Points:

1. Importance of comprehensible input in language acquisition
2. Role of understanding messages and engaging in meaningful communication
3. Input hypothesis
4. Affective filter hypothesis
5. Need for a low anxiety environment for effective language acquisition

Krashen's Highlights

Key Points:

1. Language acquisition is a gradual process where individuals learn a little bit at a time.
2. Vocabulary acquisition occurs gradually, with individuals knowing a large number of words to varying degrees of familiarity.
3. When individuals encounter an unfamiliar word in a comprehensible context, they gradually understand a small percentage of it each time they encounter it.
4. Reading plays a significant role in vocabulary growth, with fifth-grade children reading about a million words a year and understanding 5% of a new word each time.
5. Language acquisition is not an instantaneous process but rather a gradual one where individuals make incremental progress in making words more familiar.
6. Studying a new language can be slow and challenging, but with continued reading and listening, the words that are initially difficult will eventually become more accessible.

Key Points:

1. Acquisition and learning have different effects on language production.
2. Acquired language knowledge is used to form sentences when speaking a language at an intermediate level.
3. Individuals can also use learned rules to monitor and correct their speech before speaking.
4. The process of using learned rules as a monitor is supported by research conducted in the late 1970s.
5. The book "Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning" by the speaker delves into the distinction between acquisition and learning and explores their impact on language production.
6. The speaker has made the book available for free on their website for interested individuals to access and explore the research findings.

Key Points:

1. Individuals acquire the rules of language in a specific order, regardless of age or whether it is their first or second language.
2. The order of acquisition is consistent and does not depend on the complexity of the rules.
3. Some grammatical markers are acquired early, while others are acquired later.
4. Knowing a grammar rule consciously does not guarantee fluent usage.
5. Understanding the order of acquisition is important in language learning, and consciously knowing grammar rules has limitations in achieving fluent language usage.

Krashen's Highlights

Key Points:

1. Language acquisition is the natural way of picking up a language through exposure and practice, while learning involves conscious awareness of the rules and structures of the language.
2. Language acquisition is possible at any age, challenging the belief that it is only effective during childhood.
3. The brain has the ability to rewire itself and form new neural connections, allowing for language acquisition even in adulthood.
4. Learning a second language can have positive effects on the brain, improving cognitive abilities and delaying age-related cognitive decline.
5. Motivation and attitude play a crucial role in language acquisition, as individuals who are motivated and have a positive attitude are more likely to engage in language learning activities and persist in their efforts.
6. Comprehensible input, which is slightly beyond the learner's current level of proficiency, is important for language acquisition as it allows learners to make connections between the language they hear or read and its meaning.

Key Points:

1. The comprehension hypothesis suggests that talking is not practicing, but rather the outcome of comprehensible input in language acquisition.
2. The author shares a personal experience from the 1970s where they tried to teach English to a child using a traditional approach, but it was ineffective.
3. The child eventually started speaking after five months of listening and receiving comprehensible input, emphasizing the importance of input during the silent period.
4. The current approach of allowing learners to have a silent period and ensuring they receive comprehensible input is more effective than other methods.

Key Points:

1. Language acquisition requires input that is both comprehensible and interesting which is a challenging task.
2. Researchers at the university have conducted studies and developed theories on how to achieve comprehensible and compelling input.
3. Implementing these theories in the classroom is difficult.
4. The main challenge lies in making the input both comprehensible and compelling, especially for students at lower levels of language proficiency.
5. Traditional schooling often provides input that is comprehensible but not interesting.
6. Casual conversations may be interesting but not comprehensible.
7. Many researchers at the university have provided input that is neither comprehensible nor interesting.

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