Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


by AJ

The skill-building hypothesis is the "folk religion" of language education. Drills, grammar-translation, and the like are the norm. Its not surprising, therefore, that students accept the hypothesis as gospel.

Krashen urges language teachers to educate their students about the comprehension hypothesis..... a hyposthesis supported by a wealth of research (unlike skill-building).... an approach proven time and again (in method vs. method studies) to be equal to or superior to skill-building in all aspects of language acquisition.

We know this, but our students dont. We need to be open with them. We need to discuss our methods. We need to give them accurate information about how language is acquired.

I did this today with my classes. We read a shortened version of Krashen's article "Why delay gratification...?". It was a good language exercise, as they learned a great deal of new vocabulary (comprehensible, input, gratification,etc.).
We also had a short discussion about language acquisition research. I explained the methods I would be using and why I would be using them.

The students understood and now have a clearer idea of what I will be doing and why.