2007/04/25

Is Krashen's Monitor Theory no longer valid?

Stephen Krashen's Monitor Theory has been one of the most influential SLA theories. It is based on 5 main hypotheses:
  1. The Acquisition-Learning hypothesis: Krashen claimed that formal instruction, or learning and studying about a language, is a different process from the natural acquisition that takes place as a subconscious act similar to the way children begin to understand their native language. We use learning to produce correct form or grammar, while acquisition is used to understand and produce meaning. As an example, if someone wants to learn Russian, she could learn Russian by taking classes on Russian grammar and vocabulary, but she could acquire the language by reading and listening to Russian texts or living in Russia and interacting with the people and culture in that country (how about interacting with Russian people through the net?).
  2. The Natural Order hypothesis: There is a natural, predictable order in which people acquire language. It is the same for each person and independent of the instruction program (this is related to Chomky's mentalistic view of language).
  3. The Monitor hypothesis: The learned system should have the purpose to self-monitor production. It is somehow related to the goal that the learner may be able to identify and correct mistakes or ask for help and reflect on the process of acquisition.
  4. The Input hypothesis: People acquire a language by receiving comprehensible input. This input should be slightly ahead of a learner’s current state of knowledge (i + 1).
  5. The Affective Filter hypothesis: When the learner is experiencing high anxiety, low self-esteem or low motivation, the filter turns on and causes the learner to block out input. Learners need both comprehensible input and a weak filter, that is, a learning environment free of stress and anxiety, where the learner is not forced to produce and can progress at his own pace. Krashen suggests that adolescence and puberty may not be good periods for SLA, as this ‘affective filter’ arises out of self-conscious reluctance to reveal oneself and feelings of vulnerability.
In the Wikipedia article on the Monitor Theory we can read the following:

"The model has been criticised by many linguists and is no longer considered a valid hypothesis. Its continuing value in the field is only for its historical significance, and the research it has inspired.
McLaughlin (1987) claims that none of the hypotheses is clear in its prediction. For example, the acquisition-learning distinction is not properly defined and the distinction cannot be empirically tested. If only acquired forms can lead to spontaneous speech, as Krashen claims, then it should be impossible for anyone who learns a foreign language in a classroom, and is taught it in their native language, to ever be able to produce spontaneous speech in the target language. This is clearly untrue. Likewise, Krashen provides no criteria for establishing i+1, or for delineating different levels of input..."

Although Krashen doesn't give enough importance in his model to comprehensible output and interaction (he explains why in this article) and we may agree with some part of the criticism, I still think that Krashen's key ideas should be taken into account when deciding on the learning environment and the kind of activities for our students.


6 comments:

Lingual Bee said...

A great post! My own learning experience validates Krashen's theory completely, particularly point 4 and 5. I also observed many learners are going through the similar learning experience at Kantalk.com and Mixxer.

José Luis Cabello said...

Thank you for your comment, Lingual Bee. Kantalk is a very interesting language learning site.
Congratulations for your blogs.

Adi said...

Oes Tsetnoc one of the ways in which we can learn seo besides Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa. By participating in the Oes Tsetnoc or Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa we can improve our seo skills. To find more information about Oest Tsetnoc please visit my Oes Tsetnoc pages. And to find more information about Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa please visit my Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa pages. Thank you So much.

Adrian said...

Really nice job,There are many people searching about that now they will find enough sources by your tips.company logo design

John Travis said...

I like when you can see fantastic definition in the stomache. It truly shows dedication.

toronto limo rentals

cheap uggs australia said...

Discount UGG Boots I saw the door opened, two girls sullenly went straight upstairs bedroom and saw a stranger neither greeted nor asked who, with stones passing.

cheapest uggs ever I now have to rush on the plane, the Hong Kong side asked me to go back to work one day, he found the wallet, "You need money, the first branch you two thousand dollars, eight or ten days when I can come back." yt66dyg

ugg kenly black Such a perfect home, but also failed to keep the mistress of the heart, a person's heart can see how odd surprise.

super cheap uggs Stone took her into the car, fasten your seat belt for her, called her sister to sit at ease beside the head by his sister on his shoulders.

www.uggsaustralia.me.uk Stone smile, out of a man is not easy, area girls talent so exquisitely carved, but in the Chinese restaurant dispensers.