Talk:Language methods


Jump to: navigation, search

discuss "foreign" language "instruction" theories and actual practices.. find "facts" useful to create strong tools for language learners using the OLPC 2B1



list theories possibly useful to 
language learners using the OLPC 2B1


opinion: discussion on language
learning using the OLPC 2B1 might start 
with the research of Stephen Krashen..

The distinction between acquiring and learning 
was made by Stephen Krashen (1982). According to 
Krashen, the acquisition of a language is a 
natural process; whereas learning a language is 
a conscious one.. second language acquisition

affective filter

Experiments demonstrated that learners do not 
learn well when they are affected by negative 
feelings such as boredom, anxiety or low self-esteem. 
According to this hypothesis these negative emotions 
activate a filter that prevents efficient processing 
of the learning input. The hypothesis is unproven, 
yet also unchallenged.. affective filter

comprehensible input

The COMPREHENSIBLE INPUT hypothesis argues that 
acquisition takes place when the student is 
exposed to meaningful and a variety of input..  
comprehensible input

natural order

Krashen also proposed the NATURAL ORDER hypothesis 
whereby the acquisition of language is in developmental 
stages.. basic sounds, vocabulary, negating phrases, 
forming questions, using relative clauses, and so on.. 
similar to the learning stages that babies go through 
when acquiring the first language: babbling (bababa), 
vocabulary (milk then later milk drink), negation (no play), 
question forming (where she go), etc.. natural order

instructional scaffolding

language learners must build on their knowledge through 
processing language at a level slightly beyond their 
ability: 'current competence + 1' (i +1) ] This is also

methods in sync w/ krashen

krashen does approve of some methods which are
used with success, even in testing-obsessed 


"total physical response" is an interactive, kinesthetic 
approach uncovered by accident and developed in 1960's by 
James Asher. 

Students respond to commands that require physical movement. 
The method relies on the assumption that when learning a 
second or additional  language, that language is internalised 
through a process of codebreaking similar to first language 
development and that the process allows for a long period of 
listening and developing comprehension prior to production.

"TPR is based on the premise that the human brain has a 
biological program  for acquiring any natural language on 
earth - including the sign language of the deaf. The process 
is visible when we observe how infants internalize their first 
language." --James J. Asher, Ph.D.

The child responds physically to the speech of their parent. 
The  responses of the child are in turn positively reinforced 
by the speech of the parent. For many months the child absorbs 
the language without being  able to speak. It is during this 
period that the internalisation and codebreaking occurs. After 
this stage the child is able to reproduce the language 
spontaneously. With TPR the language teacher tries to mimic 
this process in class.


total physical response storytelling or
teaching proficiency in reading and storytelling
developed by blaine ray and others

1. Introduction of target grammatical structures through 
personalized questions and answers directed to individual students,
2. Telling of the main story using a circling technique of asking
questions (resulting in multiple repetitions of the target structures), and
3. Reading stories where the target structures are used in various contexts.

opinion: "tprs" moniker may damage an effective 
method.. a more apt name may be "storyasking"..


Much of Krashen's model has been criticized, for example, 
the vagueness of the model, or the lack of empirical studies. 
However, many students  and teachers feel the difference 
between learning and acquisition.. criticism

krashen links


question: do you know many people who 
study "foreign" language for years 
without really learning much?

experience: here in mexico, many people 
i meet hate english because the 
classes are dull and they don't end up
learning much, or worse:

opinion: many "language methods" end up
teaching people that they are "no good" 
at "foreign" language.. new solutions that
suck less might be helpful..

Duke 12:59, 24 October 2006 (EDT)
Personal tools
  • Log in
  • Login with OpenID
About OLPC
About the laptop
About the tablet
OLPC wiki