The Input Hypothesis

Krashen's Fourth Hypothesis

What is Input?

Learning a second language depends on the learner's understanding of the language in natural communication situations. The learner must have comprehensible input, that is language that is understandable and that is slightly above the learner's level of understanding. To understand the language, they must use context, gestures, pictures, and background information. The learner acquires the language, and does not learn it! The understanding and use of the language develops naturally as the learner is around it. Krashen focuses on vocabulary in this hypothesis, stating that learners should learn based on their interests and be allowed to choose what they want to learn.

Why Input?

I wrote about Input because I knew the least about it, or so I thought. I very much understand comprehensible input and have seen how and what to do with it. However, I'm not so sure about this just being useful for vocabulary. This works with speaking and reading too, and I very clearly remember learning French by doing just this!

“Talking is not practicing”

I completely disagree with Krashen on this. Any time you communicate in a language other than your first one, you are practicing. Even if you're just playing around, you're still using the language and creating something new. Just the act of talking in a second language (or third, or whatever) requires a person to think in ways they never do in their first language, making connections and trying to communicate in totally different ways.