Affective Filter Hypothesis

by Kendra Coffey

Learning a 2nd language can be fun!

There are several variables that favor 2nd language acquisition.

1. low-anxiety learning environment

2. Student motivation to learn a language

3. Self-confidence

4. Self-esteem

Why I like this theory.

I picked this theory mostly because the variables that favor learning a second language spoke to me. I learned French in high school and the atmosphere was nothing like Krashen explains in the affective filter hypothesis. I would enter the classroom and feel the pressure of preforming and speaking the French language. I didn't have confidence in myself at that time in my life, therefore, it was more a chore to learn French than a desire. I believe I could learn Spanish if I can find an environment that was low stress and not based on performance or grading. I also believe that if I really want to learn a new language I will succeed because I desire the end result. I agree that self confidence and self-esteem play a large part of accomplishing the goal of learning another language. When I believe in myself then I will study and learn until I gain the end result.

Hearing and understanding spoken language is essential in learning a 2nd language

I like the example Krashen uses in the video "talking is not practicing." A person can reiterate and try to memorize phrases in a language, but true understanding comes when the learner understands the communication being delivered from the teacher. I don't know German, but when Krashen drew Spock while describing facial features I understood. The interaction between me and the teacher was engaging. He was speaking in German but because I already knew the facial features in my first language, I could take that information and translate that knowledge into understanding what he was saying in German. The goal of the teacher in teaching a second language so the student can obtain comprehensible input. "People acquire second languages when they obtain comprehensible input and when their affective filters are low enough to allow input in. (Peregoy & Boyle, 65).