Impact of Krashens' Hypothesis

By Tausha Larsen

The Significance of Krashens' Hypothesis

Steven Krashen (1982) developed a set of hypothesis about second language acquisition and the learning of language and its development. These hypothesis have gotten special attention throughout education for their systemic approaches to using comprehensible input. In today's classrooms teaching methods can be traced to each one of the below hypothesis.


1. The Acquisition/Learning Hypothesis
2. The Monitor Hypothesis
3. The natural Order Hypothesis
4. The Input Hypothesis
5. The Affective Filter Hypothesis

The Input Hypothesis
The Input Hypothesis states that it takes comprehensible input to learn a language. We learn language by being exposed naturally to the context and by the context being a step above our linguistic competence. We may not be able to produce the language, but we will still understand. Through the use of visual cues, re-wording, choice of words, and explanation learning takes place. This is evident in teaching all students. All students tend to learn content specific information best through all forms of communication such as visuals, groupwork, and interaction.

Reasons why the Input Hypothesis Makes the Most Sense:

Krashen states in the video (link below) that one cannot simply learn a language fluently by listening to a video or audio tape. There are many videos out there such as Rosetta Stone that help to learn a language. But does this really work? Do you know someone that has learned a language from a video or audio tape? According to Krashen listening and talking the language is not enough and I tend to agree. Krashen made a statement that "talking is not practicing". The language comes on it's own through communication and interaction. He gives an example of a young girl that lived by him that would not talk to him. Krashen was determined to get her to learn the English language so he began to interact with her to try and get her to talk. She still said nothing and after 5 months she made a breakthrough and began talking and quickly caught up to the neighborhood children. This was not the beginning of her English language because even though she did not talk to him for 5 months she was still listening, processing, and interacting with him.

What Are the Implications for Teachers?

The most important implication is that teachers should seek out realistic and relevant problems for students to solve. Helping ELL students learn the language through comprehensible input such as drawings, interaction, visuals, and active participation works best. Having students find problems that interest the students that entail researching, thinking, discussing, reading, writing, and presenting work best.
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