Language teachers and aficionados can now access Dr. Stephen Krashen’s latest articles and books for FREE! His major contribution to the field of linguistics is recognizing that language learners will be more successful if they’re motivated to use it and enjoy the process of learning it. In other words, he rejects the teaching language “academically” and espouses an approach that focuses on encouraging learners to learn the target language by reading books for pleasure and through interesting and engaging activities rather than focusing intently on what they are needing to learn.
Here is a more recent lecture by Stephen Krashen. Below is a summary of the talk:
“Compelling Comprehensible Input”
Sponsored by New York College
SUMMARY: Input must be comprehensible to have an effect on language acquisition and literacy development. To make sure that language acquirers pay attention to the input, it should be interesting. But interest may be not enough for optimal language acquisition. It may be the case that input needs to be not just interesting but compelling. Compelling means that the input is so interesting you forget that it is in another language. It means you are in a state of “flow” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). In flow, the concerns of everyday life and even the sense of self disappear – our sense of time is altered and nothing but the activity itself seems to matter. Flow occurs during reading when readers are “lost in the book” (Nell, 1988) or in the “Reading Zone” (Atwell, 2007).
Compelling input appears to eliminate the need for motivation, a conscious desire to improve. When you get compelling input, you acquire whether you are interested in improving or not. The evidence for the Compelling Input Hypothesis includes improvement as an unexpected result, the many cases of those who had no conscious intention of improving in another language or increasing their literacy, but simply got very interested in reading. In fact, they were sometimes surprised that they had improved. An important conjecture is that listening to or reading compelling stories, watching compelling movies and having conversations with truly fascinating people is
not simply another route, another option. It is possible that compelling input is not just the best form of input: It may be the only way we truly acquire language.
This site lists questions from English language learners on how to say something correctly in English–or what something means if spoken. Since English speakers follow different grammatical structures than written language, this site is helpful.
Learning ESL – free advice on learning English as a second or foreign language
This page offers several great ideas for helping beginning level students learn English.