Didactics - 10 : Critique of Krashen VI
The Monitor Hypothesis
A : Recap
In lecture 9, we looked more closely at Krashen's input hypothesis. We saw that Krashen believes that language is acquired through the learner's efforts tounderstand the L2, rather than through their efforts to use it. Speaking and writing are simply the end products of the learner's attention to input. Krashen goes on to suggest that the learner needs to be provided withcomprehensible input. In the real world, this is often done automatically :
▪ - Mothers use 'mamanaise' when speaking to babies
▪ - simplified language - concentration on the 'here-and-now'
▪ - child 'reads the language off the context'
▪ - Foreigner talk
▪ - Teacher talk - teachers adapt language to level of the students
In the classroom, it is, says Krashen, the teacher's business to provide a rich variety of language - just beyond the learner's present capacity to understand, so that she is forced to make an effort of comprehension. At the same time, the teacher provides contextual clues that aid the learner in her task.
We have seen that there are a number of objections that have been made to K's hypothesis.
▪ 1. Some observers have pointed that if the learner is not asked to produce language, the teacher cannot know what her needs are, and therefore cannot provide appropriate material. So even if we accept K's argument that only input leads to acquisition, we need output in order to provide the input. Note - in the experiment reported by Lightbown, the learners were largely responsible for choosing their own material.
▪ 2. Jacqueline Boulouffe and others suggest that the learner needs to produce language in order to learn it. Boulouffe holds that, if we stick to the input method, the learner will understand the language only at a superficial level - in particular, she will not be able to either understand or to produce language which implicates the speaker's own judgements,...