Krashen’s Hypothesis: The Affective Filter

Motivation, self-confidence, and anxiety all affect language acquisition, in effect raising or lowering the “stickiness” or “penetration” of any comprehensible input that is received.
These five hypotheses of second language acquisition can be summarized: “1. Acquisition is more important than learning. 2. In order to acquire, two conditions are necessary. The first is comprehensible (or even better, comprehended) input containing i+1, structures a bit beyond the acquirer’s current level, and second, a low or weak affective filter to allow the input ‘in’.”
In view of these findings, question is raised: does classroom language teaching help? Classroom teaching helps when it provides the necessary comprehensible input to those students who are not at a level yet which allows them to receive comprehensible input from “the real world” or who do not have access to “real world” language speakers. It can also help when it provides students communication tools to make better use of the outside world, and it can provide beneficial conscious learning for optimal Monitor users.
Various research studies have been done comparing the amount of language competence and the amount of exposure to the language either in classroom-years or length of residence, the age of the language acquirer, and the acculturation of the language acquirer. The results of these studies are consistent with the above acquisition hypotheses: the more comprehensible input one receives in low-stress situations, the more language competence that one will have.



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