Show Notes

Episode Contents


In this episode we'll explore:

  • Why language learning is still largely ineffective and hasn't fundamentally improved over the last decades
  • How Krashen's theory about language acquisition, despite it being over 40 years old, remains groundbreaking
  • Why you can't learn a language by simply speaking it, contrary to popular belief
  • How he can boldly claim that everyone acquires language in the same manner
  • Why language learning is a subconscious process that can't be „turned off"
  • Why there's a strict separation between language acquisition and learning and why consciously learned language can only be used to monitor language output, but never be the source of spontaneous speech
  • In which particular order language is acquired and why that order does not change between learners, and is also not affected by explicit instruction
  • Why learning grammar does not improve language acquisition
  • Why it's simply not true that children acquire languages more easily than adults and provide overwhelming scientific evidence to back up this claim
  • How to apply his theory in practice
  • And finally, discuss the the most powerful tool we have in language education.




  • Today's language learning approaches are still based on old theories and misconceptions about how we humans effectively acquire language. One misconception is that that children acquire language much more easily and quickly than adults. But there is overwhelming evidence that this is not true.
  • Furthermore, most schools and language institutions still teach with antiquated methods (even though we have made some progress) that is not only very ineffective, but also slows down language acquisition and causes lots of anxiety among language learners.
  • We've relied the „old" approach for decades on end (over 40 years at least). We've tried teaching grammar. We've had students memorize vocabulary. We've had people memorize dialogues. This has to stop!
  • We acquire language when we understand what people are saying not how it is said. Notice when we teach language today, we usually do the opposite. We first memorize vocabulary and learn grammar rules consciously and then practice them in output until they become "automatic". It is assumed, in other words, that consciously learned knowledge eventually becomes subconsciously "acquired" knowledge. This „skill-building" approach also states that we can adjust our consciously learned rules when we are corrected.
  • Methods based on the "Comprehension Hypothesis" have been shown to be not only much more effective, but also much more enjoyable.
  • The old way, or skill-building approach, has not done well in the research, and is often painful. Yet the Skill-Building Hypothesis for most people is not a hypothesis: It's the widely accepted default. And yet, most people are unaware that the groundbreaking Comprehension Hypothesis exists.
  • What could more encouraging than that? Not having to learn tons of grammar or hundreds of vocals at the start?
  • Krashen's theory of second language acquisition consists of 5 main hypotheses, which can briefly be summarized by the following:


    1. Input hypothesis
      We acquire language in one way and one way only - by understanding comprehensible input. Which means learners progress in their knowledge of the language when they comprehend language input that is slightly more advanced than their current level.
    2. Acquisition-learning hypothesis
      There is a strict separation between acquisition and learning. This means adults have two distinctive ways of developing competence in a second languages: acquisition, that is by using language for real communication, and learning about the language.
    3. Monitor hypothesis
      Consciously learned language can only be used to monitor language output; it can never be the source of spontaneous speech. Language acquisition does not require extensive use of conscious grammatical rules, and does not require tedious drill. By now, it should also be clear that analyzing the language, formulating rules, setting irregularities apart, and teaching complex facts about the target language is not language teaching, but rather is "language appreciation" or linguistics, which does not lead to language proficiency.
    4. Natural order hypothesis
      Language gets acquired in a predictable order, and that this order does not change among learners, and is not affected by explicit instruction.
    5. Affective filter hypothesis
      Learners' ability to acquire language is constrained if they are experiencing negative emotions (metals blocks such as fear, anxiety) such as fear or embarrassment. At such times the affective filter is said to be "up".


  • The best methods are therefore those that supply 'comprehensible input' in low anxiety situations, containing messages that students really want to hear. These methods do not force early production in the second language, but allow students to produce when they are 'ready', recognizing that improvement comes from supplying communicative and comprehensible input, and not from forcing and correcting production.
  • Applied correctly, it can have a profound impact. This also gives student (no matter their age) no excuse not to acquire a new language.
  • If children acquire language at a much slower rate than adults, adults have no reason to doubt their capabilities of acquiring new languages.


Links & Resources Mentioned


Links Mentioned


Articles Mentioned


Books Mentioned

(*) These links contain affiliate/advertising links. If you click on one of these affiliate links and make a purchase, I will receive a commission from the corresponding online store. Our impartial podcasts are funded in part by affiliate commissions, at no extra cost to our readers. Your support really helps us out, creating even better episodes! ?


Videos Mentioned


Studies Mentioned


People Mentioned

  • Noam Chomsky, American philosopher, linguist, cognitive scientist, historian and political activist (sometimes called "the father of modern linguistics")
  • Leonard Newmark, Professor Emeritus at San Diego University
  • Beniko Mason (Professor emerita at Shitennoji University Junior College, Osaka)
  • Bill VanPatten, former Professor of Spanish and Second Language Acquisition at Michigan State University
  • Karl May, German writer
  • Eric Lenneberg, Linguist & neurologist who pioneered ideas on language acquisition and cognitive psychology
  • Steve Kaufmann (Polyglot who can speak around 16 languages)
  • Kató Lomb (Polyglot, who was able to speak 22 languages)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Donald Trump, President of the USA
  • Jeff McQuillan, Senior Research Associate at Center for Educational Development
  • Barry Switzer, former American football coach and player
  • Steve Sternfield, Associate Professor at University of Utah


David C. Luna:  LinkedIn

Episode Transcript - Click to Expand

Note: This transcript of the episode was machine-generated and has not been edited for correctness. It's provided for your convenience when searching. Please excuse any errors.

[00:00:00] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): But it's not the way it's happened. And this is a major revolution in language teaching. And let me explain why, if this is true, research supports that why doesn't everybody believe that, but why haven't we changed language teaching throughout the year world? And I think there have been pretty good reasons why it hasn't gotten around as much as I'd like to people don't know about it.

[00:00:25] welcome to innovation, no correctness, a podcast, all about innovation and transformation hosted by David Luna, author keynote speaker and founder of gamma digital and beyond. David and his guests discuss real world practical advice on how to best harness the creativity of your employees and go from idea to product, giving you unique perspectives and insights into their success all while separating, hype from reality and replacing bullshit.

[00:00:52] Bingo. With common sense, let's jump right into the show.

[00:00:58] Host (David C. Luna): This is another

[00:01:00] episode of the innovation or correctness podcast. My guest today is Stephen Krashen. If you've ever tried or are learning language, and haven't heard of professor Krashen and his theory on second language acquisition, boy, then you're in for a real treat.

[00:01:11] And this episode will certainly blow your mind with things you probably haven't heard yet. And you'll likely get addicted to language learning. Stephen is a very prolific professor emeritus at the university of Southern California. He's published over 500 articles, many of them peer reviewed, and it doesn't scholarly books in the field of literacy, language, acquisition, neuro linguistics, and bilingual education.

[00:01:34] Many of his publications are freely available for download on his website. Stephen has also received numerous awards, such as the Pimsleur award presented by the American council of foreign language teachers. The Miltenberger

[00:01:46] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): award

[00:01:46] Host (David C. Luna): for his book, second language acquisition, and second language learning.

[00:01:50] And was also inducted into the international reading associations, reading hall of fame, as well as elected into the executive board by the national association for

[00:02:00] bilingual education. And according to a recent study, he's also the most frequently cited scholar in the field of language education. He's especially well known for his hypothesis related to second language acquisition, which we talk about in this episode and going to detail that's also how I got introduced and hooked on is fascinating and very intuitive hypothesis about language acquisition.

[00:02:20] And last but not least. And this one really surprised me. He was also the 1977 inclined bench press champion of Venice beach, and currently, still trains at Gold's gym in California. So he's not only a very prolific and smart professor. He's also a ripped professor as well. what are we going to cover in this episode?

[00:02:37]we'll explore why language learning is still largely ineffective and hasn't fundamentally improved over the last decades. How Krashen's theory about language acquisition despite being or 40 years old remains groundbreaking. Why you can't learn a language by simply speaking it contrary to popular belief, how he can boldly claim that everyone acquired language in the same

[00:03:00] manner.

[00:03:00] Why language learning is a subconscious process that can't be turned off. Why there's a strict separation between language acquisition and language learning and why consciously learn language can only be used to monitor language output, but never be the source of spontaneous speech and which particular order language is acquired and why that order does not change between learners and is also not affected by explicit instruction.

[00:03:24] By learning grammar does not improve language acquisition. It should be restricted to an absolute minimum during the initial phases. It's simply not true that children acquire links, which is more easily than adults. And he also provides overwhelming scientific evidence to back this up. How do I apply as theory practice?

[00:03:42] And finally, we discussed the most powerful tool we have in language education, and also stay tuned until the end where I as always tried. Reflect and summarize the interview and extract some of the key takeaways for you. And don't worry, there are no ads or sponsor on this podcast and that will remain that way.

[00:03:59] Promised that's

[00:04:00] enough. Let's go meet Steven.

[00:04:06] Welcome to the podcast. Steven, I've been looking forward to this particular episode for quite a few weeks. Now I've personally been a big fan of your work. Do you want to introduce yourself briefly to the listeners who don't know who you are?

[00:04:18] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): Okay. My name is Steve Krashen. I'm a retired professor from the university of Southern California.

[00:04:24] I retired in 2006 and at the moment I'm under house arrest. Because of the governor of California has just has decided we should all stay at home. So I have lots of time for doing this, and this is wonderful. Happy to be on the podcast.

[00:04:38] Host (David C. Luna): I guess Corolla does have some advantages exactly. Before we start this interview, I've done some investigative journalism as I do on every guest.

[00:04:46] And I found out that you've worked out with Arnold Schwartzenegger. Is that

[00:04:51] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): true? at the time, 1971, 72, I was working out on Venice beach, California, which is the descendant of

[00:05:00] muscle beach from the old days. And Arnold showed up. He, I was already the, mature guy in my thirties and all that, but Arnold was.

[00:05:07] I'd say 21, 22 years old, mr. Universe, three times already, the most famous bodybuilder the world. Now I've written about Arnold. I've written a paper on his acquisition of English, et cetera, but I do want to share the personal part. Arnold came by and my goodness, he was so nice. So friendly, you would be working out doing your bench presses.

[00:05:28] Arnold would come over and say, can I spot you? Can I help you? Or you'd be doing your curls. I know everybody does their curls. And he said, try it this way. Put it on. Like there, everything he said was perfect. Everything he said was nice. He socialized with all of us. Arnold has a PhD in weightlifting for a young man in his twenties.

[00:05:47] He understood everything and was one of the nicest people you would ever meet. So that's the inside gossip on Arnold. My article about him though, which is on my website, I'll be happy to share with, anyone has to do with his attitude about

[00:06:00] bilingualism. When he became governor of California, he said, everybody should.

[00:06:03] People who come here from Mexico should do what I did said. I acquired English just by hanging out, listening to him, talking, and I stopped. He said, I stopped speaking German and people, these people should stop speaking Spanish, et cetera. That's incorrect. The first language can help you quite a bit. So even though I've mildly and politely criticized him in the professional literature, extremely good person, extremely helpful, a legend on the beach.

[00:06:27] So that's the inside stuff on Arnold.

[00:06:30] Host (David C. Luna): And do you do competitive weightlifting? Is that correct?

[00:06:32] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): My specialty, I used to enter contests on Venice beach. They had would call odd lift contests where you didn't have to do the standard stuff. And I did very well in those. I did, the, my specialty was the incline bench press.

[00:06:44] I also competed on the curl and the dead lift and squat, all that stuff and did fairly well. It was good. It was good, healthy competition. The good thing about it was that you competed mostly against people. You knew. Who trained with you, et cetera. And everybody encouraged everybody. If

[00:07:00] you broke your personal record, whether you beat the other guy or not, they all applauded, they all cheered for you.

[00:07:05] So it was a good exercise in the way. Competition should be good years. I'm still training. I'm now at Gold's gym in Venice, still doing it and still addicted to it. It's a wonderful thing to do. The secret of my success is weightlifting and coffee. Wow.

[00:07:19] Host (David C. Luna): You're shattering quite a few stereotypes about professors being nerds.

[00:07:23] You not only know your shit, but you're also a rep professor.

[00:07:26] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): Yeah, exactly. Okay. Yeah. Right now at home, we can't go to the gym. All the gyms are closed because of the Corona virus. So we're all doing stuff at home. And I've looked at Arnold's advice on what kind of exercises to do at home. And it's been very helpful.

[00:07:40] So he's still a positive influence.

[00:07:42] Host (David C. Luna): The first time I came across you as a professor. And your theory about comprehensible input in language acquisition was way back in 2010 ish, something like that, where I started learning Mandarin. And at that time I went on a sabbatical for half a year. So I quit my job and went to China

[00:08:00] to learn Chinese.

[00:08:01] And this was also the time I came across your YouTube video. And you gave a talk there and I believe that dates back to the eighties. And you started this talk by making an outrageous statement. Those were your words. We wire language in one way. And one way only essentially saying that every one acquires language in the same way, can you briefly summarize your theory and what made you make that outrageous statement?

[00:08:25]Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): I really had no, I'm okay. Because the research pushing very hard in that direction and I still think it's true. The language acquisition device works in only one way, just like the visual system works and only one way the kidneys work in only one way. There's no important individual variation among people.

[00:08:43] In other words, people know linguistics. I'm agreeing with Noam Chomsky who says it is part of our nature. To acquire language. That's what we're, that's what, there's only one way of doing it. And it's very simple. We acquire language when we understand it. If you have a conversation let's say in Mandarin and you

[00:09:00] understand what the person is saying, or you're reading a book, you are, you may be acquiring the language.

[00:09:05] If there's new stuff in the. Input that you're getting it's through input that says we don't acquire language by producing it by speaking or by writing, we don't acquire language by knowing about it by studying grammar, by memorizing vocabulary, they have very little influence. It's fundamentally in one way when we understand it.

[00:09:23] So if you start talking to me in a language, I don't know, and you make it comprehensible. By giving me some background knowledge, occasional translation, drawing a picture. I will start acquiring the language and you can't stop it. This is the best part. It's subconscious. While it's happening, you don't know it's happening once it's finished happening.

[00:09:43] You're not aware that you've acquired something and it's inevitable. You can't stop doing it. Given comprehensible input, you must acquire. Now a colleague of mine years ago, a guy named Leonard Newmark said that. The important essential for language acquisition is that people pay attention to

[00:10:00] the input.

[00:10:00] They're actually listening. They're actually reading and you have a much better chance of that happening when the input is interesting. It seems obvious now, but that is the key point. If it's interesting, in fact, even better, we call it compelling, extremely interesting. And you understand that the language acquisition will happen.

[00:10:18] So that's the fundamental idea. We're born to do it. It's not difficult. In fact, it's actually pleasant because of the input has to be interesting.

[00:10:27] Host (David C. Luna): Okay. So I think we should take a small step back because there was a lot to unpack by you summarizing your theory. One of them being, you can only learn or acquire language by comprehensible input.

[00:10:40] Now some of the listeners might say, wait a minute, I disagree with that statement because in German, for instance, language means Plaza. And it's in the word. You have to speak a language in order to acquire it. So how is this general notion you can only learn or acquire a language when you speak it wrong and your theory that you can only acquire language through

[00:11:00] comprehensible input.

[00:11:01] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): Correct? if you, if anyone disagrees with me, they are in the majority. No question. when I first came across that discovery, it was. quite remarkable to me, actually it came from not just my research, other people's research. We think that the ability to produce language to speak is the result of language acquisition, not the cause we think this is true, first of all, because we don't talk that much.

[00:11:24] We get much more input than we do producing. So it's pretty hard to. But speaking, explain this. In fact, we think speaking not only is not the cause that doesn't even help, unless it invites more input. If you talk to someone and they answer you can get input that way, but it's not the way it happens.

[00:11:42] We have evidence that shows this, we take two groups and one group gets lots and lots of input. And the other does output or gets both. The group with input alone does as well or better, usually better, even more convincing than that. Our case histories of people who don't say anything and who can come out

[00:12:00] and speak and say things, a famous researcher, ventrally uphold, who did bilingualism had an experience, which he relates, which so many of us have seen happen in our lives.

[00:12:10] He, he had two daughters, the first one they grew up in Germany and, he spoke German to them. They answered in German, but then they moved to California. And with one daughter, he always spoke German to her and she answered an English since the time she started school. In fact, which is quite typical from the time she was a little girl chill.

[00:12:28] She was in her late teens. He never heard her speak German, but they had a wonderful father, daughter relationship. He speaking German, she answered in English. He never heard her say a word in German until they went to Germany the first week there on a family visit. She went to a party. She met a young man.

[00:12:47] He was amazed to hear this beautiful German coming from her. This has happened in so many cases. I've looked also at the research on anthropology, what happens in other cultures and it gives the same answers to the

[00:13:00] hypothesis is supported in many different directions and not just in the cold, hard research, but also in case history is one of my favorites.

[00:13:08] Is an anthropologist named us Aaronson who years ago visited a group in the Amazon Valley in this small group, 10,000 people. Not very many that's not even a good audience for a football match. There were something like 25 different languages spoken in this group, and they're not all related. The group had a rule.

[00:13:29] You cannot marry anyone who speaks your own language. They thought outsiders like us were incestuous. He didn't. I interviewed them and found out it had the, how they did link, which acquisition the children would grow up heavily. Multilingual. They learned their mom's land. They learned their dad's language.

[00:13:45] They learned the lingua franca. The common language of the small community and their whole lives. They were engaged in language acquisition constantly until they became fluent in many of the 24 different languages. How did they do

[00:14:00] it? The interviewed them. they listened quietly. They didn't try to say anything until listening to the language for maybe a year or two, then they'd start to talk.

[00:14:09] They wouldn't study. They wouldn't memorize. And they did extremely well. We don't have recordings, we don't have tests, but these kinds of stories are very frequent. We also have a case histories from other people who've done the same thing. African tribes in the old days, anthropologists looked at them.

[00:14:26] How did they get the language of the nation Marine group? how did they pick it up where they would go work with another community? They would be quiet for a while. They would listen after a while they'd start to speak and it would take about a year or two until they, it felt ready. And then it would come out fluently.

[00:14:42] I've done case histories on this. We've seen this, the whole, we've seen this again. And again, it doesn't happen by forcing production. Not only that forcing production is very painful for most people. Again, the case history, rather than the research. This one is 45 years old. My daughter who's now

[00:15:00] a grown woman of 50, was at a neighbor's house playing with a friend.

[00:15:04] And it was my task to go over, pick up both girls and bring them to my house. The mom could go off to Santa Monica, community college and go to her Spanish class. Fine. Came over, went to get the girls, the mom dashed into the kitchen said, wait a minute, I've got to take my pill. She took the pill says, now I'm ready to go to class and we're good friends.

[00:15:23] I said, Ooh, what was that about? Oh, that was valuable. Today would be Prozac. So why are you taking volume's Spanish class? It freaks me out. It makes me so nervous ever the researcher. I said, what is it about Spanish class that has you so nervous having to talk, being called on in class, having to do an oral report, I then looked at all the research literature over and over again.

[00:15:46] The most anxiety provoking thing in language classes is having to speak before you're ready. You may have consciously learned the rules. You may have consciously learned the vocabulary, but you haven't picked it up. You don't

[00:16:00] have a feel for it that doesn't come naturally. This goes to another important part of the theory, probably the most important.

[00:16:06] There are different ways of getting better in language. What I've been talking about is acquiring a language and his pocket to and this means it happens subconsciously you pick it up by listening and it gradually comes. The other process is conscious learning. We call it okay. Learning the rules, being able to talk about them, et cetera.

[00:16:29] The language acquisition is far more powerful and it's the way things really, if you want to apply your learned rules, what you've consciously learned to your output, it's extremely difficult. Very limited. We don't know all the rules, too. Grammar teachers don't teach all the rules. Teachers don't even know all the rules, Was sir constantly coming up with it's new generalizations, new rules. most of us don't even understand them when they're in the journals. Cause they can be that hard. If you want to apply

[00:17:00] rules, also, you gotta be thinking about rules. You've gotta be focused on forum. And in real life, we don't do that.

[00:17:06] That often we're more interested in what other people are telling us and what we're telling them. Also, you have to have time. People who are involved in conversation. I really don't have time to think about the rules. You're more interested in saying what you're going to say. So three conditions have to be met.

[00:17:24] If you want to use your consciously learned grammar rules, you've got to have time. You gotta be thinking about the rules and you've got to know the rules and these conditions are rarely met in real life, in conversation, et cetera, even people who are very good at languages, the only rules you can apply are very simple rules.

[00:17:44] The complicated ones you just can't do. The only time these three conditions are met is when we give people a grammar test. When we give people a grammar test, you have time you're thinking about the rules and you've studied them. In our studies back in the late seventies, early

[00:18:00] eighties, people use grammar only when they're, when they take grammar tests in real conversations, very little grammar use.

[00:18:07] So it's mostly slate acquisition, and that's mostly that is acquired through comprehension to summarize all that. People sometimes say I'm crashing as opposed to grammar teaching don't ever teach grammar, go to jail. It's awful. It's evil. No, it's not. It's okay. It's very limited.

[00:18:25] That's the conclusion. It's hard to do hard to apply. Hard to remember. And we don't think about grammar all that much when we're involved in real communication. Now I have to bring up a big exception to all that, even in our first language, we sometimes need a little bit of grammar. There are rules, for example, in my case, I'm of course, highly literate in English.

[00:18:49] There are rules of English writing. That I have not acquired because the language is changing. One of my favorite ones is the it's distinction. It is versus gets et cetera. Is it

[00:19:00] possessive or is it a abbreviation that rule for most people, about half the people I've interviewed is not acquired if I want to get it right.

[00:19:07] I have to think about the rule and I regularly. Forget it, I have to look it up. Conscious grammar knowledge is a good idea for things like that. The who, whom distinction, the lie, lay distinction, etc. In French, making the pronoun agree with the past participle. You don't say, for example, last shows, cause you please say less shows.

[00:19:29] Cause Jay please. And a lot of native speakers have not acquired this. It doesn't come naturally places where the language is changing. This is a very small part of language performance, but you got to get those things right. And that's a good place to think about grammar or recognize the rule when you look it up for the most part, grammar is a very peripheral part of language education.

[00:19:52] It's mostly acquisition. Grammar is a very small part of it. This is very hard for people to accept. Some of us,

[00:20:00] and it's good that I came up with this cause I'm a victim of this as well. So it was really like crammer. I hate it. I do. I love it. My graduate school. I have a PhD in linguistics when I did linguistics and I discovered the work of Noam Chomsky.

[00:20:16] It was wonderful. The work is so beautiful. The descriptions of English grammar are fabulous. His claims about universal are absolute universals are absolutely thrilling. So when I see a good tree diagram, it makes me happy. I am a member of a lunatic fringe. Most people are not like me in fact, when I can think about grammar and get something, When I say, for example, that shows cause you please add that. Add that E at the end. I rekindle the victory of having consciously learned the rule. What people like me have to remember is that normal people get their pleasures elsewhere. This is a very small part of language performance, and it really is

[00:21:00] good for people who are amateur linguists, who enjoy knowing about language, a tiny percentage.

[00:21:05] Most people hate it. my estimate from looking at the research, if you ask students, how they like certain kinds of classes, I would say 95% hate formal instruction and language hate grammar, 5% really like it that's people like me.

[00:21:21] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah, you'd get along with my ex girlfriend really well. She loves grammar and I can also attest to your theory.

[00:21:26] And that's what got me so interested because your theory is so intuitive. It just collect for me. And this also brings me to a point back when I was just about to head off to China driller Mandarin. I attended a three week boot camp at the London sparking Institute in Bullhorn, which is considered one of the best language institutes we have in the German speaking region.

[00:21:46] Where they teach drum and diplomats, the language their target country has, or the German astronauts that go into the international space station to learn, for instance, a Russian within three weeks. So they have a solid grasp of

[00:22:00] the language, or on average, you learn about 800 words in those three weeks, six days a week, seven hours per day.

[00:22:06] So they really cram it in. And I don't always agree with all their methods. They have, cause they start with grammar early on. And I, as a bilingual German and English, I struggled a lot because I never had the formal grammar education. I intuitively know how to use rules, how to use our conjugate verbs or things like that.

[00:22:27] But I cannot explain it most of the time. If somebody tells me, for instance, use this tense in this form. I'll just look at that. I'm like, okay, what do you want when I attend to Germans? Cool. I could speak German and English perfectly at a native one level, but I couldn't write anything and German.

[00:22:43] And you do have formal instructions in Germany, the school, but I always got NEF. Cause I, I didn't understand them. I could intuitively apply them. Now, this kind of brings me also to why I think your theory is absolutely spot on is the reason why the

[00:23:00] English of Germans is fairly poor compared to the Dutch or the Scandinavians.

[00:23:05] Now as the English of the Germans. The worst in Europe. Absolutely not, but comparatively it's fairly poor on the amount of years they have English in school. And this is because, and that's my hypothesis is that the Scandinavians and Dutch people, they have much more comprehensible input. So if they watch movies, they only have the subtitles, but they have the original language, but in Germany, everything gets subbed.

[00:23:30] Essentially the Germans. They can be really lazy because they rarely have to go their comfort zone. Cause everything's subbed. And in Scandinavia they have the original movie and they have the context to see what the actor is doing and can even if they don't fully understand and what is being said, they at least get the gist of it.

[00:23:48] And it also reminds me of another example that I seen on YouTube about at least 10 or 12 years ago, where a girl was learning German and her pronunciation was absolutely flat. I'd

[00:24:00] really had to struggle to see, yeah. Is she native or not? And she was definitely not native. And she was learning German and was complaining that her German is not perfect.

[00:24:07] I'm like, wow, that's never seen this before. And she explained how she was learning. German. And she explained that she was listening to a lot of Tokyo hotel, so that was her favorite band or whatever. And she was listening and reading the lyrics to those songs and had a lot of comprehensible input and she acquired it most native level of pronounciation.

[00:24:27]And I'll try to find that video and post it into the show notes. So the listeners can judge themselves how good her German was by basically teaching herself German with her. Method of listening to songs and such. So if I take the German education system and in some cases, the students learn English formally in school for eight or nine years yet their English is relatively poor compared to the Scandinavian countries or the Netherlands.

[00:24:56] Something doesn't seem to be working in how we're teaching

[00:25:00] languages in school.

[00:25:01] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): Exactly.

[00:25:02] Host (David C. Luna): So if you're theory is correct and it's backed up by science and case study after case study, the question I would have is why the hell haven't languaged schools and schools in general have moved on and

[00:25:13] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): applied your theory.

[00:25:14] Okay. I'll answer all those questions of course. Cause that's my job. Number one, just to add something, the studies where, you see the 95% of the kids hate the grammar and only 5% like it. My suspicion is the 5% are the ones who become language teachers. And that's also my experience. I went into this field, partly because of my love of grammar.

[00:25:35] So I'm guilty of this too. And it took me a long time to overcome this. Years of therapy and Prozac. Now actually it's knowing the research which has helped and my own experience with languages also. it's very tough to recover from this. I'm going to repeat that those of us who love grammar have a hard time giving it up.

[00:25:54] And they're the ones who control the profession, the languages I'm good at. I've had lots of comprehensible,

[00:26:00] the languages I'm not good at. It's been very hard getting comprehensible input. Let's say, take Mandarin. For example, I had a few Mandarin classes demo classes for master teachers made great progress, have a few books that are written in.

[00:26:15] I hope you don't get angry about that. Not written in Hornsey. I believe in opinion, I think it's in the Roman Istation. I think it's a great idea. And I can speak a little Mandarin, but I'm really terrible because I can't get comprehensible input anywhere. The only books I can find in Mandarin that are written in the Roman visitation that are comprehensible and interesting.

[00:26:35] One was written by one of my Mandarin teachers and I wrote the other, okay. There's nothing out there. There are no recordings of easy Mandarin stories. Everything is hard. It's not because of the lack of cognitive, that's part of it, but there's no comprehensible input I'm doing really well in Spanish.

[00:26:53] Cause I live in Southern California. Yeah. And they're all these heightening friendly, locals who speak Spanish

[00:27:00] very well. And I have, very good relationships with them. the other languages like French, tons of things to read wonderful novels, et cetera, of the ones where I don't camp comprehensible input.

[00:27:12] I'm getting absolutely nowhere, really hard to do Hebrew. For example, after six months in Israel, I was doing pretty well, but after I left, there's no one to talk to. I don't know, Israelis, I don't hang up. My other language is Ethiopian. Go find people who are gonna to speak to you in inherit. not really there.

[00:27:29] So it's hard to get comprehensive. The breakthrough in pedagogy is going to happen when we have lots and lots of sources of comprehensible entrance. boosting input. We're making some progress. The amount of, literature written in Spanish for beginners and intermediate system increasing all the time.

[00:27:47] And my column in our website stories., we're putting together stories that you can watch it in other languages in Spanish, in French, in German, et cetera. And the technique

[00:28:00] developed by my colleague, Ben, Nico Mason, called story listening, where she makes the story comprehensible again, using the occasional translation, not much pictures or sorry, drawings that she's done.

[00:28:11] Clear explanations, et cetera, but this is slow. The breakthrough in pedagogy is going to happen when we have more comprehensible input. One more comment about Chinese. whenever I go to Taiwan or China, I try to get books for beginners in Mandarin. They're all very difficult from the very first more easy input.

[00:28:33] What Monica Mason has done is given her students time. They hear stories, they hear hundreds of stories. And then easy reading. Let's say an English as a foreign language in Japan. Yeah. Easy reading for one or two years. In fact, before you go to the hard stuff, when I took French in high school, by the way, I got a passing grade in high school, French after two years under the condition that I never studied French again, because the teacher didn't

[00:29:00] want me to ruin his reputation.

[00:29:01] He was a very nice guy. Yeah, the class was all grammar. Now my French is pretty good. It's okay. Because I found it comprehensible input. So this is the problem we need tons and tons of interesting comprehensible input, not be in a hurry and it'll come a lot faster, our guests, and this is my consultation with the Nico Mason.

[00:29:21] If you want to move to the levels where you can understand native speakers, et cetera, for most languages, you need to hear a hundred, several hundred comprehensible stories. You need to read about a hundred easy books, and then you can make progress. Then you can understand authentic take input. So instead we rush into.

[00:29:40] The hard stuff. When I did French in high school, the first reading assignment was filled with all the grammar. That was the target grammar for that lesson and the target vocabulary. So by the time you got the chapter two or three, it was nearly incomprehensible. The reading passages were like that. And then you immediately.

[00:29:58] Went to

[00:30:00] authentic Spanish classics, nonfiction, et cetera, very difficult, which you can only do by crypto analytic, decoding by word, the answer lots and lots of easy input. Let me repeat that lots and lots of input. That is so interesting that you forget that it's in another language. The word we're looking at now is compelling.

[00:30:22] Truly interesting stories. And I have found books like this. I have found stories like this. I have found good authors who write like this in Spanish, Ariana Ramirez. I found her books. One is about coffee, which is great. A bill then patent who's. One of my fellow researchers has written terrific novels for low intermediate in Spanish for the stories.

[00:30:43] Absolutely captivating. You forget. That they're in the language. That's the breakthrough truly compelling input. That's so interesting. You want to know what's going to happen next? Then my confession in Germany is that I got really good at it. By reading Carl mind, we need to, you

[00:31:00] know who that is, thesis German.

[00:31:01] There was an author in German who talked about a mythical North America. The hero was a German who went and made friends with the native Americans and his best friend is a guy named Winnie too. And my landlady, my house fall when I was in Austria. got me involved in these books and they were really more than good enough.

[00:31:19] I must've read 30, 40. I meant read every single one I could find. And my German improved enormously and it was relaxing and I had a good time. So I'm very much in favor of light literature, easy literature, which can sometimes surprise you and have very profound messages. So this is the breakthrough easy stuff.

[00:31:37] Lots of it's very interesting.

[00:31:39] Host (David C. Luna): So that's actually very encouraging to say we acquire language subconsciously, which would also mean, and I think this is personally a myth. Maybe you can comment on that is people always say, children below the age of whatever, say five, or they learn languages. More easily.

[00:31:57] And after that it gets more difficult. I

[00:32:00] personally believe just from experience that's a bunch of hogwash children per se, don't learn languages easier than adults. I just think that's a cop out. What's your view on that?

[00:32:10] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): Oh boy. Am I glad you asked me that? Cause I can show off and brag about my research in this area.

[00:32:15] This was the topic of my doctoral dissertation back in the early seventies. We thought then, and I believe this, that there was a neurological barrier to adult language acquisition that when you reach about the age of puberty, the brain changes the lefts, the stuff that's on the left goes all to the left, the stuff that's on the right goes all to the right.

[00:32:35] They don't mix. And for some reason that may language acquisition, impossible, and had to be done consciously with pain and suffering. The guy who invented, who came up with this was Eric. Lindeberg a scientist who I greatly admire. I think the hypothesis was wrong, but I think it was a brilliant hypothesis because it gave us something to study.

[00:32:54] Chomsky says there's nothing wrong with being wrong. This is a good case of it. And I started looking at the neurological

[00:33:00] cases as part of my dissertation that lent ever did. And I found that the separation of the two functions we call it lateralization was actually done much earlier. It was done at age five or earlier, and there are signs that the left and the right word, different even at birth.

[00:33:14] So I published that and Leonard actually congratulated me on that. It was a very good example of scientific cooperation. Since then we have overwhelming evidence that adults can do it and they can do it very well. The most impressive case history, tell you about a guy named Steve Kaufman. Steve Kaufman speaks something like 17 languages.

[00:33:35] He's a famous polyglot. he's not one is early seventies and he's good. I've been with him. We went out to lunch with my Chinese teacher and her friends. Chinese was really something. His French is excellent. His Spanish with dinner at a Spanish restaurant in Southern California. And he was really good.

[00:33:51] I think he's the real thing. So I've heard him do this. He says he's done eight of his languages since age 62. Isn't that

[00:34:00] wonderful? What a great example.

[00:34:01] Host (David C. Luna): Some might say now? okay. That's an exception. He's a genius. He's a, he has an IQ of 200.

[00:34:06] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): Okay, let me get to that. Let me exactly the right question.

[00:34:09] Thank you. I like you, David. This is good. Is there a gift for languages? When I was in, when I was in Budapest, I met a woman named , who was very famous there. She was the local hero. She also had acquired 15, 16 languages wrote books about it, et cetera. And I made it a point to go visit her over and over again.

[00:34:30] And she's been doing it her whole life. When I was there, she was working on Hebrew and she was 86 years old and reading texts that I thought were quite demanding. And while I was there, I met a lot of the local famous people in linguistics and pedagogy. And I milked to my relationship with lone Kotto.

[00:34:46] I took advantage. And I said, I'd been hanging out with lone Kado what do you think? And their universal reaction was she's different. She has a different brain. Yeah. They couldn't tell me what was different about her brain. Does she have to left hemispheres or whatever, but they

[00:35:00] never studied her work.

[00:35:01] Never met her, never read her books, et cetera. We did a study recently, which I think came up with two are remarkable. All hypothesis. I'll give you the hypothesis and I'll tell you what our data was. Yeah. If you have the right input. My colleague, Nico Mason calls it up to mill input, comprehensible, compelling, rich, interesting, all that stuff.

[00:35:22] Everybody's gifted. Everybody acquires it just about the same rate and they acquire quickly. My data comes from a study from a bin eco Mason who just retired from the university that she was teaching in Japan. And part of her responsibility was to teach a class that anyone could come to people who wanted to improve their English.

[00:35:41] The class was stories, which has she told in a comprehensible engaging way. And the homework was reading what we call graded readers in English, lots and lots of easy reading. When she finished the course, each time as few students said, could you hang with me after this? and check on what I'm doing, help me find books, give me

[00:36:00] advice.

[00:36:00] She had about a dozen students who did this and she said, fine. I'll do it. If you take, versions of what's called the. TOEIC exam, which is a very popular exam throughout the world. It's not a bad test. It's the listening comprehension and reading parts. And I'd like you to take alternate forms every so often.

[00:36:16] And they did it. She also had records of what they read because she asked them to fill out something when they read some. And these are people ages 25 to one guy in his seventies. They all read different. Things, some of them read graded readers. One guy read Harlequin romances. I want to meet him.

[00:36:34] This sounds pretty interesting to me. They all read different things. They all the sudden read Harry Potter, some of the didn't et cetera. They had alternate forms. The test. Here's my conclusion, the average person. For every hour they read, they gained a little more than a half a point on the TOEIC. This means if you read an hour a day for a couple of years, two, three years, you're going to go from beginning, low levels,

[00:37:00] barely competent, all the way to the highest levels on the TOEIC.

[00:37:03] They didn't study. They didn't do comprehension questions. They selected what they wanted to read themselves. The major point though. There was not that much individual variation. I did a statistical analysis and the papers on my website did what's called a confidence interval. The difference speeds between the fastest gainer and the lowest gainer who is there, but it wasn't that much.

[00:37:25] It would be very easy for the lower gainer to catch up to the faster one by just, reading a. A hundred hours or so you make really good progress. My conclusion, if the input is right, everybody's gifted. If you get comprehensible input, everybody's gifted. If the Dutch and the Swedes are better than the Germans, there's nothing in their brains that explains to this.

[00:37:49] There's nothing in their diet that explains this. What you said was correct. They're getting more comprehensible input. That's close to optimal. That's interesting. That's compelling. It's rich. There's

[00:38:00] a lot of it. So my conclusion, anybody can do it. Anybody can do it. All it takes is interesting input and time.

[00:38:08] And the hardest thing to find is the interesting input. So I'm so glad you asked that question. There's hope for all of us and I'm doing it. I'm still working on language acquisition every day. It's wonderful.

[00:38:17] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. And the funny thing is every time I tell people that children actually have it much more difficult in acquiring language than adults or that adults can learn languages much faster than children, almost everyone disagrees.

[00:38:30] And I'm like, look, if children learn languages much more easily, and I. And I'm certainly not. Einstein can learn basic Chinese rudimentary Chinese. I'm definitely not the best one at language learning. And I can learn 800 words and can get around in China within three weeks as everyone else in the Landish partner Institute was able to do as well.

[00:38:54] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): Remarkable.

[00:38:54] Host (David C. Luna): Yes, then the child must be done. That's the only logical conclusion someone could

[00:39:00] come to if both are possible. But that's just not the case. What people tend to forget is it just looks effortlessly when children are learning a language, but language acquisition for adults looks much different from that of children.

[00:39:15] We adults, we almost always start with some basic words and phrases, and then we have to learn the grammar, et cetera. essentially learning the language for multiple years and it's still not very good. Compared to children. So the system of acquiring languages or teaching languages for adults seems to be flawed or am I completely off?

[00:39:36] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): You're completely right. A more few comments adults. Actually, when you look at the studies are faster. Then children, older children are faster than younger children and adults are faster than all children, because the input is more comprehensible to them. Cause they have more background knowledge. That's a good explanation.

[00:39:56] Yeah. And the one place where children appear to be

[00:40:00] better of course is accent. The other thing, the thing though, is that the kids apparently a better accents and here is my. Conjecture on the accent. The word conjecture is fantastic for scientists. I got it from my son as a mathematician and he advised me when you're not really sure that your hypothesis is right when it really seems crazy.

[00:40:19] Call it a conjecture. It's really a hypothesis. So I wrote a paper called the conjecture on accident a few years ago and here's my hypothesis. The perfect accent is there. It's inside you. I have a perfect Austrian German accent. It's somewhere there. I don't use it when I speak because it's not me. I feel silly.

[00:40:40] There is a powerful barrier and a filter keeps us from doing our best in accent. My analogy is clothing. Clothing protects you from the weather, but it also marks you as a member of the social group. And that's what accent does. Accent tells people who you are, what group you are, what you belong. I'll give you an example that I think you can

[00:41:00] resonate with their less people.

[00:41:01] Who've struggled with languages. My accent in French is. Variable. That's interesting. Depends on how I feel when I was in Paris. One time with my daughter's French is pretty good. She went to a French school, all that say actually better than mine, I think. And, I made an appointment to meet a local scholar, the socio linguist.

[00:41:19] And of course we met in a coffee shop, which is what you're doing Paris. And my daughter was like 11 at the time, she went off to play video games and she would occasionally come back to see how we're doing now conversation in French. And of course it was fascinating because it was all about my work.

[00:41:33] And Debbie would come over and listen and go away. She said you were really good. I have never heard that you speak French that well, it was excellent. Of course it was. Nobody was there. It was me and this other scholar, no one else listening. And it was a totally compelling conversation.

[00:41:51] She was very interested in what I had to say complimentary. So what could go wrong? Other times I've been told I speak French. Without a

[00:42:00] trace of a French accent. There's nothing there. And again, I'll give you my experience, which I think will resonate with listeners to this podcast. I spent some time on a fellowship or visiting professorship in Ottawa university.

[00:42:12]I worked largely, work a lot of the times, French, a French immersion and teaching a subject matter in French at the university. And while I was there, I worked on papers with my colleagues. One of them was in French with my French colleagues. French speaking colleagues. I went back a few months later to talk to my colleagues about our work.

[00:42:29] We had the meeting in French going over our paper, outlining it. I ran the meeting. I was the first author, et cetera. And I was doing fine. We met in a classroom, but nobody was there. Let me tell you who was there a lady that I took French classes from, who was really nice. My friend , who is just fabulous, who spoke English perfectly, but he never wanted to speak it to anyone.

[00:42:50] He was more in favor of French, his daughters, and my kids got together every Saturday and went over to hope. The other side of all French and rollerskating. So we got along

[00:43:00] fabulously. He was there. He was my buddy, people like that. People I felt good with. I was doing fine in the discussion. I had the outline on the board, filling things in the door opened.

[00:43:09] And a stranger walked in and immediately I thought, Oh my gosh, he's a professor here. He probably is an excellent speaker, French, probably native speaker. And here I am making a total fool of myself. This was all involuntary. My accent suddenly got worse. My grammar was unsteady. I couldn't find words. It was the output filter that took over that.

[00:43:32] Again, we cannot control it is how we identify. Who we're with now, if I see, Oh, another example is Peter Ustinov, the famous actor, and most people know him knows that he's was a very good an accent. He did movies in French and I've seen some of them. His French sounds really good. And in an interview he said, I'm fine.

[00:43:51] And movies. But if I speak French in public or with people, my accent is not quite as good. It's not me. It's who you identify

[00:44:00] with. If you have an accent, leave it alone. It identifies who you are. Our is a very good case. His English is really good. He's excellent. He's highly literate. I'm sure his vocabulary is three times as large as Donald Trump's vocabulary.

[00:44:15] Yeah, most certainly, but people say, Oh, he doesn't do English. because he has this very tiny accent. If you listen carefully, it's hardly at all. Yet we demand 100% perfection in accent. That is why we think adults aren't good at language because they have the small little accent. Actually, most adults are very good at second language acquisition and they get very good in accents.

[00:44:38] They generally acquire 95, 98% of the accent of the second language. But that's not good enough, according to the public. So you're right. Adults are good. Adults can do it. The language acquisition device in my opinion, never shuts off. Isn't that wonderful.

[00:44:55] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. And this is a very encouraging message to especially older adults.

[00:44:59] And I just wanted

[00:45:00] to follow that up with when I was learning Chinese, my initial stages, I started with beginner podcasts and there was one podcast that had one sentences that said something along the lines of. I'm sorry, I can't speak Chinese, but in Chinese. And I've probably listened to that at least a hundred times over and over again, at which point I tried to use that phrase on someone that was Chinese and instantly the eyes of the Chinese lit up and wow, you're Chinese.

[00:45:28] Perfect. It's like native tongue. Like how can you speak that? Perfect Chinese. And it was only that one sentence. So it was not there. The rest of the, for words I learned and I could produce it in native tongue and that kind of further proves the theory. You need lots of comprehensible input and then the language will come.

[00:45:46] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): And it gets you in trouble. Yep. Cause they start answering you about, don't put them off. Oh, you're great with us, Exactly. Yeah. So I'm the same way. There are a few things I can do. we both need more comprehensible input in Mandarin that's for sure.

[00:45:59] Host (David C. Luna): You mentioned

[00:46:00] first and second language acquisition a couple of times.

[00:46:02] Is there a difference besides the words itself?

[00:46:06] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): No, it's the same thing. What we have found for English for first language is what we found for a second. my work also extends to first language literacy reading the great phonics controversy I've been absolutely in the middle of that are most impressive results, I think.

[00:46:20] Yes, that people's competence in written language. In their first language is a direct directly related to how much they read, how much they read for pleasure. It affects everything about their language. Let me tell you about a letter to the editor. I'm very proud of that. I actually, we got published in the Washington post.

[00:46:40]it was about Donald Trump. by the way, I have broken the world's record for letters to the editor submitted, not published. Unfortunately I love doing the writing makes you smarter writing doesn't cause language acquisition, but it really helps you with problem solving, clarifying your thinking, et cetera.

[00:46:57] So I like writing a lot of them. Anyway, the post had

[00:47:00] gotten a lot of, there's a lot of back and forth about Trump's spelling and his spelling mistakes. And people had written in saying, you shouldn't be complaining about his spelling. Spelling is no big deal. He just needs someone to proofread what he's done, that, et cetera.

[00:47:12] I wrote a letter and I said, no, the spelling problems are a symptom of something deep, underlying pathology spelling, our research in California and all over the world. In fact, Shows that spelling is related to reading people who do lots of reading are better in spelling. They're not always perfect, but they're a lot better than people who don't read a reading.

[00:47:32] Oh man,

[00:47:33] Host (David C. Luna): I know where this is going.

[00:47:35] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): Exactly Christian. It is my patriotic duty by the way, to criticize the president, which I must do. Theodore Roosevelt said that I agree with that. so anyway, and I really apologize to everyone listening. I didn't vote for him. I don't know anyone who did anyway. reading is not just related to spelling people who read more are better.

[00:47:52] They have a wider vocabulary. Their grammar is better. They have a better sense of writing style. They're more likely to write an acceptable ways. All

[00:48:00] these things come from reading, not only that, people who read studies from Keith Stan of, at university of Michigan no more. And this is reading light fiction, as well as reading heavy stuff.

[00:48:10] They know more about science. They know more about history. They know more about literature. They even know more about practical matters. there's some recent research. I first read about scientific American. Then I got the actual articles that say that people who read more, have more productive and sophisticated habits of mind.

[00:48:29]first of all, they don't rush to easy solutions. You can see where this is going. They don't take things that are obvious and just jump in them and say, they're right. And they have more empathy for people and more understanding of different people. It makes sense. If you read lots of fiction, especially when you read you are the protagonist, you take the role of the protagonist.

[00:48:48] You make the same. You have the same problems you make similar mistakes. You see the consequences, it matures you. No question. And this is fiction, not just nonfiction, by the way, Barack

[00:49:00] Obama was interviewed by the guardian British newspaper and they asked him about fiction. This was a few years ago and it's as if he had read this research, he says, I found by reading fiction that things are not as simple as you might think they are.

[00:49:13] They're much more complicated. And I have a better sense of understanding other people. I know now when I meet someone who appears to be very different, if I get to know them, I get to understand them better. And I find the points of commonality, quite a contrast, of course, to a mr. Trump, Trump has admitted proud of it that he doesn't read.

[00:49:32] And my letter concluded by saying we have all suffered the consequences. Doesn't know about foreign policy doesn't know facts and make strange comments he learned about science recently and et cetera.

[00:49:43] Host (David C. Luna): I think he only reads Twitter.

[00:49:44] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): I think that might be true. Yeah, exactly. I haven't responded to him on Twitter.

[00:49:48] He doesn't read my responses. Oh, I want him to block me on Twitter. That's my goal.

[00:49:52] Host (David C. Luna): Have you quite an achievement too?

[00:49:54] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): I would love it.

[00:49:55] Host (David C. Luna): You mentioned a couple of times language acquisition. What's the difference between language acquisition

[00:50:00] and learning. And is that attentional or does it have any significance?

[00:50:03] It's

[00:50:03] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): two fundamentally different processes. When I started this field and I began in language teaching and taking language classes and all that language learning. Was the only game in town. We assume that the way you got better in language, and this is true first language development. And second literacy is you learned about it.

[00:50:21] You memorized the vocabulary, you consciously learned the rules, you got your cell, you got corrected, and then you change your ideas of what the rules were, et cetera. I simply assumed the way to get better in a language was to get a good grammar book and study. And I certainly did enough of that. It turns out that's not the way we develop a building in language.

[00:50:40] The way we develop ability of languages, subconscious, we pirate while we're doing it. We're not aware that it's happening. It's done. It's represented subconsciously in the brain. We call this a feeling for language in German and Shwachman fro it's not conscious knowledge. And in fact, one

[00:51:00] of the reasons we don't respect it is that we're not even aware.

[00:51:02] It's there. It happens to us though. Quite frequently, we come aware of it when you're talking to someone and it's a language. That they're not very good at, or they're not perfect at, and it's a language that you speak very well and they make a mistake. You generally recognize the mistake, but you don't always know the rule.

[00:51:20] When I hear someone speaking English, my native language, where I've studied the grammar very thoroughly and they make a mistake. I recognize the mistake, but about five, 10% of the time, I don't know the rule. I just have this feeling that it's incorrect. That is a good indication that this is real. The subconscious knowledge, I can correct them, but I don't know why I can't give them the rule.

[00:51:41] And I probably know more about grammar than I'm sure I know more than anyone you've ever met. I have a PhD in grammar. I've studied grammar and I love it. I think it's interesting, but it's not the way it's happened in this. It's a major revolution in language. Teaching it hasn't gotten around as much as I'd like

[00:52:00] to.

[00:52:00] And let me explain why, if this is true and the research supports it, why doesn't everybody? Why doesn't everybody believe it, but why haven't we changed language teaching throughout the world? actually we've actually done fairly well in the last 40 years, 45 years or so many new methods have come about beginning with natural approach, which started it.

[00:52:18] I talked about story listening programs that emphasize reading for pleasure, et cetera. So it has made an impact, but it hasn't gotten around. And I think there have been pretty good reasons why people don't know about it. The reason they don't know about it is the only way you can find out is by reading the professional literature.

[00:52:36] And occasionally coming across one of my letters to the editor there haven't been too many popular books saying this. I don't write them. Cause I'm not very good at that. It's not what I do. And the professional literature is daunting. It's very hard to read colleagues at the university complaint. Oh, teachers don't read.

[00:52:54]now they don't and I don't blame them. The research papers are extremely difficult to read there

[00:53:00] long they're dense. scholars have this tendency to, you want to say everything they know someone said years ago. If you want to, if you want to ask someone about the time you don't want a history of the wristwatch.

[00:53:11] My colleagues will always give you a history of the risks. So that's number one, the stuff is too long, too hard. Number two, it's expensive. this, I found this really hit me hard in, Oh gosh. About 10 years ago, I was asked to contribute an article to a book called put matters. Isn't that? Nice play on words.

[00:53:30] And the articles were all about input and the importance of input. And I happily and cheerfully, I wrote a long article at a very good time writing it. I reviewed all the research first language, second language. I reviewed the research on animal language, which pretty much agrees that animals do it the same way.

[00:53:46] Nice case histories. When animals acquire English through sign or one parent did it. They don't do much of it, but when they do it through comprehensible input. I reviewed the research on aliens coming from outer space. When the claim is

[00:54:00] they communicate, do they, or do they not? So I had a good time when the book came out, it's sold for $160.

[00:54:07] American hardcover. I don't know about you coalition. Yeah, exactly. Okay. I can't afford it. I can't, if I couldn't afford to get extra copies for my cousins. All right. I looked at the publisher and all the other books by the poem. I won't mention any names. Multi-lingual matters. Another book they wrote called poverty and language sold for $116.

[00:54:25] The irony was lost on them. All the books are expensive. The journals are expensive. I deduct my journal fees for my taxes until a couple of years ago, I was spending five, six, seven, $8,000. Buying professional literature. I can't afford it. Now. I've decided to rebel against it. I was inspired by a British mathematician.

[00:54:46] The there's, the fields metal major prize who declared war against the public. He said, we read your articles that are submitted. We changed them around. We edited. Them, et cetera. We write them and you guys it, and you charge just

[00:55:00] incredibly outrageous fees for substance. So I've started a movement in the United States, already taking place in the UK, already taking place in India.

[00:55:10] In fact, a good colleague of mine has been responsible for this. No more of this. We, I no longer publish in regular journals. I no longer subscribed to them because I can't afford it. The only way you can afford it is if you live next door to a good university library and you can use their facilities, I no longer buy the edited books that cost now.

[00:55:30] $200. I can't afford it. I turned down invitations to publish in these articles, in these books. And in these journals, everything I publish now is in what are called Oakton access journals. They're real journals. The articles are reviewed. The author doesn't pay anything. The reader doesn't pay anything.

[00:55:48] It's all free someday. The entire profession will be doing that. When I write an article in these journals, I posted on my website. dot

[00:56:00] com. Take a look. Operators are standing free. Download. I regularly announced them. On Twitter as crashing. So follow me on Twitter. You'll see the announcements of the new papers, not just by me, but what my friends are writing to my colleagues.

[00:56:15] And I regularly share my articles on something called research gate, which will post anybody's published paper and make it available to everybody. I think that's wonderful. Not only are the articles free, I think, scientific knowledge should be made free freely. Not only articles free. The articles are.

[00:56:34] Short, my articles are like a page and a half. The example I use probably the most frequently cited scientific article of all time is the article and the double helix Crick and Watson was published in nature. It's about a page and a half. They don't review the entire research. If you need to review the research, you shouldn't be reading the paper.

[00:56:53] They don't end the article with a long sermon on what you should be doing with your life. They may put in a sentence. we are aware that

[00:57:00] there are implications of this for such and such. Keep it short. So the articles that we are doing now, I'm not the only one are short and they're published open access.

[00:57:09] So my scholars are doing this. My colleague, Jeff McQuillan has a website called backseat linguists where they're one page, two pages. My colleagues been eco Mason is doing this. Others are doing this. And the research is being more and more. Widely shared. I think someday the entire profession we'll do this.

[00:57:28] A university libraries have cut down in their subscriptions. A lot of the journals, they can't afford them. And now we're moving to other places. I hope we'll change things. Teachers will be able to read papers and understand them and share them easily with them. Colleagues, thanks to the internet. And I'm hoping this will allow our research to be more widely circulated.

[00:57:51] What I just told you two minutes ago, our nine paper onshore. There's really very little individual variation when the input is good and

[00:58:00] comprehensible and optimal. That's about a page and a half published in open access where I can. Shared with anyone. I like it's there on the website. I regularly posted reposted, et cetera.

[00:58:10] So this I hope will change and I hope popular writers will get the idea.

[00:58:14] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. I think the time for gatekeepers keeping information from the readers or the people hunting the information is. Is coming to an end.

[00:58:22]Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): we're keeping part of the gate alive. The articles are still reviewed by scholars and sometimes they're turned down.

[00:58:28] Sometimes my stuff is turned down. That's separate, that happens. And it's usually fairly good reason for it. We have eliminated the financial gate. That's the important thing.

[00:58:36] Host (David C. Luna): That's good. So moved to the towards how do we apply your theory in practice? What are some common myths or theories about language?

[00:58:45] Learning or acquisition that should be debunked as well. When we try to apply a more effective, language acquisition program.

[00:58:53] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): Okay. Let me answer that by telling you what we have been recommending and what we are doing and what is getting good results and how you can

[00:59:00] see it for yourself. Free of charge little joke.

[00:59:02] First, the secret to success in academia is to invent new terminology that nobody quite understands, which is what I have done. And I'm going to do it now every year or so have to come up with a new term, keep reinventing myself like Madonna and today's new term, which is actually a pretty good one.

[00:59:18] It's called conduit. This is called the conduit hypothesis and it says that everybody. It goes through predictable stages in acquiring a language and each stage is a conduit to the next. It makes the next stage possible and the three universal stages. And this is true for literacy. First language, second language stage one stories, stage two, which is a big one, various kinds of reading.

[00:59:42] And I'll break it. Set up into sub stages stories. First language stories are the basis of first language development. First of all, children like to hear stories as every parent knows, they like to hear the same stories again and again, the only kids that don't like to hear stories are kids whose parents don't like to tell them stories are to them.

[00:59:59] The [01:00:00] research on listening to stories and listening to books, read to you is stunning. Children who are read more stories are better in school and everything. They have bigger vocabularies. They learn to write more quickly. They know how stories are put together. Again, they know more about the world, et cetera, and they want to learn.[01:00:18] They want to read, they develop a taste for reading because they want to read these stories for themselves. There's a massive research literature of this. I'll give you one case, which I know the best, which is my case, how I grew up and became literate. It would be very nice. If I could give you a compelling story about how I overcame obstacles, how everything was against me, and yet through hard work and determination, what we call grit.[01:00:42] I made it, but none of that is true. I had a very easy time privileged background. I think my Spirit's guides decided that I would have her. An easy incarnation this time. Cause I might've had some hard ones before I grew up middle class with my family gradually becoming upper middle class, which [01:01:00] meant I had creature comforts, which meant I never went hungry, which meant I had medical care and I had excess.[01:01:07] Two books and Alexis stories. I should also mention, I grew up in a family with nearly the complete absence of any family pathology, mom and dad got along very well. They were both readers. They read to me and my sister. I'll tell you one story about my sister, which will tell you all of it.[01:01:24] Four years, three and a half years older. When I was nine, my sister took me to the local public library and gotten me a library card. This is the kind of facilitation I had. She introduced me to good stories on the radio, et cetera, children who grew up like this middle class have so many advantages. those of us who hadn't have to tell the world about it and how easy it was because children of poverty don't have that.[01:01:47] And it's a million times harder when a child of poverty even working class is successful in school, becomes highly literate. It's quite an accomplishment, and there's usually a story behind it, how they got access to these things [01:02:00] that they didn't have at home. So that's how I made it to use baseball terminology.[01:02:04] There's a wonderful quote by football coach, Barry Switzer, but it's a baseball quote. Some people are born on third base. And they spent their whole life thinking. They had it triple people who are born middle class. I think they made it themselves. The rumor amongst many of Trump's followers has that he was a self made man.[01:02:22] And that he overcame obstacles. No, he was born into tremendous wealth, millions, et cetera. And this is generally, we want you to see in successful people like me, we were born with huge advantages. So school has to provide what the family could not. We need to close with really good libraries. We need story time.[01:02:40] Oh, I'll give a plug for a very good book. The read aloud him book by Jim trolleys theory, L E S see, which is all about read alouds and how important they are to children, highly readable. And he has done a great deal in encouraging read alouds and high literacy throughout the English speaking world. My opinion.[01:02:57] Okay. So we have imitated this. And [01:03:00] language acquisition, the good teaching methods for foreign languages. The second language is all encompass. Some version of stories, listening to stories. The one I've been working with the most closely I've mentioned Benito Mason, several times she's developed a method called story listening.[01:03:16] Story listening the teacher from the first day close in and tells stories, draws pictures, as she tells them. If you go to the website stories first, you can watch me telling a story in German. You can watch lessons in Spanish lessons in French, et cetera, and get an idea of how it's done. You do this for quite a while.[01:03:37] The stories get more and more complicated. She likes to retell stories from Grimms fairytales. because as she says that they've stood the test of time, they are interesting and they're not boring. They're exciting. And people add their own versions, et cetera. So gradually that's the first reading assignment from, for the students in classes, students read the stories that the teacher [01:04:00] has told them, and you can see collections of these stories.[01:04:02] And that's a good start. from there you move on to the second stage is reading. This is the research on reading is absolutely stunning. I wrote a book on this too expensive, sorry to say. But most of it is in journal papers called the power of reading. I read this about 20 years ago.[01:04:19] The research on reading is absolutely stunning people, free reading. We call it free, voluntary reading. Self-selected reading the reading you do on your own. Is the major source of our spelling of our vocabulary, of our grammar, of our ability to write in a coherent writing style in first language and in second language, the best predictor of performance on any standardized test in language is how much.[01:04:44] Pleasure reading kids have done. We did a big study of this. I did this with Jeff McQuillan and C and Lee. and it's mentioned in a book. Oh gosh, also too expensive. So I won't mention it. we did this a couple of years ago, looking at the results of the pearls examination [01:05:00] and international test. given to children in 40 different countries and they're tested in their own language.[01:05:06] This is a first language study, and I think it's probably the most important research project I've ever been connected with the pearls organization, supplies, the raw data, what students from each country did, how much reading they did report some questionnaires that scores the poverty level of the country, et cetera.[01:05:24] Again, these are ten-year-olds from 40 countries throughout the world. So we had a very good database. Here's what we found your S the scores on reading comprehension. The best predictor by far was poverty. I find this in any research that mentions poverty, it is so strong. All the other variables. Are nearly, always swamped away.[01:05:43] There's no room left for any other predictor to show its face. And we found that too. We found it in two versions that we did poverty overwhelmingly the best predictor of how you do in reading comprehension. When you're 10 years old, added access to a school. Library with a [01:06:00] sufficient number of books.[01:06:01] The first study we did the impact of the school library was exactly the same is the impact of poverty lowers. Your score. Reading had access to a school library, raises it, imbalanced the effect of poverty. Children of poverty, don't read well, major reason they have nothing to read when you supply them with books, their reading scores look much better in our first study that actually balanced it perfectly.[01:06:25] The second study we did the, effect of the library was not as strong, but it made up for about 40% poverty, which shows you how strong it is. We actually, we also had data on whether the kids had early exposure to teaching, whether their parents had taught them a spelling, gave them a little bit of writing practice, et cetera.[01:06:45] All the things school thinks are very important, a little bit of phonics, et cetera. Kids who had that didn't know better in reading four years later. In fact, one time we looked at it, they actually did a little worse, the amount of instruction in reading they had in school. One time made no [01:07:00] difference.[01:07:00] One time was negatively correlated. So it was our major. Result it's reading that did it poverty. Of course. And part of poverty is access to books. If you live in poverty, have fewer books in the home, you have fewer bookstores, your parents can't afford to buy them for you. A school libraries are not as good.[01:07:17] So reading itself, I conclude was the major conclusion. Let me summarize the big phonics debate very quickly. Again, there's lots of stuff on it. on my website that you can see, I've been very influenced by positively by the work of Frank Smith and literacy and Kenneth Goodman who died, I think last week, who really was super heroic in the field.[01:07:36] Here's my conclusion. Based on the research. If you look at studies of reading efficiency, if you give kids. we call systematic phonics instruction. It does predict reading score. The more phonics better you do, depending on the reading test, you do better on tests in which all you do is you're given a list of words and you pronounce them [01:08:00] out loud.[01:08:00] That's it. You don't do better in reading comprehension. So all that stuff. It simply makes you a better word caller. That's all. If you give kids both reading and a little phonics, they do better in both. In fact, kids are, do more reading, do better on phonics tests as well. So this whole phonics argument absolutely disappears.[01:08:18] When you look at, when you look at the research, the national reading panel in the United States, 19, you came out in a year. 2000, they attacked free reading and they praised phonics. And I have responded to both of them back and forth. I'll summarize it. They're wrong. I'm right. How do you like that?[01:08:33] We looked at yeah, a colleague of mine, Elaine Garren looked at their phonics research. She was the one who first made this discovery. So I'm really copying her result. Those who had more phonics did better on tests of phonics, reading, pronouncing words out loud. They do not do better on tests of reading and over again, people who read more, did better on everything, better on reading comprehension, better on virtually everything you test that's language related.[01:08:56] So there it is. My main points. Poverty is the [01:09:00] main predictor of reading and the course having more food, having creature comforts, all that counts, no question. But one of the main things about poverty is you have. Very little access to books. When you have little access to books, you don't see good results.[01:09:12] When you supply the books, things get better. I got an article published in a letter to the editor of the guardian years ago. It said support libraries, no phonics, a little bit of phonics doesn't hurt. It's okay. You might as well tell kids about the rules, but most of the rules are too complicated.[01:09:28] Nobody even knows that I've conducted this informal study, which I'll conduct on you, David. Okay. Let's say I write out the word. B O M B mom. Okay. You know how the first B is, sounded out it's pronounced buck. Correct. Okay. What about the second beat? It's silent. You don't pronounce it. Am I right? Yeah, exactly.[01:09:48] Exactly. Very similar. Okay. So you know that rule, what's the rule. Why isn't B pronounced at the M at the end? I have no idea. No, of course not. Nobody knows. I have asked this question [01:10:00] of hundreds of teachers, reading teachers. They don't know people have a feeling for it.[01:10:04] Host (David C. Luna): It's also a good example in German, which are the noun markers Getty does.[01:10:09] And I couldn't even tell you what the rule is. I just know him. I have a feeling apart,[01:10:14]Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): even I do with German. Yeah. I have a feeling now that, which is right, et cetera. And why we say for example, because it is[01:10:23] Host (David C. Luna): yeah. Try explaining to someone that's learning German, whites , which is neutral about D foul, which is female.[01:10:31] Can hardly explain that one.[01:10:32] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): Yeah, exactly.[01:10:34] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. And I think, at least I can say I'm a product of your theory indirectly, because to this day I'm extremely bad at grammar. I struggled with the Chinese because they were starting with teaching Chinese with grammar and I'm like, I don't even know the German rules.[01:10:47] How are you trying to teach me grammar and the correct rules? If I don't even know I'm in German now. And I little ashamed of it. Yeah, but I can get by. Nobody can detect that I'm not German or because I'm native. [01:11:00] I just know the rules. I know when to use something, I make money.[01:11:03] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): Anyway, it just is. That's the way it just happened.[01:11:05] Probably you can go back to, very shifts in the language, borrowings, et cetera. Okay. Going back to bump, there is a rule for it. I had to look it up and it's fairly complicated. It turns out if this would be at the end of a word. And it comes after em, it's not pronounced, but there are exceptions like bombing.[01:11:23] It's not pronounced being bombed, but dear it is, it depends on the nature of the suffix. Nobody knows. And there are lots of things. Knife is another example. There are lots and lots of rules like that. We acquire it. We don't learn it. Learning is fine. If you're an amateur linguist and you get pleasure out of knowing the rules, but it doesn't help you to be better in language.[01:11:44] It just lets you show off as I just did. Okay. So that's the acquisition learning distinction. Two methods. Now, David, I am going to raise my feet. Because I just gave you some very good therapy. You're normal, knowing the rules is an, a hobby. It won't help you with the [01:12:00] language. And one of the things we have to overcome as a culture is teaching language.[01:12:04] Through grammar. We have caused a huge amount of suffering and people feeling bad. Is that badly or bad, et cetera. I think we have to drop this. Here's what I suggest. If you're stunning, another few studying Chinese let's offer sessions. Simply to people who think grammar is interesting and want to study it as subject matter.[01:12:24] And those are optional where they can learn about the history of the language and why we say, why it's dishonor, for example, and list so late. Okay. it's feminine one language, not masculine and others. And then you can have a hard time. You can have a nice time discussing that in the pocket language, and you can do both at once, but for.[01:12:42] Normal people it's not necessary. I'll tell you the story of Steve. Sternfeld good buddy of mine. He was my student at one time and he's a language teacher is very good insights. He was an undergraduate major in Berkeley, in languages and love grammar. Just the way I did knew the grammar of everything studied, it, studied it.[01:12:59] And he [01:13:00] went to Paris to do French. I wasn't really making any progress and he decided to take some time off and he did something which. Grammar people would regard as horrifying. He went on vacation and decided to hitchhike around France just to see the country and get to know people. He left his dictionary home.[01:13:18] Can you imagine blasphemy left it in his boarding house room in Paris? My God, by his Bishop valid for co conjugating verbs left that back. He'd get into gear, get a ride, sit in the back and start a conversation in French. Not wanting to improve, just wanting to. Chat get to know the people he spent the whole summer like that.[01:13:35] When he got back to Paris, his friends all said your French has improved so much after three weeks, it is amazing. And people have stories like when you had to forcibly leave the grammar behind, I'll tell you what I'm going through now. This is an ongoing discussion I'm having with colleagues. About two months ago, I was in the middle of reading, too easy readers in Spanish, [01:14:00] and I'm still reading lots of them.[01:14:01] I still think they're helping. And I was reading two at one, two at the same time. One of them was written by my colleague, bill van Patten. And I mentioned him and his read. His are really good literature. They're profound. They represent struggles. He's had growing up family, life, friends, et cetera. Oh, I can talk about him.[01:14:17] Cause he's made this very public. He is homosexual. He's gay and he doesn't mind talking about it and he's very eloquent on it. And in one of the stories, that's a brother and the sister, their relationship. And it's basically how the sister was able to communicate his problem, not his problem, but his condition to the parents and make them understand deeply moving an emotional story about brothers, sister relationships, and how loyal the brother and sister could be to each other.[01:14:44] I think by the way, that was the thing. Theme of frozen, how the queen and the princess actually got along and helped each other and their pain able to communicate. So I read that there was no dictionary in the back. He didn't include it. It's fairly demanding, but I couldn't wait to see what he was going to say.[01:14:58] Next it moved [01:15:00] the me along. I also got a reader in Spanish, which was much easier. And I started to reading it and there was a glossary at the end of each chapter. I looked up the words, even though I knew them just to make sure. Because I'm such a fanatic about it, grammar and making sure I knew the exact means, which violates everything I know about language acquisition.[01:15:20] So I feel what Elfie Khan talks about this. The undertow to our traditional methods, which effects even me in here, I've come along with this theory that says grammar is not the way you do it. You do it through acquisition. And I feel the pull of grammar. I feel the pull of getting things, I know from the research that when you see a word in print and you understand it, you don't get the whole thing right away.[01:15:43] It's gradual. You need to see it in different contexts. It takes five, 10 times to see the word until you really have it. And just relax. You're going to see it again. Don't worry if you don't get the whole thing, it's going to come back and even I have ignored this. So I'm letting you off the hook, David, if this [01:16:00] happens to me and I have a PhD in grammar, as I told you, and I know the rules so well, even I feel add that I don't, I can't articulate them all the time that I don't know that full meaning of the word, et cetera.[01:16:13] It's going to take the human race quite a while to resist the undertow.[01:16:17] Host (David C. Luna): So this is, I think something we can maybe learn from the coronavirus is to quarantine the people that love grammar from the people that just want us to learn the language.[01:16:27] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): Yeah. Tell him to shut up and just relaxing. Exactly. Yeah.[01:16:31] Good point[01:16:32] Host (David C. Luna): as well. I used to tell my ex girlfriend I'm like, if you have. Pleasure in grammar. Sure. Good. But don't lie to yourself saying grammar will improve your language because again, and I can only say it from my own experience, learning to language, honestly, that your theory checks out. It was so intuitive back then.[01:16:50] And I'm like guy, this finally someone. That explains to me why the English of Germans are fairly bad compared to the Scandinavians. It's not the worst in [01:17:00] Europe. I'm not hating on Germans, but why explain that and why I can speak proper English fairly good. I would assume it and proper German without knowing the rules.[01:17:11] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): I've done fine. Yes, exactly. let's now talk about tones. Cause that's what you've come up with in Chinese, Tones are acquired slowly over time. There are a few tones that you and I will get, Because they're obvious like the negative marker ma we've heard that enough teachers like that.[01:17:28] It's probably the only one I've consciously learned. It might be the only one I occasionally get. Cause we can't handle monitoring all of that stuff. I've looked at what is a Canadian guy? His nickname, and Chinese is big Malton. the Shan, forget what his name is. Yeah, definitely. See, I don't get the tongue and he's a comedian and he's on TV and the Chinese and all that.[01:17:47] I've seen interviews. He acquired the towns, he just listens and relax and listen. Them, subconsciously drift in as they do. There's no way a beginner can get tones, And come out with anything coherent, can't even get to the end of the [01:18:00] sentence. Cause every word there's a decision to make.[01:18:02] So that's simply the way it is. My Chinese teachers. Fortunately, whom I've had most of my input has been from them. They're very good at understanding people with lousy towns. So find yourself someone who's a former teacher and you'll get better and tones will come and they'll understand you.[01:18:17] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah, that reminds me of a funny story.[01:18:19] When we're at the three week Chinese boot camp, we had a Chinese teacher responsible for pronunciation specifically, and she was level one. So level one is the requirement in China to be able to speak on the news and even. Among native speakers. That's extremely rare and very difficult to achieve[01:18:39] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): all my, but[01:18:40] Host (David C. Luna): we had heard luckily as our pronunciation teacher and she had a set of dental teas and that's why I nicknamed her mouth and I stuck with her and the whole group.[01:18:52] If you didn't pronounce something correctly, she would be in your face showing you the teeth, how to position your tongue. And [01:19:00] boy, if you didn't pronounce it correctly, again, she would be in your face showing you how put on hot and she would make sure you pronounce that.[01:19:08] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): And people think she's an excellent teacher.[01:19:10] Yes. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. This person really knows the rules nearly can. Yeah, but it can't be done. I want to look at towns a little more carefully in my research and seeing where I'm right now, trying to gather case histories of people who have acquired Chinese very well as foreigners and see how they got the tones.[01:19:25] See what they say about that. My prediction is most of it will be acquired.[01:19:28] Host (David C. Luna): So that kind of wraps up the interview. Is there something I didn't mentioned or forgot to touch on that I should have asked?[01:19:36]Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): I do want to, I want to repeat that. I hope people will follow me on Twitter for the reasons I've mentioned.[01:19:41] It's the source of information. And also I want to catch up to Justin Bieber. He's only about the 20 million ahead of me now. but sixth centuries, I can do it. So follow me on Twitter.[01:19:51]Host (David C. Luna): by the time this podcast comes out, you'll have your 20 million on just kidding. I don't think I have that much listeners.[01:19:57] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): Okay, great. It's a Dion patient.[01:19:59] Host (David C. Luna): Thanks [01:20:00] for being on podcast.[01:20:01] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): Okay. Very good. I've enjoyed this. Appreciate it.[01:20:04]Host (David C. Luna): I don't know about you, but I could have gone on for a few more hours with professor crash and it's always very fascinating as he backs up his claims with tons of research case studies. And but now it's that time again, to summarize what we've learnt and give you some of the key takeaways.[01:20:19] As you're probably aware by now, or hopefully a lot of today's language learning approaches are still based on old theories and misconceptions about how we humans effectively acquire language. This is most evident by the probably the most widely accepted. Misconception that children acquire language much more easily than adults, but nothing could be further from that truth as evident in lots of scientific studies show.[01:20:45] Yet most of us don't want to accept that despite the overwhelming evidence. And I think this is in large part due to the fact that people want an excuse, not to do something such as acquiring a new language and we, humans can get very creative when making up excuses. For [01:21:00] the more, most schools in language institutions still rely on these antiquated methods that is not only very ineffective, but also slows down language acquisition and causes a lot of anxiety among language learners.[01:21:13] That doesn't mean we haven't seen any progress, but we've tried the old approach for decades on end,[01:21:18] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): over 40[01:21:19] Host (David C. Luna): years. We've tried teaching grammar. We've had students memorize vocabulary. We've had people memorize dialogues, but we need to stop this. We acquire language when we understand what people are saying, not how it is said.[01:21:33] Notice when we teach language today, we usually do the exact opposite. We first memorize some vocabulary, then learn some grammar rules consciously and then practice them in output until they become automatic. Or in other words, consciously learned knowledge eventually become subconsciously acquired knowledge and this skill building approach, how it's also called also States that we adjust our consciously learned rules when they are correct.[01:21:58] But how about we [01:22:00] try the natural language approach for a change? It has not only proven to be much more effective, but also much more enjoyable that old way or that skill building approach has not done really well in research and is often very painful yet to skill building hypothesis. For most people, it's a widely accepted default.[01:22:19] We don't question it anymore. And yet most people are unaware that the groundbreaking comprehensible input hypothesis exists. And here's the thing. What could be more encouraging. Then this theory, not having to learn tons of grammar or hundreds of vocabs at the start crashing as theory, a second language acquisition consists mainly of five hypothesis.[01:22:40] The first hypothesis is the input hypothesis. So we essentially acquire language in one way only by understanding comprehensible input, which means learners progress in their knowledge of language. When they comprehend language input that is slightly or more advanced than their current level.[01:22:58] Then we have the second [01:23:00] hypothesis, which is the acquisition learning hypothesis. And there is a strict separation between language acquisition and learn and language learning. This means adults have two distinctive ways of developing competence in a second language acquisition that is used by users using language for real communication and learning about the language we have the monitor hypothesis.[01:23:21] So consciously learned language can only[01:23:23] Guest (Prof. Stephen Krashen): be used[01:23:24] Host (David C. Luna): to monitor language output. It can never be the source of spontaneous speech. So language acquisition does not require extensive use of conscious grammatical rules and does not require tedious drills. By now, it should also be very clear that analyzing language, formulating rules, setting irregularities apart.[01:23:43] And teaching complex facts about the target language is not language teaching, but rather language appreciation for linguists, which does not lead to language proficiency. Then we have the natural order hypothesis language gets acquired in a predictable. Order. And that this [01:24:00] order does not really change between learners and is not effected by explicit instruction.[01:24:05] And then also we have the effective filter hypothesis. So the learner's ability to acquire language is constrained or blocked if they are experiencing negative emotions or mental blocks, such as fear, anxiety, or the fear of embarrassment. And it's such times the effective filter is said to be up. To sum this up.[01:24:24] The best methods are there for those that supply comprehensible input in low anxiety situations, containing messages that students really want to hear. These methods don't really force an early person action of the second language, but allows the student to produce when they are ready, recognizing that improvements come from supplying comprehensible input and not from forcing someone.[01:24:48] And correcting the production of that student that says hypothesis in a nutshell, and applied correctly, it can have a profound impact. This also gives you no excuse, no matter your age, [01:25:00] not to acquire a new language. If that's what you choose, you can't use the copout that you're too old to learn a new language or that the period of you effectively acquiring a new language has passed.[01:25:11] If children acquire languages at a much slower rates than adults, not faster. You have absolutely no reason to doubt your capabilities of acquiring a new language. So if you want to delve deeper into the research behind professor Krashen's hypothesis, go to his website, I've also linked his website in the show notes.[01:25:30] There, you can find many of his publications that are available free for download. And I think they're also regularly announced on his Twitter account and his papers tend to be very short and very comprehensible.


Have feedback or recommendations for topics or guests?
Let us know, by filling out this short form here.

This podcast looks at innovators and companies that are changing the game and how they took their initial idea and created a game-changing product or service, while giving you unique perspectives and insights you’ve probably haven’t heard elsewhere.

David and his guests discuss real-world practical advice on how to best harness the creativity of your employees and go from idea to product or service that has the potential to radically transform your business.

They also share lessons they’ve learned along the way to effectively accelerate, incubate and scale innovations within small, medium and large enterprises, all while separating hype from reality and replacing bullshit bingo with common sense.

The show is hosted by David C. Luna, author, keynote speaker and founder of GAMMA Digital & Beyond.


Creative Commons License

The Innovational Correctness Podcast by GAMMA Digital & Beyond, David C. Luna is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on a work at Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by contacting us here.