Stephen Krashens

5 May 2017

First appeared: Language Learning #9 and 10 Bibliographic information: Krashen, Stephen D. 1981. Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition. English Language Teaching series. London: Prentice-Hall International (I-JK) Ltd. 202 pages. Quote that captures the essense of the book: “What theory implies, quite simply, is that language acquisition, first or second, occurs when comprehension of real messages occurs, and when the acquirer is not ‘on the defensive’… Language acquisition does not require extensive use of conscious grammatical rules, and does not require tedious drill.

It does not occur overnight, owever. Real language acquisition develops slowly, and speaking skills emerge significantly later than listening skills, even when conditions are perfect. 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.

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(6-7) Summary of Part l. Introduction: The Relationship of Theory to Practice In deciding how to develop language teaching methods and materials, one can take three approaches: make use of second language acquisition theory, make use of applied linguistics research, and make use of ideas and intuition from experience. These approaches should in fact support each other and lead to common conclusions. This book incorporates all three approaches, with a hope of reintroducing theory to language teachers.

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