“Language acquisition does not require extensive use of conscious grammatical rules, and does not require tedious drill.” Stephen Krashen

How many children will be glad to know that, how many of us have sat through really boring lessons?  I like Stephen Krashen’s theory because from my experiences it make sense.  Learning in context, using prior learning as a bridge to the next piece of knowledge is how we all learn, yet these building blocks are sometimes forgotten as are the age and linguistic development of the learner at times.

I agree with all of these saying attributed Krashen below and still find it amazing that I have had arguments with head teachers who cannot see the benefit of a safe environment where it is ok to make mistakes. This particular head was definite that no one was allowed to make mistakes….well… we all know no one is perfect, so lets embrace this fact and make it safe to try, with the skills and backup to make sure the mistake is made once and learnt from. I ask all language teachers whatever your situation,  Is your area safe to learn in?? I expect the knee jerk will be yes, but as reflective practitioners lets look at what our evidence tells us, if the children are cautious about trying, then you know deep inside that the ethos or atmosphere is wrong somewhere.

“Acquisition requires meaningful interaction in the target language – natural communication – in which speakers are concerned not with the form of their utterances but with the messages they are conveying and understanding.” Stephen Krashen

“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.” Stephen Krashen

“In the real world, conversations with sympathetic native speakers who are willing to help the acquirer understand are very helpful.” Stephen Krashen 

Wishing you all Happy Language Learning

Bilingualism begins at birth

After the last blog about langauge and testing this is a really good follow-up where it is argued that bilingualism begins at birth.

http://yle.fi/uutiset/study_bilingualism_begins_at_birth/6286989

Bilingualism begins at birth

Babies not only discriminate between sounds at birth, they come into the world wired for language, finds a decade-long study by Turku University’s teacher training unit.

7-vuotias Mikhail Kryokov pelaa korttia äitinsä Kristiina Koskisen ja isäpuolensa, Olli-Pekka Koskisen kanssa.
Growing up bilingual. Seven year-old Mikhail Kryokov from Pori speaks Russian and Finnish at home.

“Both parents should speak their mother tongue to the baby,” explained head researcher and early education expert Maarit Silvén. According to the professor, foreign-born moms and dads should not communicate with their child in Finnish.

The results of the study show that infants already begin absorbing their parents’ languages.

“Linguistic development starts early on. Babies remember the sound rhythms and tones of a language,” Silvén explained.

She says that being exposed to two different languages doesn’t delay speech development or cause language confusion, which are outdated notions.

The vocabulary of children learning two languages may expand a bit slower than that of their monolingual counterparts, but bilingual kids have a richer combined vocabulary, according to the Turku University researchers.