Stephen Krashen

Stephen Krashen received a PhD. in Linguistics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1972. Krashen has among papers (peer-reviewed and not) and books, more than 486 publications, contributing to the fields of second-language acquisitionbilingual education, and reading. He is known for introducing various hypotheses related to second-language acquisition, including the acquisition-learning hypothesis, the input hypothesis, the monitor hypothesis, the affective filter, and the natural order hypothesis. Most recently, Krashen promotes the use of free voluntary reading during second-language acquisition, which he says “is the most powerful tool we have in language education, first and second.”

Acquiring Academic Language

Featured Presentation

The usual recommendations for developing academic language focus on direct teaching of vocabulary, grammar, and the study of nonfiction texts. There is research supporting the view that there may be an easier and more effective way: Self-selected fiction.  The evidence includes studies showing that fiction contains a considerable amount of academic language.  Reading fiction can also result an increase in academic knowledge: Those who read more fiction know more about history, literature, and science.  An interesting and important hypothesis is that self-selected reading is more potent than assigned reading in developing literacy as well as knowledge.

It may be the case that we can best prepare our ESL students for academic success not with painful exercises and demanding (and sometimes boring) informational texts but by providing them with access to reading material that they find comprehensible and extremely interesting.

The path of pleasure may be more effective than the path of pain.