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ELT, EOT and language acquisition discussed with Professor Stephen Krashen pt3

As the debate with Professor Stephen Krashen about English teaching and learning, language acquisition and English Out There continued we got onto the main area of disagreement, focus on form.

Dr. Stephen Krashen IFLT 250

Professor Stephen Krashen

(image:·ifltconference.org)

 

Part Three

Introduction

This before and after audio started this debate. You can listen to the full (8 min) before and after audio of Jane speaking English here:

 

English Out There Case Study - Jane, China

All of the data (i.e. every single recording with contemporaneous notes) and other case studies and sessions with other learners can be found and accessed on the Languages Out There podcast.

You can read the introduction which explains how this conversation happened. It is before the first part of the debate (Part 1), click here to read it.

Click here to read Part 2.


Part Three

Prof. Krashen: You wrote: 

But what if there are millions of learners desperate to improve their English communication skills who are deeply conditioned (by publishers and educators everywhere) that they need to focus on form to improve and that grammar is all they are used to?

Changing people's long held beliefs, however incoherent and futile is incredibly difficult. Do you agree? And implementing a program to convince 800 million Chinese English learners that everything their teachers have told them about learning to speak English is wrong would take more investment and effort than simply preparing them for conversations in a way that makes them more likely to be able to get something truly useful from their time and effort, quality personalised comprehensible input that is compelling and provides them with real experiences of success using the language which in turns maintains their motivation level.

My predictable response: 

If WE don't explain how language is acquired, who will? If not us, who? If not now, when? We should AT LEAST include some orientation and not make the problem worse. Otherwise we are contributing to the problem. And our goal is to make students autonomous, so they can continue to improve on their own.

They need to know how to do it. You don't need focus on form to make input transparent and completely comprehensible.

NOTICE that if my comment about Jane is interpreted as endorsement of EOT, my critics will notice that your lessons are focus on form, and proclaim that I support focus on form and/or that I have changed my position. This has happened before. You wrote:

"Do students the world over who simply want to be able to speak English more fluently really care about the theory and would they want to be taught the theory or would they rather be told 'here are some materials, the process they put you through works, I can help you to use them'? I'm interested to know what you think on this point?"

Yes, they need to know at least some theory: that we acquire via comprehension, reading for pleasure helps a lot, output, accuracy etc are the result of acquisition, etc. I don't mean "teach theory" via formal study of language acquisition research. It can be easily integrated as part of the instruction.

Florent and Waldek: Beware of overuse of the Monitor. Students need to know when monitoring is appropriate and when not. The unusual circumstances = conditions where monitoring is appropriate: when you have time, know the rule, can focus on form. Mostly just in writing, occasionally prepared speech.

You wrote, "People need structure and guidance or they get lost or confused."

This doesn't have to mean focus on form.

I am not 100% [against] any teaching of grammar. A little is fine as long as students know the limitations. I will try to find places where I have talked about this in detail. Tracy Terrell pointed out to me years ago that even this is dangerous. When you let grammar/focus on form in the door, it rapidly devours everything.

JW: With respect. I think you are maybe missing the point here. As you have asserted and I agree with, Jane and millions of others like her have been acquiring differing amounts of language over the years they have been in both formal and informal study of the language. So we are virtually never dealing with a blank slate, even when like Jane did, they speak like a beginner at the start (isn't that the essence of being what people call a 'false beginner'?). We have no control or influence over what they did before EOT. They have come to us for a course, self-paced or (as has been the case most of the time) for a finite period. They have bought the idea that by doing what we suggest they will improve at or above the level of the expectation level we provide them with in our promotional materials combined with their own internal expectations for their improvement. That's all. If we match or, hopefully, exceed both sets of expectations we have succeeded. As it is, EOT consistently exceeds both expectations if the materials are used in the way they are intended to be used. 

J. Marvin Brown wrote about 'damage' being done to students' language acquisition capabilities through the use of traditional language teaching methods. I would agree to an extent but add that I don't think they are irreversible. I can even prove it. EOT to me, in the context of your work and programs like ALG is the short course that no one had invented to achieve very similar, if not the same, aims. We don't start at zero with any of our students. We see where they are at communicatively (we don't use a written test to place them just a gradually more complex set of conversational questions and scenarios) and if they can't speak they go into the beginner or elementary class and that is where Jane was very smart in choosing the low level lesson plans with Chinese instructions. She sought complete comprehension of the input relating to the speaking task. She managed her own anxiety levels and had access to all of the information, in multiple formats, including some focus on form that she would have been familiar with from her 16 years of English study in China. It helped her to take the next step which was a huge step, and that was calling me to talk for the first time. Once that went relatively well and we had some fun and she got good input from me she grew in confidence, both with her speaking and listening but with the process. She learned how to use previously acquired language and how to strap a turbo on.

Jane probably did do more listening (she listened to our recordings) whilst she was working with me and she probably read more English texts, because she had experienced some success that was tangible and audible and had got a buzz. The success ramped up her motivation level.

It became, for a period, a virtuous circle and she hasn't gone backwards since. She asked me for more materials recently, the beginner's ebook with Chinese instructions! She is probably honing the process, she is definitely not too worried about the words on the page as she reads and listens to English and always has done.I think it might be handy to summarise.

I think at this point in our discussion we can probably say that we agree on everything except the presence of exercises that contain some focus on form (there are a lot of reading exercises using interesting and licensed Guardian content as the levels go up, a lot of vocab exercises etc.).

I also agree with your papers on autonomy, accent and the brain that you attached. I noticed you didn't dispute my assertion that what EOT materials do is help to create an environment in which the virtuous circle you describe: input - language acquisition - output - conversation - input can occur, with the conversations inherent in every one of our lessons being the points at which the users receive stimulating and personalised compehensible input from their practice partners.

So, your sole issue, it seems, is the exercises. Am I right?

Prof. Krashen: Not quite. I am also pushing for orientation, and the inclusion of other forms of comprehensible input, eg free voluntary reading, narrow reading, narrow listening. And the importance given to focus on form is a MAJOR issue.

JW: Yes, didn't I acknowledge recognition of that [inclusion of orientation] in my last email? I am happy to eulogise to that effect. All of those things are highly desirable but we deal with people in a short course context...the world's population likes short courses and buys buckets of them in order to achieve (or attempt to achieve) their self-improvement goals. What I have sought to do is marry the ideals you espouse (and I agree with completely) with a format and structure that is more accessible and supportive than what has previously been available. The 'importance' given to focus on form is not an issue for the students or the teachers and they form the majority of the people we wish to engage with our materials and crucially the process.

JW: You wrote above, "I am not 100% any teaching of grammar. A little is fine as long as students know the limitations. I will try to find places where I have talked about this in detail." I assume you meant "not 100% against any teaching of grammar", am I right?

Prof. Krashen: Correct. 

JW: Oh good! :-) [Prof. Krashen: “I am not 100% against any teaching of grammar.”] In my experience students just want to improve and will do almost anything to get there. Language students just want to become proficient in the chosen language. If they can feel improvement in their performance they will continue. It is motivating and as we know motivation is an under emphasised and vital part of the process of becoming proficient in a second language. I have dealt with students who became restless and confused when the materials and delivery was alien to their own educational culture. In the early 90's the first young Russians started booking English courses in London. My school was a conventional British Council accredited school with a young and fun social programme. I lost count of how many Russian students asked to see me or the director of studies after a day or so of lessons. Their gripe was, always, that the teacher should not ask them questions about what they think but that it was for the teacher to tell them how to do it. Educational culture clash. Most got over it and became engaged in class a few asked for their money back. It still happens (Czech males of a mature age still find the 'Communicative Method' very tricky to comprehend). 

JW: In your paper on promoting autonomy in language acquirers you wrote, 

"Here is a suggestion for the motivated beginner, based on my experience and what others have told me: Buy or borrow about ten beginning textbooks in the target language, based on traditional, grammar-translation methodology. Read the reading passages that are part of each chapter, glancing at the vocabulary and grammar sections only when necessary to make the passage comprehensible. Don’t try to remember the specific vocabulary and grammar; just use them as a means of understanding the passage when the text itself is insufficient. "

This is what we have done with our materials, only we have brought it all together and published it in a modular 20 lessons per level format (so no progressive syllabus claims!).

Prof. Krashen: I think what I am saying is quite different. I suggest getting some use out of the crappy materials that are out there already, and using them as a means of getting comprehensible input, when nothing else is around. And I recommended glancing at vocabulary and grammar stuff JUST to make the input more comprehensible, not as focus on form. Some of your exercises are clearly focus on form. 

JW: EOT exercises and readings are there to help the user prepare mentally for the speaking task that we both seem to agree will help them enormously. They are there for reassurance and psychological support (i.e. to lower the filter), to provide an interesting topic that is easy to expand upon in conversation, and to aid short term recall of key language so that anything the user might feel unsure of prior to doing the speaking task and which might impede meaning is taken care of so that they have the confidence to do the task. The speaking task is the be all and end all of EOT lessons. Without it, I agree, we would be wasting people's time, like most of the other publishers.

BUT we are using the exercises in the way they should be used, as short term aids to facilitating rich comprehensible input via conversations.

Prof. Krashen: And I still maintain there are better ways of doing this: Providing transparent/highly comprehensible texts. Lots and lots of them. [JW Note: But this is not very practical in a finite classroom experience and would not get them where we want them with the speaking task within the time we have to achieve it] 

JW: Autonomy is desirable, if not inevitable, when learners use our materials. That's why we created self-study materials, why we publish our rationale and some tools to help them meet people to talk to. So I agree, that language teaching does not need repeat business.

Prof. Krashen: Autonomy requires some understanding of how language is acquired. 

JW: Yes, I agree. That's what Jane is doing with our materials, do you agree? What you are talking about is explicit, what I think I am talking about is implicit. The only person that cares about the difference appears to be you. Isn't the end result the most important thing? 

So can you, hand on heart, state that if she had not done any EOT for the period in question, i.e. the process we followed, she would have made a similar improvement (the control, i.e. more of the same she was doing beforehand). Of course not. So what I think you seem to be saying is that if she had read passages of text and listened to audio that was comprehensible to her and then been asked to have a conversation about it all she would have achieved the same results as the EOT sessions.

Maybe, yes, but in my experience she would have been very unlikely to have achieved it without the right structure, support, information in Chinese about the process, prepared questions and icebreakers and a prescribed and comfortable limit on the speaking task activity. Nor the information telling her to record it and listen again!

Without the above, in my experience, she almost certainly would not have had a) the guts to speak in the first place or b) felt it was a successfully completed conversation or c) wanted to do some more soon. Our materials give the user structure and control. They do it on their terms and that is very very important.

Jane came to me via a forum posting on EnglishClub.com where I offered to help anyone in exchange for them allowing me to record the process. She spoke like a beginner and after six sessions she spoke like an intermediate student. She'd had 16 years to get there but it hadn't occurred. Yes, she had obviously decided she wanted to improve and was highly motivated but she wouldn't have got to where she has so quickly if she had not had the structure of the materials to support her (or the encouragement of an English speaker), would she? As I wrote above, the first steps and the first successes are the most crucial. That is the implicit learning of the process. Once success is achieved in the eyes and ears of the student they become hyper-motivated and much more confident and open to having more structured conversations with English speakers either face-to-face or online. They enter the virtuous circle and maybe like Jane did (i.e. the recordings of our sessions) they start to seek out much more spoken comprehensible input.

Your ideology is based upon increasing levels of personalised and compelling comprehensible input. Speaking with a non-teacher successfully and then listening to yourself again is basically upping the level of comprehensible input from very little prior to the first session to about, as Jane said, two hours or more a day. The input in the conversations contained all the bits and bobs she was ready to acquire and use, don't you agree? So it stands to reason, for me anyway, that the process of EOT, the use of the materials, instigated and shaped the dramatic improvement in Jane's speaking and listening ability.

You can't deny that what EOT does is work, incredibly well. You listened to the clip and you commented. Jane had no doubt acquired a lot of language prior to her using EOT materials but our materials and most importantly the process, as she says, made the difference to her speaking and listening skills after 16 years.

Prof. Krashen: Wait. All I said was that Jane's progress is impressive. We don't yet know EXACTLY what aspect of EOT was responsible or even what else she did with English during the time she did EOT. 

JW: You can't deny that EOT involves rich conversations using previously acquired language that then generate a lot more quality (stimulating and personalised) comprehensible input which creates the virtuous circle of indirect language acquisition that your diagram depicts. And by listening to the recordings of the conversations on her ipod Jane made the input even more comprehensible.

Prof. Krashen: I think that the personalized conversations and discussions with the teacher can be very helpful, of course. I don't know what Jane had previously acquired and what was new. 

JW: You can't deny that some attention to grammar can be useful to support activities that lead to acquisition because you have stated it yourself (I'd really like to read the places you mention below where you have talked about it in detail).

Prof. Krashen: Yes, but we gotta be VERY careful with this, otherwise we are back to grammar-based teaching. Consider this: 

You can acquire a language with acquisition alone.

You can acquire a language with acquisition and learning.

You can't acquire a language from learning alone.

At best, learning/grammar can help a little: to monitor output but only when severe conditions are satisfied, occasionally to make input a little more comprehensible, and to satisfy curiosity. Very peripheral. (See attached notes).

JW: I would be happy to publish and/or include some more specific orientation. To explain the exact purpose of the exercises in EOT and make clear in our literature and promotional materials that on its own a focus on form is not a means to acquisition. And I would also be happy to promote the idea that with EOT materials we are teaching learners to become autonomous. 

Prof. Krashen: I think orientation needs to be built in. This would be extremely helpful. 

JW: What do you think? Would you be interested in working with me to provide some words and help promote English Out There?

Prof. Krashen: Right now, I can't say anything beyond what I've said so far. Yes, there is a lot of agreement, probably total agreement on theory. 

JW: Well, I am really glad you agree we agree :-) I do think you are being a bit stubborn with regards the exercises in our materials. A reaction that could, might I politely suggest, be more self-referential than purely objective. I know you have nailed your colours firmly to the mast for decades and that Proposition 227 probably hurts a lot still but I can definitely detect in the papers you have sent and in 'Principles and Practice' on your website that you have softened your stance.

Practice to me means giving a lot of people a better deal than they are getting at the moment and have done since people started teaching languages. That means trying to work with what you have got (ostensibly a lot of people who think that grammar bashing is the way to go because they have been told so for years) and not remaining subjectively apart from where real practical good can be achieved.

Put another way, do you think they do any harm? Don't forget these materials weren't the concoct of some individual authorial theoretical bent. We started with a simple idea of mine (to make their courses more interesting and relevant to them and where they were), a blank piece of paper and some great teachers.

I might not have told you this before, but at the start (June 2001) I was very anti the inclusion of any grammar references and we had a lot of heated discussion and head-scratching. The problem was to get the students prepared enough to feel that they could perform and then actually do it. We really needed to scaffold language to support them and using the kind of exercises they were familiar with worked. Otherwise it was too like being plunged in the deep end for them. The 'language focus' in the lessons is almost a deflection device but is useful for some students, as you say in the paper you sent,

"To make input more comprehensible: Example: The teacher tells the Spanish class that – o at the end of a verb means past tense. Students may or may not remember it, and if they do remember it, they may or may not be able to use in production (as a Monitor) even when the conditions for Monitor use are fully met. But it does tell them that the discourse they are hearing or reading is in the past tense, which could make the input in general more comprehensible and may help the students acquire other things, vocabulary and/or grammar, that they are, in fact, ready to acquire."

Have you had a close look through the worksheets. There is only the occasional reference to a rule and they were conceived more in the way you describe Popup Grammar and also in the way I have described them as a 'nod' to the way most people have been used to learning English whilst leading them into much more useful territory with the speaking task. The higher you go the more reading there is prior to the speaking task and the grammar references virtually disappear from the lesson plans.

I should also mention that we are also dealing with teachers who are human beings and like to have some kind of shape and familiarity to what they are being asked to use to teach. If we had piled in with 'no grammar' we would have scared so many people away at the start. What about all of the non-native speaker teachers in places like China? How could anyone hope to convert them to what actually works without giving them something that they can actually work with from the start? With an EOT low level course with Chinese instructions we have a tool that ANY Chinese teacher of English, regardless of their own ability to speak English and model language for their students, can teach with and facilitate their students getting lots of free spoken comprehensible input from fluent and native English speakers via Skype etc.

When I talk to teachers, like with a teacher in Amsterdam yesterday on Skype, I saw her face jolt as I told her that the words on the worksheets are not the main thing, it is the process that matters the most. Sorry for biffing on above but I think these are important points to make. Theory has always been the both the strength and the weakness of academe. Practice is far messier and what we have done for 9 years is conduct a massive practical experiment using real teachers and real students, remember the figures I sent you, of the first 700 odd people who anonymously completed feedback forms about their EOT experiences. You can see the stats here.

I can definitely detect in the papers you have sent and in 'Principles and Practice' on your website that you have softened your stance.

Prof. Krashen: Nothing has been softened. I am, as always, a prisoner of the data. None of this is opinion or personal preference. It is, I hope, science. When I first made the claim that learning did not turn into acquisition, decades ago, some people actually wrote me and said, please, be reasonable and compromise. This is like asking Einstein to change e = mc2 because it is too hard, or changing the value of pi to 3 and dropping the rest. You consider your job to improve previous approaches. My job is to be 100% consistent with research and theory.

JW: I know and that's absolutely fine with me. My gripe, if it is one, is that you don't seem to acknowledge that to reach more people with the reality of language acquisition we might need to accommodate some of the things that people, in their own personal psychological way, might need to reassure them and make them feel comfortable. Yes, I see my job as trying to improve what has gone before and to make it more accessible. Being accessible sometimes involves some counter-intuitive acts and you and I know how entrenched publishers are about language learning product and methodology. So can't you just say that you understand why they are there and what their purpose is and that, although they don't contribute directly to acquisition for some people they will be useful reminders? Maybe we are there already :-)

Put another way, do you think they do any harm? Don't forget these materials weren't the concoct of some individual authorial theoretical bent. We started with a simple idea of mine (to make their courses more interesting and relevant to them and where they were), a blank piece of paper and some great teachers.

Prof. Krashen: I think that they send the message that focus on form works, and I think this is harmful. I think there are ways of meeting the same goals you have without the focus on form exercises, and ways of dealing with grammar that are consistent with theory and are helpful, as outlined in the paper I sent you. 

JW: Really? But still you are prescribing to Chinese and Indian English teachers who drill grammar until the cows come home. If all of the tools they are used to using are withdrawn they will struggle, don't you think? What would you prefer, to get a lot of students improving like Jane did and internalising the process or just keep trying to sell the market materials and ideas it is not conditioned to accept. It's a big old world and the big publishers have a very efficient machine at their disposal. The key to spreading the news is success. Success will lead to critical mass. Once people are talking about it and telling others the underlying explanation will be much more readily received. Does that make sense?

Prof. Krashen: You wrote,

"Have you had a close look through the worksheets. There is only the occasional reference to a rule and they were conceived more in the way you describe Popup Grammar and also in the way I have described them as a 'nod' to the way most people have been used to learning English whilst leading them into much more useful territory with the speaking task. The higher you go there more reading there is prior to the speaking task and the grammar references virtually disappear from the lesson plans."

There are also those that are clearly focus on form, learn the rule, practice it so it becomes automatic, that is, learning becoming acquisition. Why not replace these with others? The goal is materials that are 100% valid, no compromise, that are at the same time teacher-friendly and usable, that seems reasonable. I think this can be done.

JW: It's very few and even then mostly at lower levels. There are 360 hours from beginner to advanced! Yeah, we can change them and I would be happy to publish another set without any focus on form but I don't have the money to do it at the moment. I need the investment in these materials to drive further investment. Harsh reality for a tiny innovative publisher! We can give teachers, all teachers, not just those who subscribe to pure SLA theory the chance to a) hear their students improving fast and b) stop planning so many crap and useless lessons, for virtually zilch. A teacher life saver, no less. I'm also, through the materials, able to encourage teachers to go freelance and free themselves from dodgy organisations.

By the way, I fully agree that theory is the easy part and practice is the hard part. I've said this in public a lot. People like me are like lab scientists dealing with single cells. Teachers are like emergency room physicians dealing with several major crises at a time, and short of help and supplies.

Prof. Krashen: You wrote,

Very few have explicit rule explanations and then only for the 'language focus'. In practice the lessons and tasks require a lot more language use than the focus on form. It is there to do what you suggest above, "glancing at vocabulary and grammar stuff JUST to make the input more comprehensible"...you are virtually saying what I have been saying, some people need it like some toddlers need a pacifier from time to time, like when they are stressed or tired.”

In my discussion of using reading passages from traditional texts, acquirers need to glance at the grammar and vocabulary because the passages are nearly always too hard. In traditional texts each reading section is packed with new vocabulary and grammar. If you only use one book, by the time you are up to lesson 3 or 4 it is really tough. Acquirers can soften this by getting a pile of them, reading chapter 1 in all of them, then chapter 2 in all of them. But this is only to be done when better stuff is not available.

JW: Ok, and this relates to your 'lots and lots of input' you mention at various points in our discussion. Which has raised a question in my mind and which I think crops up and could be clearer below. We could have been arguing at cross-purposes :-)

Prof. Krashen: You wrote,

EOT exercises and readings are there to help the user prepare mentally for the speaking task that we both seem to agree will help them enormously. They are there for reassurance and psychological support (i.e. to lower the filter), to provide an interesting topic that is easy to expand upon in conversation, and to aid short term recall of key language so that anything the user might feel unsure of prior to doing the speaking task and which might impede meaning is taken care of so that they have the confidence to do the task.

LOTS of input covering these topics (narrow input) would also prepare them quite well, especially when topics are self-selected.

JW: Again, reading the above, I think, in my mind, we are getting somewhere...

Prof. Krashen: You wrote,

The speaking task is the be all and end all of EOT lessons. Without it, I agree, we would be wasting people's time, like most of the other publishers.”

Ability to speak is the natural result of getting lots of comprehensible input with low output filter.

You wrote,

BUT we are using the exercises in the way they should be used, as short term aids to facilitating rich comprehensible input via conversations.

And I still maintain there are better ways of doing this: Providing transparent/highly comprehensible texts. Lots and lots of them.

You wrote,

J. Marvin Brown wrote about 'damage' being done to students' language acquisition capabilities through the use of traditional language teaching methods. I would agree to an extent but add that I don't think they are irreversible. I can even prove it.”

Prof. Krashen: Yes, I think the damage is reversible.

JW: Ok, that's good. I think what happened with Jane was reversing damage.

Prof. Krashen: You wrote,

What you are talking about is explicit, what I think I am talking about is implicit. The only person that cares about the difference appears to be you. Isn't the end result the most important thing?

I am sure this isn't true. People should be aware that we don't acquire by grammar study, that comprehension is the key, etc.

JW:  So the end result isn't the most important thing, it is the awareness of how you got there? Hmmm. Maybe in labs and ivory towers the awareness is all important but to someone on five dollars a day who could get a better job and better educate their kids if they could speak English it isn't. They just want to speak English and they will follow what people say works. Why do you think there aren't lots of materials that look like ours?

Prof. Krashen: You wrote,

"Without the above, in my experience, she almost certainly would not have had a) had the guts to speak in the first place or b) felt it was a successfully completed conversation or c) wanted to do some more soon. Our materials give the user structure and control. They do it on their terms and that is very very important."

Do you think that the focus on form exercises, as you provided them, were NECESSARY to achieve this?

JW:  Yes, possibly, if not in Jane's case then definitely in the case of many others. Forget the fact they won't help people acquire that language there and then if they drill and use it in the classroom. They provide security, a link to what unsophisticated learners perceive to be 'learning'. They have never heard of or contemplated 'acquisition'. It is an academic subject, as you have attested. So, like I said before, if they weren't there, for reference and comfort, they might not have done the speaking task and got the really good input.

Prof. Krashen: You wrote,

“I agree and would go a bit further and say that they are crucial to improving speaking skills. There is a difference, is there not, between what you consider acquired and the language people use when they speak or is the language they speak the only language they have acquired? Do please clarify this point for me.”

Not sure what the question is: I think people have acquired more than what they speak and write, yes.

JW:  This is the bit I was thinking about above... so you think 'people have acquired more than what they speak and write'. In other words latent knowledge or ability to use language which requires lots and lots of the right kind of input.

So learners who have studied English for years, like Jane, who speak like beginners, must have a lot of acquired language they don't use when they speak (which is what the Serbian students all told us) because the input in our course is nowhere near enough to qualify as the 'lots and lots and lots' of input you have mentioned here many times.

Now why I mentioned 'arguing at cross-purposes' .

I am interested in providing a service through our materials and the process they follow that within a finite period of time improves people's speaking and listening ability quickly. That's it.  A service, in a recognisable format, a course, ebook etc. that meets and then exceeds their expectations. I am sure you are right about the amount of input required to acquire language but from what you have written above it is not the same as being able to speak the language that has been acquired?

That could well be the difference. I am talking about creating the right conditions in which previously or recently acquired language can be produced. You seem to be talking about the total amount of time required to acquire language.

If that is the case our materials don't need to help learners acquire much at all, if indeed anything new, they just need to be able to allow them to activate the latent acquired language.

You just said, forgive me if I am misinterpreting your words, that acquisition does not necessarily lead to production. Production is what EOT is trying to achieve in a course format that is accessible and inexpensive. It assumes that some acquisition has taken place but then helps people produce more of the language they have acquired but don't use.

If we added lots and lots of reading texts etc. as you suggest, we might end up with a 1 year course instead of an 18 hour, 10 lesson plan results oriented psychological experience :-)

BTW - I haven't mentioned 'meaning threats' (Travis and Proulx, 2009) and multi-sensory mind-mapping yet have I?

You are a stubborn person, has anyone ever told you that?

Part 4 can be read HERE....I’d like to thank Professor Krashen for the huge amount of time and consideration he has given me and English Out There, and for the wit and wisdom of his comments in our discussions, both topic specific and social.  It has been a real privilege to discuss our work with him in such detail and at such length.  This was the third section of a 34 page document.

To read Part 1 click HERE

To read Part 2 click HERE

IMPORTANT: If you believe in creativity, attribution and integrity PLEASE read and SHARE the facts about what happened to EOT. Help us fund our Oxford University Press legal case http://bit.ly/SvJwL5 and sign our e-petition to the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University http://bit.ly/SvJNxt