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Borinquen Writing Project
Prof. Helen Avilés Abreu
Prof. Myrna Monllor Jiménez
Stephen D. Krashen
University of Southern
California
linguist
researcher
 activist
How do we acquire a language?
How our Brain Works…
Neurons
Neurotransmitters
Synapses
Our Brain
•Speech production
•Understanding of
written and spoken
language
The Brain
 100 neurotransmitters
 50 brain areas responsible for cognition
 Senses
 Processes
 Stores
 Retrieves information
Acquisition – Learning Distinction
Hypothesis
 Learning - awareness of
rules
 Language acquisition -
subconscious process
The Natural Order Hypothesis
PREDICTABLE
The Monitor Hypothesis
 The conscious editor is
called the Monitor.
 Monitor over-users
 Monitor under-users
 Optimal Monitor users
The Input Hypothesis
i+1
Silent period : Build up
confidence, then produce.
 Competency is
developed over time.
 Structures that are “a
little beyond” where the
language learner is now.
 “Production ability
emerges, it is not taught
directly.”
The Affective Filter
Anxiety, tension, stress
Self-confidence, motivation
Approaches to Language Teaching
 Grammar Translation
 Audio-lingualism
 Cognitive-code
 Direct Method
 Natural Approach
 Total Physical Response (TPR)
 Suggestopedia
Conclusions
 The more comprehensible input one receives in low-
stress situations, the more competence one will have.
 Receiving comprehensible input is central to acquiring
a second language.
 The teacher’s goal is to prepare students to be able to
understand the language used outside the classroom.
 Conscious learning has a role, but not the leading role.
 Provide more reading material, speaking practice and
much fewer drills and exercises
References
 http://video.pbs.org/video/1402987791/?starttime=508
001
 http://www.nichcy.org/educatechildren/effective/page
s/brain101.aspx
 http://www.nichd.nih.gov/news/releases/brain_functi
on.cfm
 http://brains.org
 http://help4teachers.com/bilingualism.htm
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