“Comprehensible input remains the foundation of all language acquisition.” — Lightbown and Spada, 2014
Chomsky via Jim Tripp:
“Knowledge of physics is conscious knowledge; the physicist can expound and articulate it and convey it to others. In contrast, the other two systems [grammar i.e. mental representation, and common sense] are quite unconscious for the most part and beyond the bounds of introspective report.
Furthermore, knowledge of physics is qualitatively distinct from the other two cognitive structures in the manner of its acquisition and development. Grammar and common sense are acquired by virtually everyone, effortlessly, rapidly, in a uniform manner, merely by living in a community under minimal conditions of interaction, exposure, and care.
There need be no explicit teaching or training, and when the latter does take place, it has only marginal effects on the final state achieved.”
–Noam Chomsky, Reflections on Language (1975)
“Language acquisition is a subconscious process; while it is happening we are not aware that it is happening, and the competence developed this way is stored in the brain subconsciously.” – Krashen
“We acquire language when we understand messages, when we understand what people tell us and when we understand what we read.” – Krashen
All cases of successful first and second language acquisition are characterized by the availability of Comprehensible Input. – Larsen-Freeman & Long, 1991, p. 142
“(T)here is a consensus among second language researchers that input is an essential component of second language acquisition.” – VanPatten, 1996, p. 13
“Language is acoustical, not intellectual.” – Berty Segal
third world countries,
where bilingualism or
is the norm rather than
the exception, a second
(or third) language is
ACQUIRED without any
reference to conscious
learning or to written
material.” – Ellidokuzoglu, IJFLT 2008
“[N]ot only does instruction not alter the order of acquisition, neither does practice”– VanPatten, 2013
“SLA history is not 2,000 years old but almost as old as human history and that throughout this long period, people have acquired rather than learned L2s, considering the rather short history of linguistic sciences.”
– Ellidokuzoglu, IJFLT 2008
“[T]he idea that what you teach is what they learn, and when you teach it is when they learn it, is not just simplistic, it is wrong.” — Long, 1997.
“Even after puberty, the brain is elastic enough to internalize a second (or third) language basically in the same manner it picks up the first. However, since muscles regulating the articulators are somewhat fixed after a certain age, attaining a native-like accent may not be possible for some adults.” – Ellidokuzoglu, IJFLT 2008
“Learners […] have demonstrated that acquisition of the tense and aspectual systems (e.g. the use of the preterit/passé composé and the imperfect) is piecemeal and unaffected by instructional intervention.” –VanPatten & Wong, 2003
“The amount of input necessary for L1 acquisition
to take place is expressed in thousands of hours of auditory input. We shouldn’t blame our students for not being able to speak when we provide them with so little comprehensible input.” – Ellidokuzoglu, IJFLT 2008
“If someone cannot properly perform a rule that he consciously knows, his performance must be based on a non-conscious knowledge system.” – Ellidokuzoglu, IJFLT 2008
“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.” – Krashen, 1982
“Most important, the input hypothesis predicts that the classroom may be an excellent place for second language acquisition, at least up to the “intermediate” level. For beginners, the classroom can be much better than the outside world, since the outside usually provides the beginner with very little comprehensible input, especially for older acquirers (Wagner-Gough and Hatch, 1975). In the classroom, we can provide an hour a day of comprehensible input, which is probably much better than the outside can do for the beginner.”
– Krashen, 1982
“There is no need for deliberate memorization; rather, firm knowledge of grammatical rules (a feel for correctness) and a large vocabulary gradually emerge as language acquirers get more “comprehensible input,” aural or written language that is understood.” – Krashen
“Our goal in foreign language pedagogy is to bring students to the point where they are autonomous acquirers, prepared to continue to improve on their own. . . an “autonomous acquirer” has two characteristics:
● The autonomous acquirer has acquired enough of the second language so that at least some authentic input is comprehensible, enough to ensure progress and the ability to acquire still more language.
● The autonomous acquirer will understand the language acquisition process. The autonomous acquirer will know that progress comes from comprehensible input, not from grammar study and vocabulary lists, and will understand ways of making input more comprehensible (e.g. getting background information, avoiding obviously incomprehensible input).
This is, of course, the goal of all education – not to produce masters but to allow people to begin work in their profession and to continue to grow.” – Krashen, 2004
“In the end, acquisition is too complex to reduce to simple ideas. There are no shortcuts.” — Bill VanPatten